DCE Will Play Origin in 2018: Walters

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DCE Will Play Origin in 2018: Walters

Queensland coach Kevin Walters insists Daly Cherry-Evans isn't on the nose with team officials and senior players and will play State of Origin in 2018.

The Manly halfback and captain was overlooked to replace Johnathan Thurston in next week's Orgin decider despite discovering career-best form in 2017.

Walters was forced to fend off suggestions Cherry-Evans had rubbed teammates the wrong way during his six appearances for his state in 2013-15.

Rumours of a rift between Cherry-Evans and the Maroons set-up emerged following Thurston's thinly veiled comments when the Sea Eagles captain was dropped for the 2015 decider.

Thurston said Cooper Cronk's strength was his ability to get the best out of his teammates whereas Cherry-Evans was known for his individual brilliance, fuelling rumours he didn't fit in with the Queensland side.

Walters described those suggestions as "hogwash" and said Cherry-Evans was in line to replace Cooper Cronk should he step down from representative football next year.

"He'll be picked next year for sure," Walters told Fox Sports' NRL360.

Walters has drafted in Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt - who will play in the bench utility position - and Melbourne utility Cameron Munster ahead of Cherry-Evans.

Munster and Michael Morgan are in a two-way battle to wear the No.6 jumper in Thurston's stead while the other will fill the left centre position vacated by Darius Boyd's injury.

Walters said Cherry-Evans wasn't selected because he was a halfback whereas the team required a five-eighth.

"We had a conversation this morning and we cleared the air about a few issues," Walters said.

"One of the things we were really strong on was all that garbage about him not fitting into the side, not getting on with some players, it's a load of hogwash.

"I'd have no problem giving him an opportunity at Origin level and I daresay next year when the teams come around to be picked, is Cooper Cronk going to be there? We're not sure. We know Johnathan Thurston isn't going to be there.

"It's fair to say DCE will give himself every chance next year if he continues on the path he is on at the moment."

Queensland great Gorden Tallis backed the selection of Munster or Morgan at five-eighth, saying Cherry-Evans wasn't suited to the role.

"He's a passing No.7. They're looking for a No.6. What number does DCE have on his back? Seven," Tallis told NRL Tonight.

"Coming off the bench, I believe Ben Hunt is a better ball runner than Daly Cherry-Evans.

"I think Daly Cherry-Evans is probably a No.7. To come on and play hooker, I don't think Daly Cherry-Evans can play hooker as good as Ben Hunt."

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