Kasiano not in Origin III picture
Queensland won't rush giant Kiwi-born Bulldogs forward Sam Kasiano into their 17-man squad for the State of Origin series decider for at least one good reason - he hasn't declared he wants to wear the Maroon jumper.
Both Queensland coach Mal Meninga and Queensland Rugby League boss Rob Moore say they're bemused by talk of Kasiano playing for the Maroons in Origin III and there's no suggestion selectors are considering him as a replacement for Dave Taylor.
"Let me make this clear - if Sam (Kasiano) wants to be a Queenslander, he has to declare himself a Queenslander," Meninga told Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper on Thursday.
Meninga also defended Taylor who has copped a hammering for his disappointing effort in the game two loss in Sydney when he made his starting debut.
IN a comment that should inspire the 124kg Taylor for South Sydney's Friday night clash with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, Meninga said the Rabbitohs heavyweight would not be penalised for one bad game for Queensland.
While admitting he was disappointed in Taylor's display in Origin II, Meninga said Taylor was still very much in contention for the third game with both Sam Thaiday (shoulder) and Corey Parker (leg cut) still to prove their fitness.
"Dave himself was a bit disappointed in his performance (in game two) but I'm not going to castigate the bloke because he was a bit below form," Meninga said.
"I was a little bit disappointed in his performance, but that's not to say I don't have faith in him.
"Dave is performing at club level and I'm happy with his efforts there, we just need more effort in the Origin arena.
"But Dave isn't on the scrapheap because he didn't perform in one game."
Queensland selectors will use the weekend's 16th round of NRL matches to iron out their 17-man squad which they will name next Tuesday.