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Is Reece Welsh ready for an Origin debut? Cam Smith weighs in


Queensland will have to go back to the drawing board after being battered 50-6 by New South Wales in the State of Origin series opener.

The Blues were firing in all departments, with stars Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco dominating from the backline.

While the Blues sparkled from the back, the Maroons struggled through the middle and were visibly missing key players such as star fullback Kalyn Ponga.

Ponga was withdrawn from the Queensland squad days before Game 1, leaving Maroons fans praying that he’ll be fit for the second game of the series in Brisbane.

While Queensland will be hoping the Newcastle number one gets up for the next clash, his injury could be a blessing in disguise for NRL rookie Reece Walsh.

While Maroons legend Cameron Smith admitted it would be a “big ask” to throw the young Warriors fullback into the must win game, he admitted everyone has to make their debut sooner or later.

“That would be a big ask, throwing a young fella, an 18 year old whose played half a dozen games into a must win game at Suncorp,” Smith said on SEN Breakfast.

“But you know, everyone has got to make their debut at some stage.

“After coming off a 50-6 point loss there may be some extreme measures that need to be taken."

If it does come to drastic measures, Smith would like to see a fully fit 17 take on the Blues rather than filling the squad with players carrying injuries.

“I think what needs to happen, we need to pick players that are fit," Smith said.

“(Players) that aren’t carrying injuries into the match, they need to have a solid preparation.

“Fingers crossed Kalyn has an opportunity to play at least one game of NRL footy before the next match, to see where he’s at.

“If not, then there are going to be some big calls made to get the correct line up to match the Blues for game 2."

After Queensland struggled in teh centres, Will Chambers name was thrown into the mix to rejoin the team and Smith doesn’t oppose the idea of the Sharks star pulling on the Origin jersey again

“I think he’s been playing some pretty good footy over the last couple of weeks,” Smith said on Chambers

“The one thing that he would obviously bring to Queensland is the experience first and foremost, but (also) a level head, he’s a great talker, he’s a great defender, something that is needed to combat Tom Trbojevic.:

The State of Origin players will return to their respective teams at club level for another two weeks before heading up to Brisbane for Game 2 of the series at Suncorp Stadium.

Listen to the full chat with Cameron Smith here:

State of Origin

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