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“Billy’s a champion so you wouldn’t leave Billy out for Ponga”

Courier Mail Sports journalist Pete Badel has elected not to select Kalyn Ponga in his Queensland line-up for game two of the State of Origin series.

Ponga has been a standout for the Knights in 2018 with many NRL experts and fans calling for his selection in the Maroons’ team.

But Badel has said Ponga is most effective at fullback and with Billy Slater’s likely return, he found no room for the 20-year-old star.

“If Billy Slater isn’t fit for game two, then I would put Ponga in the team,” Badel said.

“So I’d have him on standby, I just think Kalyn Ponga is either in the team as a fullback or not in the side at all.

“I know he could be an impact player off the bench, but I just like what he’s done at fullback.

“I think he’s a starting player, but obviously Billy’s a champion so you wouldn’t leave Billy out for Ponga.

“But if Billy’s no good with his hamstring, I’d have no hesitation putting Kalyn Ponga in at fullback.”

Game two is on Sunday, June 24 at ANZ Stadium.