Cherry-Evans relieved to be on Origin bench
QUEENSLAND'S Daly Cherry-Evans says a massive weight has been lifted off his shoulders, now that he has resumed his place on the bench for Wednesday night's third Origin at Suncorp Stadium.
Cherry-Evans admitted he felt the full heat of the Origin furnace after being thrust into the No.7 role following Cooper Cronk's broken arm just minutes into game one.
The Sea Eagles playmaker was then forced to cover for Cronk in game two, but the Storm organiser is set to be rushed back for Wednesday night's dead rubber.
"To be honest I was worrying a lot about what everyone else thought, and I felt as though I could have been a distraction to everyone else in the camp," Cherry-Evans said. "So this time there's a weight off my shoulders.
"I feel as though that - with both my role and everyone else's injuries not a concern this camp - that we'll be able to prepare, go out there and give it 100 per cent again."
Maroons five-eighth Johnathan Thurston spoke about his relief at seeing Cronk - his halves partner since Darren Lockyer's retirement in 2011 - back in the line-up.
"It takes a bit more pressure off the whole team. He (Cronk) has been an important part of this team's success for a number of years now," Thurston said.
The Cowboys co-captain said the intensity at team training has been high, despite the Maroons' eight-series winning streak ending with a 6-4 loss in Sydney in game two last month.