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Munster, Morgan have inside running for Maroons halves berths: Walters

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has nominated Cameron Munster and Michael Morgan as early favourites as the Maroons' new halves combination while conceding he was expecting "plenty of selection headaches" before the opening Holden State of Origin clash in June.

Walters pointed out the decision would ultimately be made by the Queensland selectors as a group, but gave an indication where the Maroons were heading when asked whether incumbent five-eighth Munster and Morgan were pencilled in.  

"You would have to think, before a ball was kicked, that was the case," he said.

"That could change with injuries and suspensions but those two at the moment [are favourites].

"With Michael's form last year and he is the current Australian five-eighth, so he has got to be given every opportunity to show his wares in the next six to eight weeks.

"We are yet to see Morgan play in the Cowboys jersey and I hope he is playing this week against the Storm which will get some football into his legs."

Cowboys star Michael Morgan.
Cowboys star Michael Morgan. ©NRL Photos

St George Illawarra Dragons half Ben Hunt has started the season with a bang and Brisbane Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford rediscovered his running game against the Cowboys last week.

Walters said if Milford "continued on that path" he would be back in the frame to add to his solitary Origin match.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans is in the same boat after a dominant display against the Parramatta Eels.

"He's been very impressive for Manly, particularly on the weekend, but we are only at week two," Walters said.

Walters would have "no hesitation picking Ash" if Gold Coast Titans playmaker Ash Taylor fired in the first couple of months of the Telstra Premiership.

When asked whether he favoured fielding an organiser and a running half, Walters said his philosophy was to "pick the two best players and they usually complement each other anyway".

Walters, in support of what Queensland chairman of selectors Gene Miles earlier told, said a fit and healthy Greg Inglis would be straight back into the side.

He said Inglis and Darius Boyd had been "a great combination" as centre and wing on the left-hand side while adding Valentine Holmes was "high up on the list" for a wing position.

Throw in incumbent right-side outside backs Dane Gagai and Will Chambers and someone is missing out.

"It is going to be tough come selection time if all those guys are playing well and injury free," Walters said.

Storm utility Cameron Munster.
Storm utility Cameron Munster. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"It is going to make for some headaches that's for sure."

Walters confirmed Cameron Smith and Billy Slater would be available for the Maroons.

"With the transition of Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston that leaves a big hole experience wise and it would be nice to have Billy, Cameron, Greg and Matt Scott available for game one," he said.

"I've been impressed with Matt Scott's start to the year and he's similar [to Inglis] with a knee injury, and he's one of those players for Queensland who has really stood up when needed.

"If he keeps playing great footy for the Cowboys no doubt he will be in the side as well."

2018 Holden State of Origin Game III is coming to Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday July 11. Don’t miss your chance to secure tickets at

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