Infotainment Factory: Lockyer hints at huge selection calls

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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Lockyer hints at huge selection calls


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Queensland selector Darren Lockyer has given the clearest indication yet about who will lead the side out for Origin I and who will wear the No.9 jersey.

Speaking to Wide World of Sports for QLDER, Lockyer admitted that Daly Cherry-Evans had the inside running to succeed Greg Inglis as captain but conceded the knee injury to the star halfback would likely put that plan on the backburner.

Tellingly, Lockyer was cool on the idea of promoting enigmatic young five-eighth Cameron Munster to the leadership before his time, despite his ability to lead from the front and "win a game off his own bat".

Instead he pointed to Michael Morgan as the man who would likely have the (c) next to his name on June 5, albeit that an awkward mid-series captaincy change could then be thrust upon the selectors should Cherry-Evans regain fitness and usurp Morgan in the No.7 jersey.

"A lot depends on if Daly's fit. If he's not fit you look at other captaincy candidates; there's Michael Morgan, there's Matt Gillett, there are options there but I think Morgan is probably second in line because of the position he plays in the team," Lockyer said.

Asked to comment on Munster's captaincy claims, Lockyer replied: "It's an interesting one. In my view Cameron is a future leader of the team, I know what he's capable of and he can win a game off his own bat but he's learning his trade under Cameron Smith and that's probably the best guy you can learn from in clubland.

"Is it too much pressure on him right now? I'd probably say yes..."

At 30, Cherry-Evans is the oldest of the captaincy candidates mentioned by Lockyer, with Gillett just six months younger.

Lockyer's comments seem to indicate that the Queensland selectors have settled on Cherry-Evans as the man who will wear the No.7 jersey for at least the next two to three years, giving Munster the chance to mature before taking over the leadership as a 27 or 28-year-old.

That train of thought also indicates that Morgan is seen as the player best placed to fill the bench utility role for the foreseeable future, which would likely harm his captaincy claims while also shaping debate at the selection table about who should be the first choice hooker.

To watch the full episode of QLDER, click on the player below!

Lockyer comments on Bennett's secrets: QLDER

Legendary former skipper Cameron Smith is the wildcard in the pack after his club coach Craig Bellamy gave his blessing for the future Immortal to make an Origin comeback this year should that be his wish.

However, a more likely scenario is that the Maroons will choose a hooker with the potential to defend in the middle for the full 80 minutes, potentially putting Dragons halfback Ben Hunt on the outer.

"Talking about Ben Hunt, we're talking about him playing hooker, I don't think he plays 80; to put him in at 9 in Origin is a lot different to playing halfback in clubland," Lockyer said.

"Again, you wait until you get to the selection table but I think (Maroons incumbent Andrew) McCullough, if the Broncos can continue to play well he gives himself the best chance.

"In Origin you want impact out of dummy half but you can't underestimate the middle of the field, defensively it is tough work, so someone with a work rate like McCullough is definitely appreciated there."

Queensland selector Darren Lockyer has given the clearest indication yet about who will lead the side out for Origin I and who will wear the No.9 jersey.

Speaking to Wide World of Sports for QLDER, Lockyer admitted that Daly Cherry-Evans had the inside running to succeed Greg Inglis as captain but conceded the knee injury to the star halfback would likely put that plan on the backburner.

Tellingly, Lockyer was cool on the idea of promoting enigmatic young five-eighth Cameron Munster to the leadership before his time, despite his ability to lead from the front and "win a game off his own bat".

Instead he pointed to Michael Morgan as the man who would likely have the (c) next to his name on June 5, albeit that an awkward mid-series captaincy change could then be thrust upon the selectors should Cherry-Evans regain fitness and usurp Morgan in the No.7 jersey.

"A lot depends on if Daly's fit. If he's not fit you look at other captaincy candidates; there's Michael Morgan, there's Matt Gillett, there are options there but I think Morgan is probably second in line because of the position he plays in the team," Lockyer said.

Asked to comment on Munster's captaincy claims, Lockyer replied: "It's an interesting one. In my view Cameron is a future leader of the team, I know what he's capable of and he can win a game off his own bat but he's learning his trade under Cameron Smith and that's probably the best guy you can learn from in clubland.

"Is it too much pressure on him right now? I'd probably say yes..."

At 30, Cherry-Evans is the oldest of the captaincy candidates mentioned by Lockyer, with Gillett just six months younger.

Lockyer's comments seem to indicate that the Queensland selectors have settled on Cherry-Evans as the man who will wear the No.7 jersey for at least the next two to three years, giving Munster the chance to mature before taking over the leadership as a 27 or 28-year-old.

That train of thought also indicates that Morgan is seen as the player best placed to fill the bench utility role for the foreseeable future, which would likely harm his captaincy claims while also shaping debate at the selection table about who should be the first choice hooker.

To watch the full episode of QLDER, click on the player below!

Lockyer comments on Bennett's secrets: QLDER

Legendary former skipper Cameron Smith is the wildcard in the pack after his club coach Craig Bellamy gave his blessing for the future Immortal to make an Origin comeback this year should that be his wish.

However, a more likely scenario is that the Maroons will choose a hooker with the potential to defend in the middle for the full 80 minutes, potentially putting Dragons halfback Ben Hunt on the outer.

"Talking about Ben Hunt, we're talking about him playing hooker, I don't think he plays 80; to put him in at 9 in Origin is a lot different to playing halfback in clubland," Lockyer said.

"Again, you wait until you get to the selection table but I think (Maroons incumbent Andrew) McCullough, if the Broncos can continue to play well he gives himself the best chance.

"In Origin you want impact out of dummy half but you can't underestimate the middle of the field, defensively it is tough work, so someone with a work rate like McCullough is definitely appreciated there."

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