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Despite five-series victories in a row, Queensland coach Mal Meninga distanced his side from the 'favourites' tag heading into Wednesday night's series opener at Suncorp Stadium.

The Maroons coach believes that in State of Origin, there is no favourite and pointed to the unpredictability of the last 30 years as proof.

NSW will start the game as rank outsiders with bookmakers and the general public, but Meninga says there is no such thing as an underdog in Origin.

"Every game is a hard game, every game is a battle and sometimes you might get away with a good score line, but the majority of the time its one, two or four points and we are expecting that this series," Meninga said.

"They (NSW) have always been a difficult proposition, that's why Origin is so popular.

"Origin footy is State against State, an unrelenting game. Every supporter that goes to the game has the belief that their team can win."

In years gone past, the Queensland side has been famous for positioning themselves as the underdogs in the media, building a siege mentality before exploding on an unsuspecting Blues outfit.  

But Meninga says that is all external, in the inner-sanctum; there hasn't been a player pull on the Maroon jersey who doesn't expect his side to win.

"I don't think we have ever talked about being the underdog," he said.

"Sometimes that is the perception below the border that they have picked a better side than us on paper.

"For us, we've never considered ourselves underdogs, we've always considered ourselves a good chance of winning."

After five-series wins on the trot, few could argue that Queensland is always a good chance of winning. With Billy Slater, Darren Lockyer, Johnathan Thurston and Cam Smith leading the way, they have one of the greatest teams in the history of Origin.

There have been numerous strategies to stop the Maroon juggernaut in recent years, most have focused on pressuring and getting in the face of Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer.

At the start of the Origin preparation, in his first day in camp, NSW forward Greg Bird declared Lockyer would have a target on his back and that it was the Blues enforcer's personal mission to unsettle the champion playmaker.

This came as no surprise to anyone north of the Tweed, with Meninga admitting they would need to look after Lockyer, especially when he is kicking the ball.

"We'll have to do a real good job of protecting Locky, Smithy (Cam Smith) and Johnathan (Thurston) in this game," he said.

"I'm a little worried about him, but he is such a resilient and smart player, that hopefully he won't need to be put into a position where he gets hurt.

"There is no doubt (they'll have a crack) at Lockyer and Thurston, that is what Origin is all about, you probably have a tendency to get away with a bit more than you do in club footy.

"Champion players rise to the occasion, when put under pressure that is what makes them champions – they can handle things that are put in front of them. Darren has been doing it for 16 years, it's just another game for him.

"He has been put in that position in all of his 33 games."