Queensland Maroons

Queensland legend Alfie Langer lampoons Kevin Walters' 'Coach Whisperer'

Walters has been accused of everything from putting on an act to losing the plot since spruiking mind coach Bradley Charles Stubbs' philosophy in the lead-up to Wednesday's Origin I at Suncorp Stadium.

Gone is Queensland's much loved underdog tag.

Now Walters is telling anyone who will listen that the Maroons "will win" game one while stubbornly refusing to acknowledge who they are even playing.

It's in keeping with the lessons detailed in Stubbs' $5500 an hour "Expect to Win" sessions, where it is a big no no to say the rival's name.

Maroons Origin team: Emotional Walters names new faces, declares 'war'

The Maroons coach said debutants Moses Mbye, Joe Ofahengaue and David Fifita had earned their jerseys and would do the state proud as his eyes glazed over with the passion and emotion that has defined his tenure in charge of the Maroons.

Broncos forwards Ofahengaue and Fifita will come off the bench, as will Mbye with the Wests Tigers skipper beating Anthony Milford to the vital utility spot.

“I'm ready, we are ready. This is war,” Walters said.

Maroons name State of Origin I team

1. Billy Slater
2. Valentine Holmes
3. Greg Inglis (c)
4. Will Chambers
5. Dane Gagai
6. Cameron Munster
7. Ben Hunt
8. Dylan Napa
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Jarrod Wallace
11. Gavin Cooper
12. Felise Kaufusi
13. Josh McGuire

14. Michael Morgan
15. Josh Papalii
16. Coen Hess
17. Jai Arrow

Coach: Kevin Walters

Gagai creates Queensland history

Awarded to the player of the series, Gagai became the first winger to win the award, breaking down in tears on stage as he accepted the honour.

It was well deserved, with Gagai clearly the best from either side for the series after running for a series-high 577 metres and scoring two tries across the three games.

Speaking to NRL.com in the dressing sheds after the match, Gagai said the award would be something he would always treasure.

"I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I haven’t really won anything like this before, especially at this level of football," Gagai said.

JT providing extra motivation for Maroons

Thurston's State of Origin farewell has been ruined by a shoulder injury, with the 34-year-old missing what was set to be his last match in Maroon on Wednesday night. 

The season-ending injury was a cruel finish to a decorated Origin career that began way back in 2005 and included 36 straight matches for Queensland. 

Despite putting so much on the line for the Maroons over the years, the man many refer to as 'the GOAT' will not let Wednesday be about him, turning down the offer of a lap of honour before the match.