Queensland swing the axe with bombshell selections for Origin II

Queensland have picked 18-year-old sensation Reece Walsh to play fullback against New South Wales in State of Origin II at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

With Kalyn Ponga (groin) out, the Maroons have shifted Valentine Holmes from fullback to wing and installed Warriors wonderkid Walsh in the No.1 jersey.

Walsh has played just seven NRL games and is the least experienced player to debut since Ben Ikin in 1995 during the Super League war, but drastic action was required after the Maroons were thrashed 50-6 in game one.

Winger Xavier Coates and forwards Jaydn Su’A and Joe Ofahengaue have all been axed, while Gold Coast superstar David Fifita has been dropped to the bench.

Andrew McCullough has won a dramatic recall to Maroons to replace injured hooker Harry Grant, and Ben Hunt also returns to the team in the No.14 jersey.

Josh Papalii is back after missing the series opener through suspension but Queensland lose AJ Brimson who hasn’t played since game one due to bone bruising on his knee.

Cowboys enforcer while Frank Molo will make his debut to cap an emotional journey back from the James Ackerman tragedy in 2015.

He can’t sugar coat how far off the pace they were in game one but Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans is confident of State of Origin redemption for the Maroons on Sunday.

Queensland were humiliated 50-6 by a rampant NSW team in Townsville, a defeat as embarrassing and humbling as the scoreline would suggest.

Cherry-Evans however is heading into camp ahead of game two at Suncorp Stadium believing the margin between the two teams is not as vast as the margin on the scoreboard.

“There’s lessons to be learned from game one, some big lessons, but if we can identify it, we can turn it around real quickly,” he said.

“It was game one, and we got our pants pulled down and they smashed us but we’re so lucky there’s two more games to go mate.

“The next one’s at Suncorp and really looking forward to changing it all.”

Queensland are expected to be without hooker Harry Grant after he aggravated his hamstring injury in Melbourne’s big win over Wests Tigers on Saturday while AJ Brimson (knee bruising) is also set to miss out.

The Maroons will however welcome back prop Josh Papalii while Cherry-Evans is also tipping five-eighth Cameron Munster to be a much improved performer after he came into game one struggling with a foot injury.