Ben Hunt called up as replacement for Queensland Maroons in Origin opener

Call up: Ben Hunt will lace up for the QLD Maroons. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Call up: Ben Hunt will lace up for the QLD Maroons. Picture: Geoff Jones.

The Queensland Maroons have called up St George Illawarra Dragons veteran Ben Hunt to its squad following the withdrawal of back-up hooker Reed Mahoney due to shoulder injury.

Mahoney was released from camp to play for the Eels against Newcastle on Sunday but suffered a shoulder injury and is out of action for a couple of weeks.

The QRL sought an exemption to add Hunt and announced that the request had been approved on Monday morning, June 7.

The St George halfback has played nine games this season. Scoring three tries and assisting 10 (team-leading).

Before the Dragons, Hunt was with the Brisbane Broncos for nine seasons, playing 189 games.

Since joining the Dragons in 2018, he has worn the red and white 73 times.

Hunt has played for Australia seven times and this will be his 10th State of Origin appearance, as he comes off the bench for the annual clash.

Hunt joined the team in Townsville on Monday.