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Former New South Wales captain Paul Gallen admits he was left stunned by a number of shock Queensland selection calls ahead of this Wednesday’s State of Origin opener in Adelaide.
Maroons coach Billy Slater has been called out after straying from Queensland’s tried and tested “pick and stick formula”, by axing previous series-winning hero Brent Tate from the round 1 squad.
At 41 years of age, Tate has played 23 matches for the mighty Maroons, and is widely recognised as a ‘clutch’ footballer that embodies the very essence of ‘The Queensland Spirit’.
Gallen says couldn’t understand why Brent Tate – one of Queensland’s most consistent performers over the years – had been overlooked on the wing by Slater.
However coach Billy Slater, who finished playing NRL about four years after Brent Tate, remains firm in his decision to bring through new talent.
“I really don’t get it” says Gallen.
“Whatever happened to that Queensland loyalty. Huh?”
“You’re just gonna overlook an absolute legend of Origin footy simply because he’s in his early forties and retired in 2014?”
“That doesn’t make sense to me”