Nathan Merritt selection makes Inglis happy

LAINE CLARK
Last updated 08:19 19/06/2013

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The feelgood story of the NSW State of Origin team has also made Queensland strike weapon Greg Inglis happy - for reasons that would wipe the smile off Blues fans' faces.

While stoked South Sydney teammate Nathan Merritt had finally earned a Blues jersey after 10 years trying, Inglis claimed their selection call had played straight into his hands as he planned to get more involved for Queensland.

"I think it will work in my favour because I know his game so well," Inglis said of Merritt being called in to replace the disgraced Blake Ferguson.

"I am glad that he got picked but at the end of the day he is playing for the other side and we have to exploit that."

Inglis has been a revelation as South Sydney fullback but admitted he felt like a "headless chook" as a Queensland centre in their 14-6 Origin I loss to NSW earlier this month.

Inglis averages more than 168m an NRL game wearing the Rabbitohs No.1 jersey but made just 57m from 10 runs as a Maroons three-quarter in Sydney.

It had prompted the likes of ex-NSW centre Mark Gasnier to call for Inglis to be named on the wing in order to get more involved in kick returns and receive more quality ball for their must-win game two clash at Suncorp Stadium on June 26.

Inglis said he was yet to strike up a contingency plan with coach Mal Meninga - but assured Queensland fans there would be as they try to keep their hopes of an eight straight series win alive with an Origin II victory.

"That's something we will speak about in the next few days to get the hands on the ball more," he said.

"But I thought we stuck to our game plan in game one. We just didn't play the best we could have.

"You can't really get frustrated (playing in the centres for Queensland). You have to stick with the gameplan and what is best for us."

Inglis will spearhead a new-look Queensland side in game two after Meninga finally ditched the loyalty card and went for fresh blood - Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans and Canberra enforcer Josh Papalii.

Their inclusion on the bench forced a pack reshuffle that ensured veteran Ashley Harrison and David Shillington were cut for game two.

Inglis was glad the hard-tackling Papalii was on his side this time.

"Every time you play him it's like 'where is he at'? - he's a big boy," Inglis said.

"You don't run at him because you know he can hit."

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- AAP

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