Queensland coach Billy Slater has made two changes to the team as they aim to secure a series sweep against New South Wales. Corey Horsburgh will make his Queensland debut, replacing the injured Thomas Flegler. AJ Brimson will take over the fullback position from Reece Walsh, who was suspended for abusing a referee. Brimson has previously played three games for Queensland, with his only start at fullback resulting in a thrilling victory in the 2020 series opener. Slater praised Brimson’s performance and emphasised the importance of each player earning their opportunity to wear the Maroons jersey.
Despite speculation, Kalyn Ponga has confirmed that he will not be making himself available for the series. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow was considered for the fullback position, but his strong form at left centre led to Brimson being chosen instead. Horsburgh, who has had an impressive season with the Canberra Raiders, expressed his excitement when Slater informed him of his selection on the bench. Slater commended Horsburgh’s dedication to his game and his focus on improvement.
Selwyn Cobbo, who missed the previous game due to a hip injury, has been unable to regain his spot on the wing. Xavier Coates will retain his position, with Tom Dearden named as the 18th man. The key change to the spine sees Harry Grant named as the starting hooker for the first time since 2021, with Ben Hunt coming off the bench. The Maroons are aiming for their first series sweep since 2010, and Slater believes the team has laid a strong foundation but is still seeking improvement.
The Queensland team for the upcoming match includes AJ Brimson, Xavier Coates, Valentine Holmes, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Reuben Cotter, Harry Grant, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, David Fifita, Jeremiah Nanai, and Patrick Carrigan. The interchange includes Ben Hunt, Lindsay Collins, Moeaki Fotuaika, and Corey Horsburgh, with Tom Dearden and J’maine Hopgood as reserves.