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Queenland Maroons team named for 2017 State of Origin Season Opener

Queensland Maroons coach Kevin  Walters has made the two biggest calls of his coaching career by sensationally sidelining Queensland Origin royalty Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston for next Wednesday’s series opener.

Slater’s omission from an 18-man Maroons squad, despite making a successful NRL return from successive shoulder reconstructions, was the biggest in a number of bombshells from Walters.

Darius Boyd has kept the Queensland No.1 jumper in a clear nod to his standing as the best fullback in the game, potentially calling curtains on Slater’s outstanding 31-Origin career.

Roosters enforcer Dylan Napa debuts up front alongside the Manly prop, while Maroons regulars Aidan Guerra and Jacob Lillyman have been retained.

Queensland Maroons Team

1 Darius Boyd

2 Corey Oates

3 Will Chambers

4 Justin O’Neill

5 Dane Gagai

6 Anthony Milford

7 Cooper Cronk

8 Dylan Napa

9 Cameron Smith (c)

10 Nate Myles

11 Josh Papalii

12 Matt Gillett

13 Josh McGuire

14 Michael Morgan

15 Sam Thaiday

16 Aidan Guerra

17 Jacob Lillyman

18th man: Johnathan Thurston
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