Cherry-Evans snubbed as Maroons opt for Hunt in Origin III


Queensland debutant Ben Hunt pipped Daly Cherry-Evans to selection for the Origin decider, Maroons head coach Kevin Walters confirmed.

Cherry-Evans has been in fine form for the Manly Sea Eagles at NRL level and emerged as a possible replacement for injured star Johnathan Thurston but he was snubbed in favour of Hunt ahead of Origin III at Suncorp Stadium on July 12.

Walters - who is also without Darius Boyd - and the Maroons have turned to Brisbane Broncos half-back Hunt and fellow debutant Cameron Munster following the 18-16 game-two victory.

Hunt's selection has come as a surprise after he was dropped to reserve grade by Broncos head coach Wayne Bennett only a few weeks ago.

"Ben, we like what he can bring to the team," said Walters, who said Hunt will start from the interchange bench in Brisbane. "DCE obviously came up in a lot of the discussions but Ben will be coming off the bench for us.

"If DCE was playing, he had to be in the starting 13 ... Ben can bring a bit more value off the bench in other roles we are going to designate towards him.

"We like what we see in Ben. He could possibly be the future of the Maroons as well."

Munster comes into the Maroons squad, having starred for Melbourne Storm - who also boast fellow Queensland representatives Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater, Will Chambers and Tim Glasby.

The 22-year-old produced a man-of-the-match display to lead the Storm to a rampant 42-12 win over the Broncos last week.


Queensland: Will Chambers, Gavin Cooper, Cooper Cronk, Dane Gagai, Matt Gillett, Tim Glasby, Coen Hess, Valentine Holmes, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster, Dylan Napa, Josh Papalii, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Jarrod Wallace