Papalii backs injured Napa for Origin II

Dylan Napa is tipped to overcome a wrist injury and play Origin II against NSW in Perth.
Dylan Napa is tipped to overcome a wrist injury and play Origin II against NSW in Perth.

Even hardened Queensland prop Josh Papalii admits he wouldn't play a State of Origin clash with a fracture.

But he has backed front-row partner Dylan Napa to defy a broken wrist and provide much needed "mongrel" in Sunday's game two in Perth, hailing him as the Maroons' toughest player.

Papalii admits he is shaking his head over Napa's bravery after the Canterbury forward refused to be ruled out despite arriving in Maroons camp with the serious injury.

Asked if he would play with a broken bone, Maroons wrecking ball Papalii said: "Probably not me.

"But Dylan is a different category. And he will bring that mongrel that we need - it is courageous what he is doing."

Napa has been forced to train with a heavily strapped right wrist this week but Papalii believed nothing would stop the enforcer running out in Origin II.

Asked who was the toughest player, Papalii said: "I will give it to Naps.

"He's just in a different calibre I guess with that toughness he is showing.

"That will give me confidence that he will be alright. If he says he is fine to go then he's fine to go."

Papalii felt for his former front-row partner Jai Arrow, who may not feature again this series after succumbing to a long-term ankle injury.

Queensland also lost Joe Ofahengaue for Origin II, prompting the Maroons to add Jarrod Wallace and Tim Glasby to their depleted bench.

But Papalii looked forward to starting with firebrand Napa, saying they had forged a special bond in the Maroons camp.

"It's pretty sad that Jai is missing out on this game but in saying that I get to start with Naps and Moose (Wallace)," he said.

"We have played a lot of footy against each other. We got the chance to finally come together at Queensland level, that bond is pretty strong.

"My bond with a lot of boys in this camp is very strong, but Naps is Naps - everyone loves the Napper."

Papalii revealed centre Dane Gagai - game one's two try hero - had rejoined teammates in camp after being quarantined earlier with a virus.

He also played down concerns for captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

The halfback sat out training on Wednesday as he managed his workload following an ankle injury but officials said there were no concerns the playmaker would miss game two.

Cherry-Evans helped inspire Queensland's 18-14 game one victory - his first match in five weeks following ankle surgery.

"They just rested him up. He will be running today so he will be fine," Papalii said.

Meanwhile, fullback Kalyn Ponga raised eyebrows when he received treatment to his left calf during Thursday's training session but officials are confident he is not a concern.

Gagai, Napa and Cherry-Evans all trained strongly on Thursday.

Australian Associated Press