The opening State of Origin shots have been fired, with Queensland coach Kevin Walters declaring "war" on NSW by boldly claiming his new-look Maroons will win next week's series opener in Brisbane.
An emotional Walters uncharacteristically talked up the Maroons' chances for the June 5 Suncorp Stadium clash after unveiling three debutants on the bench - 19-year-old David Fifita, fellow Brisbane forward Joe Ofahengaue and Wests Tigers utility Moses Mbye.
Overall, seven changes have been made to the Maroons squad that claimed an 18-12 victory in the dead-rubber third game last year.
But Walters was clearly excited about the youth policy that he has adopted after NSW claimed the 2018 Origin series 2-1.
"This is war. We are playing at home and we are going to put on a performance that everyone will be proud of - it's on," Walters said.
"We are going to win game one.
"We have picked a great side ... and they will show how great they are at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday week."
Walters dismissed the injury cloud hanging over halfback and captaincy contender Daly Cherry-Evans (ankle), Tigers captain Mbye (groin) and Gold Coast forward Jai Arrow (quad).
Manly skipper Cherry-Evans has been named at halfback despite being sidelined for the last month following ankle surgery.
Cherry-Evans is expected to be unveiled as Maroons captain at the team's series launch on Monday night.
Walters predicted the full squad would be training together by Thursday.
"It (injuries) won't affect us one little bit," he said.
Coen Hess, Gavin Cooper and Jarrod Wallace have been axed, while their fellow incumbent forward Tim Glasby has been named as 18th man.
The Maroons squad is also without retired great Billy Slater, NFL hopeful Valentine Holmes and injured Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough.
Fifita squeezed out Hess in the squad while Cooper was dumped in favour of Brisbane back-rower Matt Gillett who returns after missing the bulk of 2018 due to a broken neck.
Wallace makes way for Broncos prop Ofahengaue on the Maroons bench.
Brisbane playmaker Anthony Milford is 19th man and Cronulla forward Kurt Capewell is the development player, with the No.21 squad member to be confirmed.
Walters refused to speculate on the recently named NSW team, choosing only to talk up the Maroons again and again, and at one stage appeared on the verge on tears.
Asked what was the key to winning game one, Walters said: "The passion, the will to win.
"We've got a great side and I am focused on getting the ultimate performance from this team next Wednesday night.
"If we get that performance we will win and I expect that to happen."
Queensland: Kalyn Ponga, Corey Oates, Will Chambers, Michael Morgan, Dane Gagai, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jai Arrow, Ben Hunt, Josh Papalii, Felise Kaufusi, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. Interchange: Moses Mbye, Dylan Napa, Joe Ofahengaue, David Fifita.
Australian Associated Press