Walsh, Tabuai-Fidow or Ponga For Queensland Maroons Number 1 Jersey?

With State of Origin fast approaching, James Graham, Connor Watson and Maroons legend Greg Inglis discussed who could start at fullback for the reigning champions.


Incumbent custodian Kalyn Ponga’s availability is still in doubt after the Newcastle Knights star has taken time out of the game to recover from repeated concussions.

Yet, the 25 year-old has proven a pivotal figure for his state, as he was man of the match in the deciding game last season.

If he had to select someone else, coach Billy Slater has a tough decision to make ahead of Game 1 and the boys on Footy Talk tried to provide a solution, Reece Walsh or Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow?

‘You’d put Walsh there wouldn’t you? The way he’s been playing,’ said Inglis.

‘The Hammer has undeniable freakish talent.

‘[Though] You could pick either/or if Ponga’s out.

Though if Ponga were to prove himself ahead of the series, James Graham asked Inglis if he’d keep the Newcastle star at fullback even though he’s been playing five-eighth for the Knights.

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Which GI agreed, ‘I’d keep Ponga there, leave him at 1.

‘Though if he’s not, I’m picking Walsh.

‘I’m picking Walsh because of his ball-playing skills and his kicking ability out the back.

‘Hammer’s just starting to get that craft into him.’

Though Graham offered a counterpoint in defence of Tabuai-Fidow.

‘If you look defensively, on the line, who’s more likely to save a try?

‘I’m thinking the Hammer just for that.

‘Looking at Queensland and the make up of their squad, I don’t think they need Walsh’s attacking ability.

‘If you watch the Brisbane Broncos, [Walsh] hasn’t been asked many questions because of how much they’ve been dominating.

‘Hammer has.

‘Even if Ponga were available, I’d still have Hammer at number 1.’