Michael Morgan better have done his homework, because the hard questions are coming.
NSW five-eighth James Maloney has promised as much when the Blues put the untested Queensland centre through a thorough examination in Wednesday’s State of Origin decider.
Morgan will make the first appearance of his eight-year career in the three-quarter line at Suncorp Stadium after the axing of Justin O’Neill after Origin ! and an injury to Darius Boyd in Origin II.
Morgan will hope to have studied the Blues’ entire playbook after Maloney vowed to quiz the North Queensland star on his defensive aptitude.
“I think you have to ask questions of guys that are in different positions,” Maloney said.
“He’s a good footballer. We’re not going to go out of our way to target one thing, but over the course of the game, I’m sure he’ll have some decisions to make.
“We’ll try and ask questions all across the park and see how they react.”
Maloney admitted Morgan’s previous experience off the bench and the Cowboys’ breakthrough grand final win in 2015 would equip him for the big-match pressure.
The same goes for Maroons rookie Cameron Munster at they key five-eighth spot, however, Blues playmaker Maloney insisted the duo would still be feeling the butterflies ahead of the match.
“Grand final is obviously a massive game as well and very similar – you get one shot every grand final. It’s similar with (an Origin) decider. You’ve only got one crack,” Maloney said.
“They’ve played in those big games so they’ll know what’s coming.
“It is a different arena and no doubt they’ll be nervous but they’ll still play well, I’m sure of that.
“It’s up to us to make sure we all play well and get the job done.”
After going through their second opposed run of their preparation against Gold Coast under-20s on Sunday, the Blues will have the day off before Tuesday’s captain’s run.
Monday still looms as deadline-day for skipper Boyd Cordner, who is still racing the clock to recover from a calf injury in time for the clash.