Legend's fear as selector spills on Maroons snub

Legend's fear as selector spills on Maroons snub David Fifita reacts to a Queensland try.

Darren Lockyer claims "fatigue" is the major reason behind David Fifita's shock omission from the Queensland squad heading into the State of Origin decider.

After a disappointing Queensland performance in game two, Fifita was seen as a logical inclusion for next week's decider at Suncorp Stadium, but was again overlooked by Maroons selectors on Monday.

Kurt Capewell has been named to start alongside Jeremiah Nanai in the back row, while Felise Kaufusi and Kalyn Ponga were included on the bench in lieu of calling Fifita up.

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Head coach Billy Slater spoke in circles when it came to the Titans superstar being on the outer, but on Wide World of Sports' QLDER, one of his fellow selectors delved a little further into Fifita's snub.

"Dave has obviously found some form in the last few weeks and that's with the Titans going a bit better," Lockyer said.

"Billy watches a lot of football, he would have studied Dave over the last three weeks.

"I think the biggest thing for Dave to work on is that when he gets fatigued or tired, that's when the habits of an Origin player are important.

"That's just one part of Dave's game that he can be better at and if he takes that on board and takes the disappointment and knows that there are still little things he needs to get better ... it's up to him now."

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From a statistical perspective, Fifita has outperformed all of the other back-rowers to have played for Queensland in the series, including Dragons star Jaydn Su'A who was dropped for the decider.

With the absence of Fifita and Su'A from the 17 heading into Brisbane, the side is without some bigger bodies, with Slater instead opting to carry Ponga as a bench utility and Harry Grant as the back-up hooker to Ben Hunt, as has been the norm since 2022.

"We're lacking a bit of size," Maroons great Wally Lewis said.

"It will be quite interesting to see how the other player responds. I'm sure Billy will be talking to the players and just saying to them that he's shown faith in them and it's about time they respond.

"They have another chance now to remind the coach that he made the right decision."

  • https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/other/legend-s-fear-as-selector-spills-on-maroons-snub/ar-BB1pHf2i?ocid=00000000

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