Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans has broken the golden rule of ‘coach whispering’ to warn NSW of the impact Cameron Munster’s positional switch will have in next Wednesday’s Origin decider.
Munster’s move to fullback for game three was confirmed during a fan day conducted at the Logan Specialty School in Brisbane’s southern suburbs with Corey Norman to make his Origin debut in Queensland’s famous No.6 jersey alongside Cherry-Evans.
After missing game two through injury Joe Ofahengaue has been named to start in the front row at ANZ Stadium with the Maroons’ other debutant Christian Welch to start from the bench.
Given how they trained on Tuesday there was a thought that Michael Morgan would switch to five-eighth and Moses Mbye move from the bench into the centres but both will line up as they did in the opening two games of the series.
Two years ago Munster made his Origin debut in a game three decider and produced one of the great first-up performances in Queensland’s 22-6 series-winning victory.
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It is that type of confidence and composure that gives Maroons teammates faith that he will handle the occasion again in a position he has never played at this level and makes his captain believe he is the perfect man to replace the scintillating Kalyn Ponga.
“Any time that Cam Munster’s worn the No.1 jersey for any side that he’s played in he’s done a really good job,” Cherry-Evans said in between signing autographs and posing for photos with fans.
“He’ll be fantastic for us on Wednesday and the fact that he’s now not pigeon-holed just to the left-hand side of the world is going to be dramas for New South Wales.”
In his club career with Melbourne to date Munster has played 50 games at fullback and 51 at five-eighth, his last appearance coming in the No.1 jersey for the Storm in round one, 2018.
Still just 24 years of age, he played fullback in the Storm’s 2015 and 2016 finals series campaigns and according to Melbourne teammate Felise Kaufusi will rise to the challenge next week.
“We all know what he’s like and what he brings at club level and if there’s anyone to do it it’s Cameron Munster,” Kaufusi told NRL.com.
Maroons middle forward Tim Glasby first saw Munster’s capabilities when the pair emerged with the Central Queensland Capras in the Intrust Super Cup and has seen enough to know that he is the right man for the job.
“He’s done it before. I don’t think he’s done it an Origin before but he’s certainly played at a high level at fullback and he’s done a great job of it,” Glasby said.
“It was his position for a long time in his career and I’ve got absolute confidence that he’ll get out there and get his job done.”
After playing his cards close to his chest for the past few days, Maroons coach Kevin Walters said Munster was happy to make the switch.
“Cameron has always enjoyed playing fullback and I can sense how eager he is to make a strong contribution," Walters said.
“The same can be said for Corey. He’s been in our system for a number of years now and he’s stoked to get the chance on such a big stage.
“Now it’s about getting down to business and making sure our preparation is spot on.
“We’ve had a really positive start to our camp since we’ve got back together here in Brisbane.
“Now we’re about to get into some of our bigger training sessions so it’s an exciting time for everyone, particularly the players who have been given a new opportunity at this level."
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