Greg Inglis will lead Queensland into a new era in the absence of Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk as Darius Boyd and Matt Scott were dumped for the State of Origin opener.
Inglis was named captain of the Maroons on Monday after Queensland head coach Kevin Walters named his team for Origin I against New South Wales in Melbourne on June 6.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs star replaces Smith as skipper after the Melbourne Storm and Maroons great joined Thurston and Cronk in retiring from representative duty.
Queensland – who have won the past three Origin series and 11 of the past 12 – will be light on experience against the Blues, with star pair Boyd and Scott also axed for the blockbuster clash at the MCG next month.
Brisbane Broncos captain Boyd was overlooked in favour of Valentine Holmes and Dane Gagai, while Dylan Napa and Jarrod Wallace were preferred to Scott.
The Queensland Rugby League has today confirmed the full team and new captain of the #Queensland Maroons for Game 1 of the 2018 Holden State of Origin series.#QLDER #StateofOrigin #RugbyLeague #CampMaroonhttps://t.co/eEI77Vexau— Queensland Maroons (@QLDmaroons) May 28, 2018
Only Inglis (30) and veteran Billy Slater (29) have played more than 10 games for the Maroons as Walters selected debutants Andrew McCullough of the Broncos, Melbourne Storm's Felise Kaufusi and Gold Coast Titans' Jai Arrow.
McCullough will take over at hooker, with St George Illawarra's Ben Hunt and Storm star Cameron Munster forming the new halves combination.
"The worst part of my job is ringing those players [Boyd and Scott] and letting them know they're not in the team," Walters told reporters.
"Scotty's been playing good footy for the [North Queensland] Cowboys but we just thought it was the best interests of the team to leave him out.
"Matt Scott for mine needs to play some more football yet. I said to him by no means is he out of the picture and he can play a role in this Origin series.
"He's been playing some good football for the Cowboys but we just felt that it's in the best interests of the team, for game one, to go without him."
On Boyd, Walters added: "Darius Boyd was disappointed but Valentine, some of the tries he scored in last year's games still stay with me and just at the moment we feel he's the best option for us on the left wing.
"I am concerned about the goal kicking but Valentine's kicked, Cameron Munster kicked and Ben Hunt has kicked some goals this year so we'll be right."
Queensland Maroons 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.
Interchange: 14.Michael Morgan, 15.Josh Papalii, 16.Coen Hess, 17.Jai Arrow.
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