Josh Papalii Called Back Into Maroons’ Origin Squad

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Maroons coach Mal Meninga has opted to fight fire with fire, bringing 110kg hitman Josh Papalii back into the Queensland side.

The Maroons were outgunned by the Blues’ ferocity in game two of Origin.

New South Wales coach, Laurie Daley, modelled the strategy of game two around putting the Queenslanders off their game. To this end he unleashed hulking firebrand David Klemmer on their ranks.

Not even the most ardent Queensland fan could deny the impact Klemmer had on the game. At 2 meters tall (every inch of it mongrel), Klemmer battered the Queenslanders.

Coach Meninga needs an answer for Klemmer’s power and aggression in the deciding game three. And that answer comes in the form of wrecking-machine Josh Papalii.

Papalii was controversially dropped from Origin 12 months ago after a poor showing in game 1 at Suncorp Stadium.

But he was chosen for this year’s decider over rookie Dylan Napa because of this experience; with coach Meninga keen to give him the opportunity to redeem himself.

It is an opportunity Papalii is eager to embrace.

“I don’t want to let this Queensland jersey go,” he told reporters upon his announcement in the state squad. “I’m not coming here to play awful ever again, I’ll be leaving nothing behind.”

When asked about Klemmer, Papalii’s answer was: “I have played against Klemmer before and he wasn’t hard to miss, he’s massive. He is a good, young player, so I can’t wait to go up against him. It’s my job to come on and lift the team, just like he (Klemmer) does.”

Papalii has the ability to hurt the opposition. Last year he crash tackled Blues skipper Paul Gallen from behind. The tackle had Gallen whinging about cheap shots, but it was enough to rattle him.

The Maroons players are hoping Papalii is the antidote needed to take the Klemmer sting out of the New South Wales side. He has the ability, it just remains to be seen whether he has the nerve.

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