Maroons players celebrate Cooper Cronk's first-half try in Game One.

When the core of your side has been together for 10 years you need a word greater than "team" to describe a group of players.

For Queensland it is perhaps a word that is not thrown around lightly and carries with it a lasting meaning, one that alludes to the reason why we play this great game. 

The Maroons are a brotherhood. A brotherhood that is seeking to reclaim what was rightfully theirs for eight record-breaking years.

Corey Parker knows only too well the special bond that exists among the elder statesmen of the Queensland side, the now-veterans who took their state into an unparalleled era of State of Origin dominance.

 

Speaking with NRL.com, the word 'brotherhood' was offered up to Parker as a way to label this core group and it was a description he admitted was a fitting one.

"It is, just coming in and saying g'day to everyone again it is like you've never left," Parker told NRL.com

"That is the great thing about playing for Queensland – it is like a brotherhood, just a great bond that we can put down to a long period of time.

"The good thing for us is that the majourity of the side have been together for a long period of time so everyone understands what it is we have to do.

"We've got 17 guys all striving for that common goal. Everyone gets along really well… when you get the opportunity to represent Queensland it is something special."

Justin Hodges is currently the Maroons' longest serving player, having made his debut in 2002, and with this year's series being his last he is determined to make his Origin swansong a winning one.

No other player in this squad is more fitting to comment on what makes this team tick than the 33-year-old.

He credits the arrival of Mal Meninga in 2006 as the catalyst for turning this star-studded side into a Maroon dynasty.

"From day one there have been no egos. Mal has made sure of that or else you have to answer to him and no one wants to do that," Hodges said.

"This side has been built on trust, everyone supports each other and sticks up for each other, that's the way we've always been. 

"Even if you're a young kid coming into the side and they're 18th or 19th man we make them feel like they've been here for years."