Queensland's Sam Thaiday to miss Origin I
Injured Brisbane backrower Sam Thaiday has pulled out of the Queensland State of Origin game one team, describing it as "one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life".
The door is now open for Sydney Roosters backrower Aidan Guerra to make his Origin debut for Queensland in the May 28 opener in Brisbane.
Queensland coach Mal Meninga was reportedly keen to give Thaiday until the last minute to overcome a long term calf complaint ahead of Origin I.
Thaiday appeared at long odds of being named in the Queensland squad at a gala dinner on Monday night when he was seen at a Broncos rehab session while Maroons players entered camp.
A shattered Thaiday later confirmed his withdrawal, saying he told Meninga he would not be fit during a phone call on Sunday.
"Picking up the phone to call Mal Meninga and tell him I won't be right for Origin One was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life," he said on the Rugby League Week website.
"I could have tried to bluff my way through team selection and the medical and prayed that my dodgy calf would come right before the big game.
"But I knew deep down that the leg just wasn't right and I would be letting down the players, the fans, big Mal and myself by attempting to play."
Thaiday has not played since Brisbane's April 11 NRL loss to the Gold Coast.
"I would have loved to be out there at Suncorp Stadium but I just knew I wouldn't be right," said Thaiday, a veteran of 20 Origins.
Guerra is in line to replace Thaiday in the starting back row with New Zealand Warriors forward Jacob Lillyman or Melbourne centre Will Chambers a chance of being named 18th man.
Canberra forward Josh Papalii reportedly flew into Brisbane on Monday in an indication he showed enough in the Raiders' 26-20 loss to Penrith on Sunday to keep his Queensland jersey.
Meninga flew down to Canberra to watch Papalii in action and the big Raiders forward responded, grabbing 116m from 16 runs and setting up an early Reece Robinson try.
Meninga looks set to stay loyal to the rest of his backrow stocks despite South Sydney's Chris McQueen also enduring a quiet season start.
The Maroons backline will also be unchanged despite Darius Boyd's underwhelming 2014 NRL form for Newcastle.
Such is the faith selectors have in Boyd, he will be named in the team at about 1845 AEST before he runs out for the Knights in Monday night's showdown with Manly which features Queensland teammate Daly Cherry-Evans.