Shock claims about Harry Grant dispelled in huge boost for Queensland for Origin 3

The Maroons are sweating on the fitness of the Melbourne Storm hooker.

Harry Grant trained in full on Thursday in Queensland State of Origin camp, quelling concerns over his fitness for the series decider next Wednesday. The Melbourne Storm hooker hasn't played for the last two weeks due to a sternum injury, but Maroons coach Billy Slater has dismissed claims he won't be fit for Origin 3 next Wednesday night.

Phil Gould claimed this week that Grant is still in serious doubt and even went as far as to say he won't play at Suncorp Stadium. “I don’t think Harry Grant will play," Gould said on 100% Footy. "I don’t think he’ll play.”

Reece Walsh and Harry Grant, pictured here at a Queensland training session.
Reece Walsh and Harry Grant (R) at a Queensland training session. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Leading journalist David Riccio revealed on Tuesday night that Grant would need to get through an opposed training session on Thursday - and he appears to have done that successfully. Slater picked Reed Mahoney in his 20-man squad in case he needs to replace Grant as his bench hooker.

“It’s sort of flown under the radar the selection of Reed Mahoney on the extended bench as far as the Maroons are concerned,” Riccio said on NRL 360. “There is an important training session this Thursday for Harry Grant for which the Queensland camp must see Harry get through.

Harry Grant, pictured here at Melbourne Storm training.
Harry Grant in a red no-contact bib at Melbourne Storm training. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

“Now, it has been a sternum issue which has been plaguing Harry up until this point. We know he’s been rested by the Storm the last couple of weeks. Up until this point he had been receiving pain-killing injections and wearing padding on the sternum.

“The Queenslanders are very mindful of progressing further than Thursday with a player in doubt. By the weekend, you really want to know where you’re heading and certainly if you’re going to bring in a Reed Mahoney into the equation, you want him training with the side. This Thursday is a very, very important session for the fitness and availability of Harry Grant.”

Queensland great Gorden Tallis revealed how sternum injuries can linger for an extended period. “I’ve had a sternum (injury) and you carry it for the rest of the year and it’s always there because you use it so much in a game,” Tallis said. “And Harry, he does 30-40 tackles in the middle, so he might carry it for the next six weeks but there wouldn’t be a player out there that isn’t playing with something.”

Grant will reportedly need pain-killing injections if he plays in Origin 3. Braith Anasta said he's also had a sternum injury, revealing: “You get injected straight through the chest and you’re ok for the game, but it’s very painful straight after the game and you carry it for the rest of the year.”

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Slater has moved to dismiss concerns around Grant's fitness, but the Thursday session looms as a pivotal one. “Harry is pretty good,” Slater said. “He hasn’t played the last couple of weeks for the Storm, he is in a pretty good place.

“He came into camp in pretty good health so there’s no real concern there for us and we’ll be going in as planned. We feel Reed really earnt this opportunity, where the Bulldogs are sitting isn’t any fluke. They are doing a lot right and Reed is a big part of that. He made 69 tackles on the weekend and played nearly 90 minutes (last week), so he is a wonderful player.”