Cobbo tipped for Origin recall but Slater has options

Joel Gould |

Selwyn Cobbo is ready to return to the Queensland side and Brisbane coach Kevin Walters says he will be “at the forefront” of Billy Slater’s mind at the selection table.

Maroons and Melbourne winger Xavier Coates is out of the State of Origin series decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 17 with a hamstring injury.

Coach Slater could slot 22-year-old Cobbo, who was left out of the 38-18 game-two loss to recover from injury niggles, straight in on the wing where he has represented Queensland before.

He could also move Valentine Holmes to wing and play Cobbo as a centre, where he performed strongly for Queensland in the 38-10 win in game one after coming off the bench when Reece Walsh was concussed and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow moved from centre to fullback.

Selwyn Cobbo did well when he came off the bench to play most of game one at centre. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

Newcastle’s Dane Gagai, 18th man for the Maroons in game two and a veteran of 22 Origin games where he has scored 12 Origin tries, is a further option.

North Queensland veteran Kyle Feldt, who played two Origin games in 2021 has been in stellar form and is another possibility as a winger, although unlikely. 

Adding to the intrigue, versatile Gold Coast outside back AJ Brimson is set to return against Cronulla on Friday night from a groin injury and could get a gig for the Maroons on the bench as cover for the outside backs. 

Brimson has played four Origin games for Queensland – two at fullback and two as a No.14.

AJ Brimson could put himself back in the Queensland selection mix. (Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

Cobbo had a short break in his home town of Cherbourg to recharge after missing Queensland selection for game two. He made 137m from 11 runs and had two tackle busts in Brisbane’s 32-16 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.

“I think he’d be at the forefront of Billy’s mind, that’s for sure. He had another strong game for us,” Walters said.

“He got some time away from the game. He went back to Cherbourg and his family. That’s normally very invigorating for players, particularly Selwyn with time with his family.

“That’s all he needed. Just a bit of a break. I’m sure if he’s called upon he’d love to play for Queensland, but we’ve got next week against the Panthers (on Friday night) and he’s got to get his mind around that short turnaround for us.”