Fit and firing DCE tipped for skipper honours
Maroons halfback Daly Cherry-Evans says he is ready to rumble after making a miraculous recovery from ankle surgery and insists he won't let Queensland down in Origin I.
Cherry-Evans will be named as Queensland's halfback on Monday and is expected to stave off a challenge from Michael Morgan to be crowned as Maroons captain for the series opener at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday week.
Cherry-Evans was originally given no hope of being fit for Game One after he underwent ankle tightrope surgery, which traditionally requires an eight-to-10 week recovery.
But the Sea Eagles skipper has left no stone unturned with round-the-clock rehabilitation involving NASA space technology accelerating his recovery to five-and-a-half weeks - clearing him for Origin I.
There are fears Cherry-Evans is not match fit for an Origin slugfest after 38 days without a game, but the Maroons ace is primed to deliver.
"I'm really excited that Game One is just around the corner," he said.
"Recovery on my ankle has been really productive so now I'm just waiting to hopefully get another opportunity to play for Queensland.
"It's all gone to plan so far. If I'm announced in the side, I can't wait to get in there and start preparation for Game One with the team."
Maroons coach Kevin Walters and chairman-of-selectors Gene Miles attended Queensland Rugby League headquarters on Sunday night for a 6pm phone hook-up with fellow selectors Darren Lockyer and Billy Slater.
The four-man panel decided on the new skipper which the QRL board ratified on Sunday night. Greg Inglis' captaincy successor will be unveiled on Monday night at a gala Maroons team dinner, but it is understood Cherry-Evans has edged out Morgan.
A fortnight ago, Cherry-Evans told The Courier-Mail he would not be daunted by the pressures of captaining the Maroons.
"If it was to happen, it would be a dream come true to captain Queensland," he said.
"I've been the captain at Manly for the last couple of years now so that holds me in good stead when it comes to representative leadership roles.
"I do feel I would be well prepared for the job but I won't get too far ahead of myself. There's a lot of work to do before then."
Storm pivot Cameron Munster will be named as Cherry-Evans' scrumbase partner with fullback Kalyn Ponga and hooker Ben Hunt to complete Queensland's spine.