Civoniceva backs Napa to take the field for Queensland


Civoniceva carved out a reputation as one of the game’s toughest in a 33-game career for Queensland, playing his last Origin in 2012 at the age of 36.

But he arguably proved his hardman credentials in the NRL when the ex-Bronco continued playing despite breaking his arm in 1999 and then again in 2000.

The latter incident is now etched in league folklore.

Maroons and Broncos legend Petero Civoniceva training in his Origin days.Credit:Paul Rovere

Fearing he may let an already injury-hit Broncos down by leaving the field in 2000, Civoniceva did 10 push-ups with a broken arm in an impromptu fitness test so he could get back onto the field.

Now Queensland’s team manager, Civoniceva reckoned it would take more than a broken wrist to stop Napa from running out for the Maroons this weekend.

“He’s been open and honest about the way he feels and is confident,” he told AAP.

“Yeah I broke my arm twice and played with it, but that was in the heat of the moment so it’s a little different (to Napa, who has been managing it all week).

“We’ll leave it with the medical staff to determine but he’ll do the job, no doubt.”

Civoniceva’s tale is inspiring enough.

But Queensland centre Michael Morgan reckoned captain Daly Cherry-Evans would also provide plenty of motivation for Napa.

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Morgan backed Napa to follow the lead of halfback Cherry-Evans, who starred in the Maroons’ series-opening win just five weeks after ankle surgery.

“Daly set the example last game. Everyone thought he was in genuine doubt but he said he was 100 per cent ready to go and he showed he was,” Morgan said.

“It was extremely tough and brave of him. That showed what it really did mean to him.

“It was unbelievable how soon he played after his surgery. He set the tone – I am sure Dylan will be no different.”

Besides Napa’s injury, Queensland have lost forwards Joe Ofahengaue (knee) and Jai Arrow (ankle) for Origin II with flyer Dane Gagai quarantined with a virus.

But Morgan said it was business as usual.

“There hasn’t been any distractions with it. Dylan says he’s sweet so we believe him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kurt Capewell has joined the Maroons camp on an extended squad after Newcastle speedster Edrick Lee (leg) was ruled out.

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