Ben Hunt could be axed ahead of Game III. (AAP Image/David Moir)
Ben Hunt could be axed ahead of Game III. (AAP Image/David Moir)

Hodges joins Hunt for Origin half

IT'S not worth sticking with Ben Hunt for Game III because when the series is on the line next year, he is not the man you want calling the shots.

That's the stinging assessment from his former Broncos teammate Justin Hodges, who said the Dragons pivot has than enough opportunities to prove the critics wrong.

"You would've hoped Ben Hunt really stood up," Hodges said.

"I think he's such a wonderfully talented player, just at big stages he hasn't hit that mark yet."

Hodges said he had discussed the issue with former Maroons and now Kangaroos head coach Mal Meninga, who agreed Hunt wasn't the answer for Queensland at No.7.

"I was talking to Mal Meninga the other day and he thinks at that level he's probably a better No.9, but Andrew McCullough didn't do anything wrong either," Hodges said..

"Whether you start him at nine or put him on the bench, but then you've got Kalyn Ponga so you've got so many headaches."

Ashley Taylor is one option for the Maroons.
Ashley Taylor is one option for the Maroons. DAVE HUNT

Hodges said the upcoming dead-rubber is the time to make changes, and he wants to see Titans young gun Ash Taylor join Cameron Munster in the halves.

"So you look at giving young Ash Taylor a go, I think he deserves his shot he's been playing very well," Hodges said.

"I think Ash Taylor will definitely be the future, he's still working on his game but the seasons he's had over the last couple of years, he's starting to learn game management as well, so I think he'll be a fantastic player [for Queensland]."

Hodges would also drop Jarrod Wallace after the front-rower ran for less than 50 metres for his third straight Origin match.

"You'd put maybe Josh McGuire back up to the front row and you move Jai Arrow into the lock position and bring young Joe Ofahengaue onto the bench," Hodges said..

"I think Kevvie will make more changes now, I think it makes sense. You don't want to make too many changes coming into game one next year when you know the Blues side is going to be the same side it was the last two games barring injuries or suspensions.

"Obviously you don't want to lose game three and lose 3-0 in the series, but it just gives you a bit of an out to try and blood some new players and maybe put other players in different positions where maybe we couldn't if it was a decider."


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