Headgear Harry: Grant trains in Maroons' decider boost

Sporting fresh headgear, Harry Grant has trained strongly in a sign he will overcome a sternum injury and play for Queensland in the State of Origin decider.

But Brisbane's NRL forwards stocks have taken another hit with backrower Brendan Piakura, part of the Maroons' extended squad, injured in a physical opposed session at Sanctuary Cove on Thursday.

grant
Harry Grant completed a full-contact session on Thursday and is expected to be fit for Origin III.

Melbourne hooker Grant has missed the last two NRL games with the issue, with Canterbury No.9 Reed Mahoney in the extended squad as cover ahead of next Wednesday's Brisbane decider. 

But on Thursday, donning headgear to protect a fresh Origin scar, Grant was all smiles as he completed a session that included a full-contact hit-out against Queensland Cup outfit Wynnum-Manly.

Centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (shoulder), who also hasn't played at club level since the Maroons' game-two loss in Melbourne, also took his place in the session.

But Broncos weapon Piakura, defending against his Maroons teammates for the Seagulls, hobbled off and iced his ankle after some friendly fire in a Reuben Cotter tackle.

There was optimism in Maroons camp the injury was not serious, a low-profile Brisbane coach Kevin Walters among the fans leaning on the fence on Thursday.

Piakura's fitness is another headache for the coach ahead of Saturday's date with St George Illawarra with Brisbane out to snap a five-game losing streak. 

"I saw him hobbling," Maroons left winger Valentine Holmes said.

"He hurt his ankle a bit; hopefully it's not too bad, if you're a Broncos fan."

Grant's apparent health was better news though, his one-two punch with starting hooker Ben Hunt effective in his 10 Origin appearances.

"He probably trained a bit more than he'd have liked, but he didn't complain, didn't look out of shape," Holmes said of Grant. 

"It's probably just the headgear that looks a bit different on him ... maybe he wants to be like KP (Kalyn Ponga, a noted headgear wearer).

"Dozer (Hunt) comes with the experience when he starts, then Harry comes on; his craftiness around the ruck, his deception either side of the play the ball is second to none.

"He's probably the best hooker in the game, I reckon." 

The hosts must rebound from a one-sided 38-18 loss in Melbourne with coach Billy Slater recalling fit-again Ponga as a utility, veteran Dane Gagai in the centres and Selwyn Cobbo on the right wing. 

Holmes, who played centre in game two, insisted he never felt his position in the side was under threat and felt confident in his move to the flank.

"Across the park it wasn't our standard, especially the first half and we've spoken about that and it's time to put into action," he said.

"You'll see a different team Wednesday, I can tell you that now."

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