Queensland stand-off Johnathan Thurston has described the prospect of rookie Ben Hunt filling in at scrum-half for the injured Cooper Cronk and Daly Cherry-Evans as “not ideal”.
First-choice number seven Cronk (broken arm) is unlikely to play another part in this Origin series while understudy Cherry-Evans (knee) has a chance of making the second test but admitted he wasn’t confident of doing so.
That paves the way for 24-year-old Hunt, who is in stunning form for Brisbane Broncos after guiding them to a convincing win over Canberra Raiders yesterday.
Thurston said: “Obviously it wouldn’t be ideal but they are the cards we have been dealt.”
VIDEO: BEN HUNT’s NRL HIGHLIGHTS
The Kangaroos stand-off isn’t doubting Hunt’s ability – he’s simply worried that they won’t have enough time to teach him their moves and structures ahead of next week’s second test. The reigning Golden Boot winner was hoping Cherry-Evans would be able to prove his fitness last-minute.
“It’s a fine line,” he said.
“Daly knows our structures and the plays. It would be nice to have him there for training. Hopefully Daly can get a full week on the paddock under his belt.
“I am confident of Benny coming in and doing the job. His kicking game has been great this year. I have no problem playing with him in the halves if need be.
“He just needs to do his job. We don’t need him to do anything too outstanding.”
Hunt said: “I am still trying to get my head around it. Talking to the boys at camp I am pinching myself.
“And playing alongside Johnathan Thurston and some of the best players in the world would be a dream come true. I am not too sure yet of my chances. If they pick me, hopefully I am ready.”
Want more Rugby League news and features? Subscribe to the online version of League Express newspaper and Rugby League World magazine. You can also connect with Total Rugby League on the social media platform of your choice.
Enjoyed this? Get these!
Comment on this story on our Fans Forum