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Renouf calls for all-Qld Test side
By Steve Jancetic and Wayne Heming
17:09 AEST Fri Jul 2 2010

He doubts they'll ever do it, but Queensland great Steve Renouf claims Australian selectors will never have a better opportunity to pick an all-Maroon Test side.

While the next Kangaroos side won't be picked until the Four Nations tournament which follows this year's NRL grand final, Renouf says Queensland's State of Origin dominance deserves to be reflected in the Test ranks.

"If they pick players on form, they'd nearly have to pick the entire Queensland team," said Renouf, who played ten Tests and 11 Origins for Queensland in the 1990s.

"I'd love to see that day.

"This is one of the most talented football sides put together, ever.

"The calibre of player across the park, I haven't seen a team like it to be honest, it's an amazing team."

It's hard to argue with Renouf's logic, with perhaps only the wing spot occupied by the AFL-bound Israel Folau and the backrow berth belonging to the underrated Ashley Harrison up for debate.

The remainder of the Queensland starting side would appear to pick themselves, while bench quartet Cooper Cronk, David Shillington, Neville Costigan and David Taylor wouldn't look out of place in the 17-man squad.

Five NSW players started in the mid-year Test against New Zealand in May - wingers Jarryd Hayne and Brett Morris, centre Jamie Lyon and backrowers Luke Lewis and Paul Gallen.

Currently Hayne and Morris would seem to be in a battle for one wing spot with Darius Boyd having almost cemented the other, while Gallen, Lewis, Anthony Watmough and Harrison are in contention for the No.13 jumper.

"They'd probably never do it, they'll find a place for someone from NSW," Renouf said of Test selectors.

"(But) we could field the whole Queensland Origin team and win.

"Really, the Queensland team should totally dominate the Test side."

Perhaps the greatest obstacle to an all-Queensland Test side would be the nine rounds of the NRL regular season and four weeks of finals that are still to play after the Origin series.

Then there is the desire of Test selectors to reward incumbents, with Australia having not lost a match under coach Tim Sheens' reign.

Sheens' first Test side - against New Zealand in last year's mid-year clash - featured a record-equalling ten Queensland representatives, including an all-Maroon backline and front row.

Maroons and Test backrower Sam Thaiday admitted the length of time between Origin and the Four Nations tournament could hurt some players' chances.

"It's hard, you never know what's going to happen between now and then end of the season," Thaiday said.

"A lot of the players get picked out of whatever teams are playing in the grand final so it's hard to say what selectors will do."


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