Qld snub Billy Slater for Origin opener

Maroons coach Kevin Walters to give Johnathan Thurston until Sunday week to be fit for State of Origin I

Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa has also been named in his first Queensland team, replacing Matt Scott (knee) in the front row alongside Manly veteran Nate Myles.

"He's probably the best fullback I've ever seen, and to make that call. we didn't make that call lightly".

"I was about to include Billy but in my drunken haze I thought I might've dreamed him up so I left him out just to be safe - it was only this morning that it dawned on me Billy does indeed exist", Walters said.

Asked if the Origin door was now closed for 27-Origin veteran Slater - 34 next month - Miles said: "Anything can happen between now and game two".

"The side that Queensland have been able to pick over the last 10 years, you just looked at it and it's just been the best player in the best positions, in- form, playing really, really well", Gallen said.

"They've (Queensland) just stuck with the side from past year that got the job done in the first two games".

A long absence with injury forced Slater out of last year's Origin series, but an impressive return to action with the Melbourne Storm put him back in contention.

Walters has invited Slater to help assist at Queensland's Origin I camp on the Gold Coast.

It would snap Thurston's record run of 36 straight Origins since his 2005 debut.

Bennett has said that his star player would not be made available for Origin duties unless named in the 17, with talk that Walters wanted to make Milford a part of the extended development squad in camp.

"He's highly unlikely. We're preparing to play the game without Johnathan Thurston", he said. Can Test winger Valentine Holmes crack the Maroons backline?

Queensland team: Darius Boyd, Corey Oates, Will Chambers, Justin O'Neill, Dane Gagai, Anthony Milford, Cooper Cronk, Dylan Napa, Cameron Smith (capt), Nate Myles, Josh Papalii, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire.

Interchange (from): 14 Michael Morgan, 15 Sam Thaiday, 16 Aidan Guerra, 17 Jacob Lillyman, 18 Johnathan Thurston.

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