Choppy says dress Taylor in Maroon

Written By Unknown on Senin, 05 Mei 2014 | 23.41

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MAROONS great Chris Close has called for Dave Taylor to be picked for Origin I with statistics showing the Titans hulk is dominating Queensland back-row rival Josh Papalii.

Maroons selection boss Des Morris revealed on Monday Queensland's back-row riches were turning up the heat on forward incumbents, including Papalii, ahead of the series opener on May 28.

Taylor has been in Origin exile for almost two years, but his outstanding numbers this season has left 2013 Maroons debutant Papalii firmly in the firing line.

David Taylor at Titans training. Source: News Corp Australia

The Coal Train amassed 177m from 22 runs against the Tigers last Sunday week, lifting his season average to 14 hit-ups and 133m from eight games.

By contrast, Papalii's workrate is poor, with the axed Test star averaging just 71m per game and having failed to register 100m in a single fixture this season.

The Raiders wrecking ball struggled to make an impact in his Intrust Super Cup outing for Souths Logan on Sunday, prompting Close to push for Taylor's Origin resurrection.

"He would be in my team every time it was picked," said Close, Queensland's former team manager.

"I'm not telling Mal what to do because his record just speaks for itself, but I'd take David Taylor even on 70 per cent of his game.

"This year I think he deserves a chance. He has developed his leg speed again. He is thinking about running the ball and that is when he is at his most dangerous."

Morris praised Papalii's attitude in returning to second-tier football, but admits the Canberra enforcer is not an automatic selection for Origin I.

Dave Taylor playing State of Origin. Source: News Limited

"That (playing for Souths Logan) will do him the world of good," Morris said.

"They are all under pressure. We have been loyal in the past, but Josh is also aware we have a lot of back up, particularly in the back row, and he needs to be performing.

"There's several forwards we are keeping an eye on.

"We have plenty of guys vying for positions and while Josh is the incumbent, he needs to get some games under his belt."

David Taylor of the Titans runs the ball. Source: Getty Images

Taylor has two more games to press his Origin claims starting this Saturday, when he takes on Souths and Maroons duo Ben Te'o and Chris McQueen on the Gold Coast.

Papalii faces the Warriors on the same day in Auckland, the scene of his infamous pre-match booze up with Canberra teammate Anthony Milford last season.

The Maroons rookie said he's determined to recapture peak form after his Test axing last week.

Dave Taylor tackled by Paul Gallen during a State of Origin match. Source: News Limited

"Being dropped (from the Test side) is something that happens in this game, but I just have to work my way back up," he said.

"Losing my Australian jumper not something I am happy about but I have to be honest with myself.

"I have a bit to work on, especially my fitness."

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