Injured Inglis almost in tears: Walters
Greg Inglis of the Maroons (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
A devastated Greg Inglis was almost reduced to tears when told a broken thumb would deny him a chance to captain Queensland at Suncorp Stadium for the first time.
But Maroons coach Kevin Walters reckons he knew deep down that Inglis had suffered a fracture just before naming the team for July 11's State of Origin game three after their luckless 2018 run.
Walters was forced to delay his scheduled Sunday night Origin III team announcement until Monday after Inglis broke down in South Sydney's NRL win over North Queensland.
Inglis has been replaced as Maroons skipper by Billy Slater after being booked for Tuesday surgery.
He is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.
"He was almost in tears when he found out exactly what was wrong," Walters said.
"Greg has been an inspirational player for us in the opening two games and he wanted to be here captaining the side again in what would have been a special moment for him at Suncorp.
"He will just have to wait until next year."
Walters thought he had copped his fair share of Murphy's Law after a nightmare start to life this year without the Big Three - retired Maroons greats Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.
It didn't stop Walters from fearing the worst when he first noticed Inglis nursing his hand in the dying minutes of the Rabbitohs' 21-20 victory in Cairns on Sunday.
"I saw him sort of nurse his hand through the game and to be honest I just tried to block it out and hope that it wasn't happening," Walters said.
"But given our season and what we have been through as a team it is no surprise for it to be broken.
"But gees, what do you do?"
Walters admitted he had never seen carnage like the Maroons injury list this year.
Besides Inglis, Queensland also lost bench utility Kalyn Ponga (hamstring) and are expected to rule out 18th man Dylan Napa (knee) for game three.
All three Queensland preparations this year have been thrown into chaos by injury dramas.
Then there have been the on-field calls.
Walters was still smarting over NSW being awarded Origin's first penalty try in 37 years, claimed James Maloney didn't play the ball properly before a Latrell Mitchell four pointer and lamented Maroons winger Dane Gagai's disallowed try.
And that was just game two.
But Walters said: "I am not using it as an excuse.
"We lost the game. It was no one else's fault.
"We just had things go against us. When one of those things go our way we may see a different result."
© AAP 2018