Walker In For Origin Fright Night
Queensland captain Cameron Smith has vowed to unleash Greg Inglis in Game Two of the 2016 Holden State of Origin Series on Wednesday night and turn Dylan Walker's dream starting debut for the Blues into a nightmare.
In a game where attacking opportunities were scarce for both teams, Inglis had just 11 carries for 104 metres in Game One for the Maroons and rarely had the time and space necessary to impose himself on the game.
The withdrawal of Josh Morris due to a groin injury has seen New South Wales coach Laurie Daley elevate Walker into the starting line-up at right centre and a daunting assignment against his former South Sydney teammate
Switching between fullback and five-eighth at club level with the Rabbitohs this year, Inglis has shifted back to the left centre position where 11 of his record 17 Origin tries have manifested from and Smith intends to give him every opportunity to add to his tally.
"We spoke about it in Game One in about the [NSW] guys on debut and we'll be asking some questions out there there's no doubt," Smith said.
"At the same time we want to be giving big Greg some opportunity out there too. I think he only had three or four runs in attacking positions in Game One and he needs to be touching the ball a lot more than that.
"If the game's not going out towards him then sometimes he tends to hang out there and wait for the ball but at the same time we need to give him those opportunities as well.
"We've put him out in that centre position for a reason and that's to cause a bit of trouble out there. If we get the opportunity then I'm sure he'll see some quality football.
"I'm sure if he has the ball in his hands he'll be asking some questions of Dylan Walker."
Walker played only nine minutes off the bench for NSW in Game One and had just one run for five metres and will undeniably bring extra penetration to the Blues attack out wide.
The addition of outstanding Cronulla 21-year-old Jack Bird to the NSW 17 is also seen by Smith as positive move for their attack but warned that the atmosphere generated at Suncorp Stadium has gotten the better of many more seasoned campaigners.
"Dylan Walker is playing his first game in the starting side in the centres so he's got his own challenges to face but Jack Bird has been in supreme form for Cronulla for quite a while now," Smith said.
"I know there were a few people trying to put his name up for Game One and he's in there now and a very good player. He adds a bit more danger to our defence than what there was in Game One I believe.
"I said post-game that everyone loves playing at Suncorp, it doesn't matter where you're from and what team you play for but at the end of the day it is a hostile environment.
"There's no doubt that for NSW there's going to be a sea of maroon up there on Wednesday night all barracking for us.
"There's always a small pocket of Blues supporters but it's an extremely tough place to make your debut. It's an extremely tough place to play if you've played 10 games of Origin.
"No doubt those guys will be feeling the pressure."
This article first appeared on NRL.com