Selwyn Cobbo
Queensland coach Billy Slater says he felt axed Selwyn Cobbo needed a break amid injury niggles. Image by Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS
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Slater explains Cobbo omission as Walsh fit for Maroons

Joel Gould June 17, 2024

Queensland coach Billy Slater has explained why he left Selwyn Cobbo out of his side for game two of the State of Origin series and revealed that fullback Reece Walsh already has clearance to play.

Brisbane outside back Cobbo came off the bench in the 38-10 win in game one in Sydney when Walsh was concussed and produced a powerhouse display but he has played with injury niggles in his past two games for Brisbane.

He has been replaced on the bench by recalled Warriors back-rower Kurt Capewell, who can play centre and last represented the Maroons in 2022.

Kurt Capewell.
 Kurt Capewell has been recalled to the Queensland side on the bench. Image by Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS 

“Selwyn is not quite 100 per cent at the moment,” Slater said.

“He has been playing with injections.

“Collectively, with a few things he would like to work on in his game, we felt it was best for Selwyn to have a rest.

 “The Broncos have got the bye this week and I’m pretty sure if the Broncos were playing, Selwyn wouldn’t be playing for the Broncos.

“Selwyn has just turned 22 and we forget these guys are young and still developing physically and still developing their game and building that consistency.

“It’s not one-size-fits all. I felt it was the right thing for Selwyn to have a break and he will wear a Maroons jersey again.”

Dolphins forward Felise Kaufusi, who was 18th man in game one, comes onto the bench for the June 26 clash at the MCG after Parramatta lock J’maine Hopgood was ruled out with a back injury.

Kaufusi was activated and played in game one after Walsh left the field. 

Slater said Capewell would provide great utility value and fill the void if an outside back went down with injury.

“Kurt has great versatility. He has never let Queensland down,” Slater said.

“I love the actions and habits in his game.

“He has had two games back (from a calf injury). He is nice and healthy and I’m looking forward to him coming back in a jersey.”

Walsh, 21, was concussed in the seventh minute of Queensland’s  win in Sydney after a high shot by Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii.

  Reece Walsh returns from the concussion he suffered on game one. Image by Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS 

He has since undergone all required protocols while back with club side Brisbane after his mandatory 11-day stand down, in which he missed NRL clashes with Cronulla and South Sydney. 

“Reece has got clearance. He is good, to go,” Slater said.

“Reece is Queensland’s fullback. I saw a fair bit of form in Reece’s preparation (before game one) and I am looking forward to him going after his game.”


1. Reece Walsh, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Tom Dearden, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Reuben Cotter, 9. Ben Hunt, 10. Lindsay Collins, 11. Jaydn Su’A, 12. Jeremiah Nanai, 13. Patrick Carrigan, 14. Harry Grant, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. Felise Kaufusi, 17. Kurt Capewell, 18. Dane Gagai, 19. Heilum Luki, 20. Trent Loiero.