Queensland hooker Harry Grant has declared he’ll be fit for game one after overcoming a hamstring injury

The Harry Grant era for the Maroons in the number nine jersey is ready for takeoff with the Storm hooker declaring his is “fit and ready to go” for the State of Origin series opener.

Eels hooker Reed Mahoney’s Origin debut has been put on ice for the time being with Grant to start for Queensland against NSW in the Origin opener in Townsville on June 9.

The 23-year-old Grant’s injured hamstring, which has seen him out of action since the 50-0 win over the Rabbitohs in round nine, has come up a treat according to the man himself.

“I am very confident in it now. I am fit and ready to go,” Grant told NCA News Wire.

“I did all the normal training last week and was even touch-and-go to be right to play the Broncos on Thursday night.

“I trained at the captain’s run with all the Melbourne boys on Wednesday and did a top-up afterwards which involved contact and conditioning for games. I did that again on Thursday morning and again on Saturday.

“I always had that Broncos game in sight with where my rehab was at and the timeline with all the performance staff and physios in Melbourne but I sat it out given that it was a Thursday game and what there was to lose.

“It would have been another four or five weeks out of I’d twinged it again.”

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Grant starred for the Maroons off the bench in the Origin decider last year and is tipped to be the long-term hooker for Queensland as Cameron Smith’s heir in waiting. After spending a season on loan with Wests Tigers last year he has won all five games he has played with the Storm on his return.

Grant has earned his first starting berth in Origin without a doubt.

“It is a massive vote of confidence but I haven’t had the conversation with [Green] yet,” Grant said of being selected in the starting side.

“I feel like I strung a few good games together at the Storm playing with some guys I had trained with in the past but hadn’t played with a lot.

“To be able to go back to the Storm and play footy with those guys like Welchy [Christian Welch], Fusi [Felise Kaufusi] and Munster, and now again in Origin, is exciting.

“Last year’s Origin experience was awesome but I think this camp is going to be different again.

“Given that we are not in a [Covid] bubble we can go out and give back to the Queensland community.

“We will obviously have a bit more staff involved in camp this time and that will really give us all a better feel for the build-up to State of Origin.”

Grant has relished the competition with Kiwi international Brandon Smith at the Storm this year. Cameron Smith has been around the team on several occasions this year and Grant is all ears whenever the former Queensland skipper has some advice.

“I have spoken with Cameron a little bit. It is a big change for him, playing NRL for so many years and then going into retirement, so I have given him that space to enjoy his time away from the game,” Grant said.

“He has said he will look to come in a bit more at the back-end of the season.

“When he is ready to come back in and have his impact on the team we will all be willing to take his advice.

“With Brandon [Smith] we help each other, bounce ideas around and give each other constructive criticism after games. To have him there and that positive combination and relationship is cool.”

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