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Queensland gamble on playermaker Cronk for Origin III

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

BRISBANE - Queensland have named Cooper Cronk at halfback for State of Origin III, gambling on the playmaker making a quicker-than-expected return from a broken arm.

Cronk hasn't played since breaking his arm early in Origin I but coach Mal Meninga is hoping he'll be fit to play as the Maroons try to avoid a series whitewash in next Wednesday's Suncorp Stadium clash.

Cronk's return is one of several changes to the team with injured pair Brent Tate and Matt Scott replaced by Will Chambers and Jacob Lillyman.

Chambers, an emergency player in the past two squads, will make his Origin debut.

Josh Papalii has been axed from the squad with David Taylor retaining his bench spot and Corey Parker coming straight back into the line-up at lock with Chris McQueen out injured.

Brisbane's Josh McGuire and North Queensland's Michael Morgan have been named as emergencies in the 19-man squad.

Queensland: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Will Chambers, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Jacob Lillyman, Cameron Smith (capt), Nate Myles, Aidan Guerra, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker.

Res: Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Te'o, Matt Gillett, Dave Taylor. Emergencies: Josh McGuire, Michael Morgan.

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