“Not many people know but I got a needle before the game and at half-time and after the game,” said Munster, who expects to be able to play without any pain-killing injection at Adelaide Oval next week. “It wasn’t even 70 per cent. But it came out unscathed in the grand final, the scans were good. My doctor was going to have a chat to me and see where I wanted to go but it’s good now. I’ll be ready to go.
“The knee has come up really well. I’m feeling sharp and will be good to go. I’ll be able to run the ball a lot more, step off both feet a lot more and just be that bit more erratic with the ball in hand.
“I was dishing a lot of times in games over the past few weeks, that was just the job I needed to do for the team. But I’ll be fit next Wednesday and I’ll be making sure I run the ball a lot more.”
A running Munster is very good news for a Maroons side that has been largely written off south of the border and with bookmakers. At his best, the five-eighth can win games off his own back and he’s desperate to carve out his own piece of Origin history without some of the state’s celebrated stars by his side.
Munster was brilliant in his Origin debut in game three of 2017, which saw Queensland clinch the series, but he hasn’t been able to register a series win across three games since as NSW won back-to-back interstate crowns in 2018 and 2019.
“That’s something I haven’t done yet. I’m really excited and there wouldn’t be anything better than winning it with the crop of young players we have in our team,” Munster said.
“People think we can’t win without the big three [Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk] and I want to be able to say I won an Origin series without those guys, who are three of the best players to ever play in those positions.
“You never know when it’s your last game for Queensland. I guess when you are getting picked you take it with both hands. Being around this group is second to none.”
Wayne Bennett may yet tweak his 17, with Kurt Capewell among those tipped to come into the side despite being named down the list of the 21-man squad. One certain starter is rookie fullback AJ Brimson, who Munster believes will be a huge handful for NSW with his changes of direction and pace.
“He was one of the in-form players at the Titans, if not the competition. He’s got electric speed and he’s very elusive on his feet. He’s one of those players that can break a game wide open,” Munster said. “We’ll work around ways to use his speed and skills in the game. He’s young and eager to learn and it’s easy to play with guys like that. There aren’t many stoppages now and that’s where elusive players or guys that have sharp feet can break a game wide open.”
Munster also backed new faces Jaydn Su’A, Xavier Coates and Melbourne’s Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, who has been elevated to start at lock on debut, to perform in Adelaide against a star-studded Blues outfit.
“Jaydn Su’A has really impressed me. Obviously my teammate Tino and Xavier Coates if he gets a chance. Just the specimen of athlete he is, he’s good in the air, he’s got so much potential and he’s willing to learn,” Munster said.
“That drives the older players to be better. They will learn of us and we can point them in the right direction.”
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