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Kalyn Ponga, Queensland Maroons expect groin injury to cruel Origin hopes

The Queensland Maroons are bracing for star fullback Kalyn Ponga to be officially ruled out of the June 9 Origin series opener tomorrow.

While Ponga has publicly claimed he’s “ticking boxes” in order to be fit for Game I next week, a report by the Courier-Mail claims Maroons coach Paul Green is expecting the fullback to be ruled out tomorrow.

The 23-year-old will undergo a series of tests tomorrow on a groin complaint that kept him out of Newcastle’s clash against Manly on Sunday.

Ponga didn’t take part in a fan event at Bundaberg today after being forced to stay behind in camp to receive treatment on his groin.

It’s expected Valentine Holmes will be the replacement fullback, which will pave the way for Kyle Feldt to make his Origin debut on the wing.

Ponga on Monday said he felt good about his chances to be fit in time for next week’s clash.

“I’m pretty confident. I’m progressing pretty well … I’m in a good environment here,” he said.

“The best environment to be in, in terms of professionalism and standards and all that.”

The Newcastle fullback hasn’t played in the Origin arena since 2019 after a shoulder injury ruled him out of last year’s series.

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