Queensland will honour fallen police officer Brett Forte before they clash with NSW in the series opener.Forte, a proud Queenslander, was tragically gunned down on Monday by Rick Maddison who also died following a shootout with police.A minute’s silence will be observed before the game at Suncorp Stadium and the Maroons will also wear a special mark of respect on their team suits.“It’s a really sad occasion for his family and friends, but we’re going to honour him by wearing the police ribbon on our suits to the game,” Maroons assistant coach Anthony Siebold said.
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BLUES’ PEATS PLAN
NSW assistant coach John Cartwright confirmed there is no strict plan for the hooking rotation, with rookie rake Nathan Peats’ minutes to be determined by the game.
Peats averages 77 minutes per game in his five outings for the Gold Coast this season.
While the Titans gun is capable of producing an 80 minute effort, the Blues are likely to call on Josh Jackson and Wade Graham to spend a stint in hooker, while Jack Bird also trained in the role.
For all the post-match reaction to Origin I, tune into the Bill & Boz Origin Special live tonight from 10.30pm on Fox Sports News 500!
“There’s no real plan set in place. It will depend on how the game’s going,” Cartwright said of Peats’ minutes.
“He plays 80 minutes at club footy but this is up a notch from club footy. You have to wait and see how the game’s panning out. Who has possession but I’m pretty sure Nathan’s confident of getting the 80 minutes out if he has to.”
In their last night in camp before playing the game, there were no special guest speakers or jersey presentation, instead the Blues kept things low key.
“The same as normal — team dinner,” Cartwright said when asked how the last night was spent.
“They’re a pretty relaxed group — Laurie and Boyd are pretty relaxed guys — your team tends to be a reflection of that.
“Play cards, eat together, spend time together and don’t spend the game too early in your head.”
The debutants, Jake Trbojevic and Peats, will be presented their jerseys this afternoon in another low key affair.
ORIGIN INDEX: Full stats for every player who’s ever played
ULTIMATE GUIDE: What you need to know for Origin I
WHAT GUS WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY
A CHOREOGRAPHED Origin warm up.
That’s the reason NSW should’ve made the trip to Suncorp Stadium ahead of the series opener.
Tonight, the Blues go to the ground for the first time after shunning the pre-game warm-up in order to avoid any unnecessary distractions like the footage of past losses appearing on the big screen as it did last year.
So they snubbed Brisbane in favour of the Gold Coast’s Cbus Super Stadium.
According to legendary Blues Origin coach Phil Gould, there’s a genuine reason behind why he would take his teams to the ground before a game.
While the traditional captain’s run is a final chance for players to run through drills and inspect the surface, Gould said the purpose of his visits to the ground had nothing to do with the field or getting the players on it.
“I mainly liked to go to Suncorp Stadium the day before the game to practice what we were going to do in the dressing room,” Gould said in his Set of Six podcast.
“Unlike their club football, they don’t go outside to warm up, they wake up in the dressing room so I wanted to make sure all that was choreographed.
“Everyone knew exactly what we are going to be doing the final 20 minutes before we go out to play.
“It was for the staff, the conditioner and players so we knew what we were going to go through.
“Then we’d go on the field and have a bit of a kick and a catch.
“The actual on-field stuff is the least important of the afternoon’s work … but I can see the value of training at Kingscliff and going up on the eve of the game.”
NORTH Queensland play-making utility Ray Thompson will wait until late in the season before making a call on a degenerative knee injury that threatens his NRL career.
Thompson, who is only 27, has been the Cowboys’ glue in the halves alongside Michael Morgan in recent weeks due to Johnathan Thurston’s shoulder injury.
But he has battled his own problems, notably a right knee injury that saw him miss the first half of the season and prevents him from training early in the week.
Off contract at the end of the season, Thompson is unsure how his future will play out with his dodgy right knee and the Cowboys waiting on the finalisation of the salary cap.
STATE of Origin 2017 kick-off time. Rugby league fans — rejoice!
It’s Christmas, Easter, and every other holiday rolled into a 42-day period where three games steal the focus and divide NRL supporters into two groups.
Whether you bleed maroon or bleed blue, there’s no game quite like State of Origin.
And with the 2017 series kicking off on Wednesday, May 31, you may be asking some questions … who’s playing? What does it all mean? And where can I watch it?