Sam Thaiday of the Maroons.
Sam Thaiday of the Maroons.

Maroons legend urges Origin backflip

GORDEN Tallis insists former teammate Sam Thaiday's representative days are not done, saying the Brisbane forward can play a pivotal role in this year's State of Origin series.

The retired Broncos, Queensland and Australian captain said the 32-year-old Thaiday was not a spent force and had the chance to build a watertight case for selection on Saturday against Manly.

Queensland has plenty of options in the backline with fit-again Billy Slater and Greg Inglis both in good form.

Gold Coast pair Jai Arrow and Jarrod Wallace are among the young faces vying for spots up front.

Thaiday was dropped along with fellow forwards Nate Myles, Aidan Guerra and Jacob Lillyman after the Queensland's series-opening loss last year, leaving him just one game shy of joining the Maroons' elite Statesman's Club.

But Tallis said the veteran of 29 Origins and 34 Tests could offer valuable experience and a unique energy in a forward pack that was light on leadership.

"It's up to him ... that's what I'd be asking over the next three weeks; pump out 60 or 70 quality minutes and Queensland will grab him, that's 100 per cent," Tallis said.

"He brings an energy and attitude they don't have. He's a bit of a protector.

"I know he gave (NSW half James) Maloney a few headaches in some series; (in the middle of the forward pack) he can be a handful for the new hooker, whoever they pick."

The Broncos will play the Sea Eagles at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, with Manly's Martin Taupau set to provide Thaiday with a perfect test.

"You get the chance every weekend in the NRL to put your reputation on the line," Tallis said.

"Taupau was absolutely outstanding (last weekend). He was massive and let's hope Sammy can go out and have one of those (kinds of games)."



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