Tonsillitis has Gagai in Origin doubt

A bout of tonsillitis will keep Queensland centre Dane Gagai in insolation just four days out from the State of Origin opener.

The South Sydney star was unable to train on Sunday on the Gold Coast but is expected to travel with the side to Townsville on Monday and play on Wednesday.

Maroons officials wouldn’t confirm if Gagai, who also missed Friday’s session had been tested for COVID-19 as the side again grappled with a State of Origin health scare.


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Gagai was also hit by illness and confined ahead of game two of the 2019 series, while the team was hit by a wave of the common cold during the 2012 series and Darius Boyd was implicated in a 2009 Origin swine flu scare.

His absence follows the fitness clouds over five-eighth Cameron Munster (foot) and utility back AJ Brimson (knee), who both trained on Sunday.

“It happens; in the game we play we get injuries and when you play a game in winter you get crook every now and then too,” backrower Kurt Capewell, who could slot into centre if Gagai is ruled out, said on Sunday.

“Gags is just a bit crook and they’re sorting him out.

“Obviously I’m more than happy to play centres (if required) and have done it before (in last year’s series win).”

Gagai’s Rabbitohs teammate Jaydn Su’A joked that it was an attempt for the centre to build on an Origin legacy that already features 11 tries in 16 games.

“I’ve spent some time in the centres (in Origin camp), but he’ll be fine,” Su’A said.

“I called him this morning after not seeing him on Saturday when we had a day off … (I told him to) just stay away from me though.”

“I think he just wants a story; everyone knows what he brings to the Origin arena so this will just add more to the story.”

© AAP 2021