Cherry-Evans ready to captain Qld Maroons

Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans is ready to captain the Queensland Maroons if required.
Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans is ready to captain the Queensland Maroons if required.

Daly Cherry-Evans is ready to be Queensland's next State of Origin captain if required, saying he'd feel comfortable taking on the role if it was offered to him.

The Maroons are potentially facing something of a leadership dearth in this year's series if Greg Inglis is unable to be fit in time for his farewell series.

Queensland have also lost long-time captain Cameron Smith and last year's deputy Billy Slater in the past two years, as they prepare to head into their next era.

Overlooked for the first two games of last season despite his stellar form, Cherry-Evans made the Maroons team his own in last year's third game - scoring a try in their 18-12 win.

The 30-year-old would now likely be one of the favourites to be Kevin Walters' captain, with Michael Morgan the only other near-certain selection to skipper his club.

After more than three years in charge of Manly and clearly the in-form contender for Queensland's No.7 jersey, Cherry-Evans said he would feel at home as his state's new skipper if required.

"If that is the position I am put in when it comes to Origin, I am more than capable with that role," Cherry-Evans told AAP.

"I'm continuing to grow as a leader at Manly and I'm certainly not a polished leader so to speak. But if put in that position I would be more than comfortable with that role.

"I have absolutely loved the responsibility that comes with the territory of being skipper of a first-grade side.

"I have to make that rep side first but if that comes with it, then I'm more than comfortable with that role."

Cherry-Evans' confidence and readiness to take up the role if Inglis is unavailable marks a significant change in the the 30-year-old.

Made Manly captain in 2016 by then-new coach Trent Barrett, the 200-game NRL player has now admitted he didn't believe he was the best fit at the time - instead thinking Jake Trbojevic should have been captain.

However he has since ridden the rollercoaster at Brookvale, becoming the clear leader on and off the field at the club.

"I didn't think I was going to be captain or that I would be up for it. But when Baz put that faith in me it really took my game to another level," Cherry-Evans said.

"To be honest I've got so much respect for Jake and what this club means to him. He's just a great teammate, I love playing with Jake. I made no secret about that.

"I thought he did a fantastic job filling in for skipper for Jamie Lyon when he was out (in 2015).

"But again I'm very thankful for the opportunity that Trent gave to me in my career and the opportunity he has given for me to captain this great club."

Australian Associated Press