Matthew Scott of the Cowboys is tackled by Bunty Afoa (left) and Jazz Tevaga of the Warriors during the Round 6 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the North Queensland Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.
Matthew Scott of the Cowboys is tackled by Bunty Afoa (left) and Jazz Tevaga of the Warriors during the Round 6 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the North Queensland Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

Great Scott: Cowboys veteran won’t give up on Origin dream

QUEENSLAND coach Kevin Walters has laid down the gauntlet to Cowboys veteran Matt Scott, and it appears the 33-year-old is going to run with it.

Walters said Scott's State of Origin fate rested in his own hands, as the 257-gamer aims to play his way back onto the grand stage of rugby league.

Scott has not played at Origin level in more than two years, but after returning from a second successful neck surgery this season, has proved he still has the ticker for it.

Scott has played 22 games for the Maroons in his career, and played at least two games in six series wins from 2010-16.

While he believes his fate lies in the hands of Walters and his selection panel, including former great Darren Lockyer, Scott said he would "love to play for Queensland again".

"I have been away from it for a few years and I have had a pretty disrupted last couple of years," Scott said.

"I feel like I am starting to find my feet, finding a little bit of match fitness but I still have a fair way to go. I guess we will find out.

"I would be lying if I said I didn't want to be there. I would love to play for Queensland again. I am certainly not expecting anything."

With the recent retirement of Queensland's leading tryscorer Greg Inglis, a lack of experience in the Maroons camp has been left exposed.

Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk have all recently retired from the representative arena and many are questioning the lack of depth in the Queensland stocks.

North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Matt Scott. Picture: Evan Morgan
North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Matt Scott. Picture: Evan Morgan

The Maroons earnt respect back for the State in Game Three of last year's series loss to the Blues and incumbent props Josh Papalii and Jai Arrow have started the 2019 season in good form for their respective clubs.

But beyond those two players it will come down to a decision whether Walters wants to turn to the experience of Scott or the youthful zest of an untested Origin rookie. And it looks like Scott could well be in the frame.

"He missed last year's series through his knee injury (and) this year with the cowboys they struggled a little early, but put some good form on the board more recently," Walters said on Fox Sports.

"Matt has indicated he wants to play Origin again which is great news for us.

"We know, and Matty knows, that if he is playing the football, he is quite capable of playing … in the Maroons jersey. He knows if he can play well, the rest will look after itself."

But the front rower said if he does not get the call up, he would be happy to end his Origin career after 22 games and one try.

"I am happy with the career I have had in the Origin arena and if I didn't play again I would be very happy with what I have done in the past," he said.

News Corp Australia


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