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McGuire backed to play despite knock

By Eden Richards‌, Queensland Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

Josh McGuire looks to offload the ball.
Josh McGuire produced arguably his strongest Origin performance in Game II.

Despite missing the XXXX Maroons' first training session, Brisbane Broncos and Queensland lock Josh McGuire will be ready to go for Game III of the Holden State of Origin Series.

That is according to teammate Matt Gillett who believes the 27-year-old will be out to make up for his seven-minute stint in Brisbane's 42-12 thrashing at the hands of the Melbourne Storm in Round 17.

McGuire was knocked unconscious during that match, copping the hip of Storm prop Jesse Bromwich in a sickening clash that ended his night prematurely.

Wrestle with Alfie

So dazed and confused was McGuire, he tried to wrestle Broncos trainer Alfie Langer in a bid to stay on the field, with Langer forced to call in other Brisbane trainers to restrain McGuire and eventually get him down the tunnel.

It was clear to all watching that McGuire was concussed and he is still feeling the after effects of the knock that many feared could rule him out of the Origin decider.

But if he follows protocol then he should be right to take the field, with Game III taking place 12 days after he suffered the head knock.

And he will be hungry to excel, with the man they call 'Moose' blaming himself for missing the majority of the Broncos' one-sided loss.

Selfless

Gillett, who was near McGuire when the incident occurred, said that is just the type of player the 27-year-old is, describing him as 'selfless' and a player who always puts the team first.

"He's alright. He already had a few brain cells missing," Gillett said with a laugh.

"He's been pretty good since it happened. It was a pretty bad knock.

‘Sorry boys’

"He was stumbling a bit there and then Alfie had to wrestle him and give him a few stern words on the sideline to stop him from running back on.

"That's just Josh's nature. He never wants to let the team down. I remember him saying after the game 'sorry boys', he felt like it was his fault.

"He felt like it was his fault but there is not too much you can do about a knock to the head.

Tough

"He's a competitor and he always wants to be out there doing the best for the boys.

"He'd rather be playing than sitting and watching but he should be fine (for Game III).

"He's up and about. He still has a bit of the protocol to go through to get back on the field but I'm sure he'll be fine. He's a tough boy."

Inspiring

And Queensland will need him, with McGuire producing arguably his strongest performance in a Maroon jumper during Game II, running for 117m, making 49 tackles and producing a pivotal line break that led to a game-changing try to Dane Gagai.

It changed the momentum of the match, helping inspire the Maroons to a two-point win, and for Gillett this ability of McGuire's to produce a big run when no one else can is the reason he is so important to Queensland's chances of winning an 11th Origin title in 12 years.


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"When troops are down and out and struggling with tiredness, it is Josh who always puts his hand up to make that run," he said.

"He puts the side on the front foot and his experience will be massive to have on Wednesday night."

* This article first appeared at NRL.com