Canberra Raiders’ Anthony Milford and Brisbane Broncos half-back Ben Hunt are the new faces for the meeting with New South Wales a week on Wednesday, while injured trio Billy Slater, Daly Cherry-Evans and Greg Inglis have all been named.
Cherry-Evans is expected to overcome a knee problem to take Cooper Cronk’s place at number seven, but there are grave concerns over Inglis (ankle) and Slater (shoulder) for a match the Maroons must win to keep the series alive.
The return of veteran Sam Thaiday from injury is one piece of positive news.
“We’re taking a little bit of a different tack because of the current injury situation,” Queensland Rugby League chairman Peter Betros said in explaining the rationale behind the extended squad.
“We normally announce 19 players, but, because of the uncertainty over several players, we’re going to announce 22 players.
“As the week goes on and the injury situation becomes clearer, (coach) Mal (Meninga) will finalise the team and get it down to the required number.”
New South Wales will announce their team in Sydney on Tuesday.
Darius Boyd (Newcastle Knights), Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm), Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos), Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters), Justin Hodges (Brisbane Broncos), Ben Hunt (Brisbane Broncos), Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Jacob Lillyman (Warriors), Chris McQueen (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Anthony Milford (Canberra Raiders), Nate Myles (Gold Coast Titans), Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders), Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos), Matt Scott (North Queensland Cowboys), Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Brent Tate (North Queensland Cowboys), Ben Te’o (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys), Willie Tonga (Parramatta Eels)
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