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His birthday cake requires a few extra candles than Selwyn Cobbo's does, and these days he's definitely not keeping up with him in a 100-metre dash, but Kurt Capewell is confident he's the right man to assume his former Broncos teammate's role as Queensland's 'Mr Fix It' in Origin II. 

With Cobbo overlooked for next Thursday's clash at the MCG due to niggling injuries, Capewell has been called up to come off the bench against the Blues as Queensland look to secure a third-straight series win.

In addition to being a specialist second-rower, it's the veteran Warriors' ability to also play centre that is arguably of most value in the wake of the events of the series opener, which saw Cobbo play 73 minutes in the backline following Reece Walsh's early game-ending injury.

In the sheds: Selwyn Cobbo

Capewell, who started four games at centre for Queensland between 2020-2021, said he is preparing as if he could be called upon to play any number of positions next Wednesday and after earning a surprise recall is giving no thought to retaining the bench utility role beyond Game Two for now. 

"I have played a bit of centre, played a bit of back row and played in the middle, so I am happy to fill in wherever I can and help out and do whatever the team needs," the 30-year-old said from Maroons camp in Toowoomba this week.

"I'm not too focused on [keeping my spot for Game Three], I'm just focused on doing my job and that is next Wednesday night.

"Not looking past that, just enjoy every moment I get in camp with my mates and the coaching staff and enjoy it for what it is.

"Selwyn played great in the first game and he's getting better and better every time he plays in club land and for his state.

"Billy saw this as part of his development and I'm sure Selwyn will take it on board.

Moving forward he will be a better player. He will be in the Origin arena for a long time and he is going to play some special games, so I look forward to watching Selwyn again in Origin.

Kurt Capewell

After making the move to New Zealand at the start of this season, and having watched players like David Fifita, Reuben Cotter, Jeremiah Nanai and Tom Gilbert impress in the back row for Queensland in 2023, Capewell knew adding to his nine Origin appearances this year would be a huge ask.

"I didn't know whether it was over or not, but I knew it would be hard to get back in the team," he said. 

"There is some great talent throughout Queensland and we are very lucky to be in the position we are, especially with back-rowers.

"To get the call up again, I'm just over the moon.

"I'm not forgotten from across the ditch.... it's been a great move for me personally with my footy and with my development as a player and leader.

"It's put me in a position to be part of this again."

©NRL Photos

In recent weeks Capewell has made a point of showing his support for Queensland at Warriors trainings and has been engaged in a running battle with his coach Andrew Webster, a dyed in the wool New South Welshman who said the number of Kiwi Maroons supporters "is the only thing I don’t like about New Zealand."

When asked about the prospect of an Origin game being held in New Zealand in the future, Capewell said the country would embrace it and declared Queensland would enjoy a home-like atmosphere. 

"I'm sure they [Kiwis] would love it, probably almost as much, but not as much, as us Queenslanders!

"It's pretty much another separate state of Queensland over there, so a shout out to all our Kiwi Queenslanders!"

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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