Nielsen provides back-up
MACKAY'S Dane Nielsen is set to possibly resume his two-game Origin career next Wednesday after being named in a provisional 20-man Queensland squad to take on NSW in the game three decider at Suncorp Stadium.
Nielsen has come into game three calculations as a centre replacement for Greg Inglis who is likely to switch to fullback if Melbourne Storm's Billy Slater cannot overcome his nagging knee injury.
It won't be the first time Nielsen has come in for Queensland on stand-by to fill a possible centre position.
During last year's Origin series Nielsen played the opening two Origin matches in place of an injured Greg Inglis.
He was also on stand-by for this year's first Origin game.
Dane's father Steve Nielsen said he was happy his son was again in the mix to play further Origin.
"It's always good to hear Dane is close to playing (Origin) but we'll see what happens," he said.
Despite a five-star round 16 NRL performance for the Bulldogs against the Storm at Mackay's Virgin Australia Stadium on Sunday Ben Barba was not named in the Queensland squad for game three.
Following his effort against the Storm Barba told The Daily Mercury he remained hopeful of a possible game three call-up from Queensland selectors.
"I would love to play Origin for Queensland next Wednesday," he said, just minutes after his side's 16-point win against the Storm.
"I thought I was fairly consistent and I'm hoping my name is in the mix when the game three squad is announced."
North Queensland Cowboys Matt Bowen got the nod ahead of Barba.
Bowen, Boyd, Civoniceva, Cronk, Gillett, Hannant, Hodges, Inglis, Myles, Nielsen, Parker, Scott, Shillington, Slater, Smith, Tate, Taylor, Te'o, Thaiday, Thurston