Queensland’s State of Origin side faces more change after veteran full-back Billy Slater announced he would end his Origin career after this year’s series.
“To be honest I feel the pressure is released by telling everyone and letting people know,” Slater said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
“The pressure is always there, you’ve got to perform in front of four million people, that doesn’t change.”
Asked whether he felt the Maroons would play to win his farewell series for him, Slater replied: “I want them to do it for Queensland, and for themselves.
“Positions get filled pretty quickly,” he added. “People get their opportunities, don’t they?
“There are some guys upstairs who have got their opportunities (now).
“They’ll want to be in those moments that Johnathon Thurston and Darren Lockyer have been in in previous years.
“We’ve been in these moments – and now it’s their turn.”
The announcement comes after Maroons captain Cameron Smith retired from representative football ahead of the series.
Slater’s news means that the end of this series will break the final link with the famous quartet of Thurston, Smith, Slater and Cooper Cronk, after Cronk bowed out of representative football after last year’s series win over NSW.