The countdown to the State of Origin series opener is well and truly on with Billy Slater naming his game one side on Monday morning.
Slater’s selection plans were thrown a curve ball yesterday when prop Josh Papali’i announced his sudden retirement from the rep arena.
While the representative future of Queensland stalwart Dane Gagai is also up in the air with many experts tipping, he’ll be left out of the Maroons side for Game One.
Joining Triple M Breakfast with Marto, Margaux and Dan former Wally Lewis Medal winner Corey Parker threw his weight behind the Maroons match winner.
“I think they’ll probably drop Xavier Coates, which would then put Gagai on the wing and Hamiso stays in the centres (Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow).” said Parker.
“Gagai came into the series last year under enormous pressure about his defence and he didn’t have a great series on that front based on his own expectations.
“It will be interesting to see which way they go.”
Speaking on the retirement of Papali’i, Parker said, “He’s been a wonderful servant for Queensland and a great enforcer.”
“Papa has been great for the Raiders for the last four or five weeks so maybe he just wants to focus on that.”
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