Kevin Walters described rumours Daly Cherry-Evans is out of favour with Maroons hierarchy as “hogwash” after the Manly No.7 was sensationally left out of the Queensland side for next week’s Origin decider.

Instead, Walters opted for Brisbane’s Ben Hunt despite the half being relegated to park footy just two weeks ago. 

Cherry-Evans is in career-best form and has steered the Sea Eagles to equal second place on the back of consistent best on ground performances. 

But he has still not done enough to warrant Maroons selection, with utility Michael Morgan to play five-eighth in place of the injured Johnathan Thurston and Hunt to start from the bench.  

“Ben, we like what he can bring to the team,” Walters said. “DCE obviously came up in a lot of the discussions, but Ben will be coming off the bench for us.

“If DCE was playing, he had to be in the starting 13. Ben can bring a bit more value off the bench in other roles we are going to designate towards him.

“We like what we see in Ben. He could possibly be the future of the Maroons as well.”

Walters said the rumours suggesting Cherry-Evans was disliked by senior members of the Queensland set-up were “hogwash”.

“If he’s not selected this afternoon, or if he is selected, either way, he’s played for Queensland, he’s done a great job for Queensland in the past, I won’t have a problem selecting him, neither will anyone in the side,” Walter told Sky Sports Radio.

“Put that rumour to bed.”