The Maroons have rallied behind their new captain Cameron Smith saying he’s the best man to lead the team in the post-Lockyer era.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales team dismissed claims Michael Jennings has an attitude problem.

Brock Taylor reports.


It might look out of place off the field, but that didn’t deter a confident Queensland side showing off their treasured Origin trophy as soon as they touched down in Melbourne.

Coach Mal Meninga and fullback Billy Slater supported new captain Cameron Smith, putting their full faith in his ability to lead the team.

Mal Meninga, Maroons Coach: “Cameron, all he has to do is what he normally does, he’s a pretty composed and laid back character and I think that’s really good when it comes to Origin footy. A team doesn’t want to be nervous just because we’ve got a nervous captain.”

Billy Slater, Maroons Fullback: “We’ve got a lot of leaders in this side and a lot of captains in this side so the responsibility won’t all be on his shoulders.”

The Blues began their preparations for next Wednesday’s Origin in very relaxed fashion, attending a fan day in the Western suburbs of Sydney.

It was a rousing reception for a team, and a state desperate to end Queensland’s six-year reign as Origin champions.

Glenn Stewart, Blues Forward: “Yeah Ricky’s said a few things you know, it’s pretty mellow at the moment, but like you said probably looking to build as we get closer to the game.”

Centre Michael Jennings has defended claims he has an attitude problem after being dropped from the Panthers just a week before the Origin side was named.

Michael Jennings, Blues Centre: “I’ve just got to come with the right attitude, it hasn’t been the right prep for me but mentally I’ve just got to be strong.”

The first game in the series will be played at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday week.

Brock Taylor, QUT News.