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Munster ruled out of entire Origin series for Maroons

Jasper Bruce and Joel Gould
AAP
3 Min Read
Cameron Munster (centre) will miss the State of Origin series because of an adductor tendon tear. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)
Cameron Munster (centre) will miss the State of Origin series because of an adductor tendon tear. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Cameron Munster will miss the entire State of Origin series after scans revealed a tear in the Queensland five-eighth’s adductor tendon.

Munster has been battling groin pain since first suffering the injury slipping in the shower during Melbourne’s pre-season trip to Fiji, missing the first month of the NRL season.

He will need between eight and 10 more weeks on the sidelines after aggravating the issue in a tackle just before half-time in the Storm’s 48-16 defeat of Parramatta at Magic Round on Sunday.

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The Storm have opted against booking Munster in for surgery, which could have ended his season, but revealed a lengthy injury lay-off after the results of scans came back on Monday afternoon.

“While it is obviously disappointing for both Cameron and the club to be missing football at this stage of the season, we are confident this approach will give him the best chance of recovery in the long term,” said Storm football boss Frank Ponissi.

The news is a blow to the Maroons’ hopes of retaining the Origin shield for a third consecutive year.

Munster has become a walk-up starter for the Maroons in recent years, his high-energy approach to the game gelling perfectly with the Origin arena.

He will forever be remembered for clinching the Wally Lewis Medal in 2020, the year the Maroons won the series with a team dubbed as Queensland’s “worst-ever” by some pundits.

“It’s a massive blow, to be fair,” Maroons winger Xavier Coates said of Munster’s injury.

“Whenever he’s put on the Maroons jersey, he’s done such a great job for Queensland.”

Despite North Queensland’s middling start to the year, Tom Dearden appears the safest option to partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves from June 5 at Accor Stadium.

Dearden filled in for Munster when the five-eighth went down with COVID-19 ahead of game three in 2022, the only Origin match Munster has missed since making his Queensland debut in 2017.

Brisbane five-eighth Ezra Mam looks to be Dearden’s biggest challenger.

The 21-year-old has announced himself at Brisbane since Dearden’s Origin debut, firming when he was their best player in the 2023 grand final loss, and earning selection in the Maroons’ pre-season camp this year.

“Ezra Mam, Tommy Dearden, those boys are freaks,” Coates said.

“If Munny’s fit to go, it’d be good to see him in the Maroons jersey, but if not, I think those boys are really pushing for that spot there,”

Four-time Maroons centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow backed either Mam or Dearden to impress on the big stage.

“Whoever Billy (Slater, Queensland coach) picks I think will be pretty sweet,” he said.

Munster’s injury looks set to leave the Storm without either of their first-choice playmakers for Friday’s clash against rivals Manly, with Jahrome Hughes likely to be rested with his calf issue.

He and fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen are both chances to return from injury after the Storm’s bye in round 14.

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