League: Te'o trains on amid assault claim

By Wayne Heming

Ben Te'o left the Queensland camp last week to give a statement to police. Photo /  Getty Images
Ben Te'o left the Queensland camp last week to give a statement to police. Photo / Getty Images

Queensland forward Ben Te'o says he's focusing on preparing properly for tomorrow's State of Origin opener amid the controversy that has swirled around him for the past week.

Te'o spoke to Queensland Rugby League TV in his only interview since an assault allegation was levelled against him by a 22-year-old woman.

"I'll be working on getting my preparation right, hydration and diet and trying to relax and not play the game in my head too early," he said. "It's only my second [Origin] game but there's plenty of experienced blokes in the team if I need to talk to them."

Queensland coach Mal Meninga has been monitoring the emotional strain on Te'o since he broke camp late last week to give a statement to police investigating the woman's assault claim.

Meninga said it had taken a toll on Te'o, who must wait to learn if he will be charged.

"It's been hard on Ben," he said. "At this stage we've heard nothing more, but it's my job to make sure this team is well prepared and I'm keeping a close eye on Ben because it has been a testing time for him.

"We've got some options in the squad. Daly Cherry-Evans and Josh Papalii are here as our 18th and 19th men and if Ben is not available, those guys have trained well and will come into consideration."

Meanwhile, Newcastle winger Darius Boyd is expected to play in the match at ANZ Stadium although Meninga is delaying his final decision until game day.

Boyd has been receiving physio to his left ankle but gave a strong indication he would line up for his 15th Origin appearance.

Melbourne Storm's Justin O'Neill remains in camp as a possible replacement for Boyd.

The team is also on alert with the pending arrival of champion five-eighth Johnathan Thurston's first child, with Cherry-Evans ready to step in if Thurston has to dash back home to Townsville.

Queensland wrapped up their match preparations with a final training run in Sydney yesterday afternoon.


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