Maroons fullback Billy Slater.

State of Origin III: Five things to be excited about

There's no such thing as a dead rubber when it comes to State of Origin. The Blues may have wrapped up the series in two games, but both sides have plenty to play for on Wednesday night at Suncorp Stadium. Big League reporter Michael Blok has found five things fans should be excited about.

Going for the whitewash
It's been a tough couple of decades for NSW, so there's nothing they'll want more than to claim a whitewash on enemy soil. The Blues haven't had a clean sweep for 18 years and they won't want to let this opportunity pass. Winning 3-0 is no easy task. Even in Queensland's reign of terror, they only managed it once in 11 series victories. And for the Maroons, they'll be doing everything they can to avoid the dreaded result this year.

Fresh faces
Game three will see four new players enter the Origin arena this year – three recalled Maroons and one Blues debutant – all with great stories. Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans regains his Maroons jumper for the first time in three years after plenty of debate about why he's been left out of the squad for previous campaigns. Corey Oates and Tim Glasby also return for Queensland after getting a taste of Origin in 2017.

For the Blues, Tariq Sims finally gets his shot on the biggest stage in rugby league. When he burst onto the scene as a 21-year-old at the Cowboys, he was touted as the next big thing for NSW. He was the gun young forward of the competition, but his career hit a roadblock when he broke his leg twice. He's fought his way back to the top and deserves an Origin debut.

Blues ready to entertain
Speaking to Big League this week, Blues fullback James Tedesco promised to entertain on Wednesday night. With talent spread across the park, and less pressure this time around, the Blues will be hoping to put on a show at Suncorp Stadium. We're yet to see it at Origin level, but wouldn't it be great to see winger Josh Addo-Carr in full flight. On a dry track, expect to see some fireworks from the Blues.

Expect drama
Whether it's a decider or a dead rubber, there's always drama and excitement when it comes to Game Three. It's the last time these players get to play Origin this year. We only have to look back to 2016 to see the last exciting dead rubber. The Maroons had wrapped up the series, but the Blues fought to the end, scoring a last-minute try to avoid the dreaded whitewash.

Farewelling Billy
Queensland legend Billy Slater will go down as the greatest fullback of the State of Origin era. On Wednesday night, he'll play his 31st and final Origin match and he's been named captain. Watching him in a Maroons jersey for the last time is worth the admission fee alone. He's produced some magical Origin moments - the most memorable being his famous try when he gathered a Darren Lockyer kick, cut back in-field, chip-kicked over Anthony Minichiello to regain and plant the ball over the line. He's been one of the true champions of the game and deserves a great send-off at Suncorp Stadium.

 

Origin at Suncorp, there's nothing like it! Game III tickets available here