New South Wales skipper Paul Gallen has lit the fuse ahead of State of Origin Game II after labelling the Maroons “grubby” and “disrespectful”.
Gallen slammed the Maroons after Mal Meninga selected Billy Slater to play despite the fact the star Melbourne Storm man is due to undergo surgery on Thursday.
Billy is planning on having surgery on Thursday,” Gallen is quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“That’s a sign where they think their team is at. They think they are going to get this win and win the series. Billy will have surgery and the rest of the year off. It’s a little bit disrespectful to us.
“Sitting here talking about it is cheap. We have to get the win and shut him out for the rest of the year.”
Gallen also spoke out about Queensland’s supposed “grubby tactics” and said the Blues were ready to combat any physical attacks from Maroons players.
“We have been used to their grubby tactics for years now, in game one I suppose the boys were a bit naive to think that some of the so-called angels of the game don’t get up to any of it,” Gallen said.
“I’m sure that none of the boys will take a backward step this time, they know what is coming and I’m sure Queensland do as well.
“We are not out there to fight, we are not out there to play dirty, we are out there to play hard and tough but we won’t be taking any a backward step and if those tactics start to sneak into the game I’m sure our boys will adapt to that.”
Queensland can reclaim Origin bragging rights with a win at the MCG on Wendesday in front of an expected bumper crowd in the Victorian capital.
New South Wales have made two changes with captain Paul Gallen and Brett Morris both back from injury.
Andrew Fifita and Daniel Tupou will make way for the returning duo, while Robbie Farah has recovered and remains at hooker.
The Maroons make just one change with Cooper Cronk unavailable through injury.
Daly Cherry-Evans will take the Melbourne Storm man’s place at halfback, while Michael Morgan remains on the bench.