Canberra Raiders' Josh Papalii named in Queensland Maroons' State of Origin side

He's set to link up with his mate Anthony Milford, who Walters named to debut at five-eighth with the injury cloud hanging over Johnathan Thurston's shoulder relegating the future Immortal to 18th man.

"It was a really tough decision we had to make around Billy", Walters said.

He was one of Queensland's best past year when they won the opening two games of the series.

Queensland have left out Test full-back Billy Slater and selected Darius Boyd for their State of Origin opener against New South Wales in Brisbane on May 31.

Walters is also copping heat for leaving out Queensland royalty Billy Slater, opting instead to go with the likes of Nate Myles and Aidan Guerra.

"We've relieved him of those duties and I know Darius will get the job done for us".

Meanwhile, Thurston's record run of 36 straight Origins may have come to an end after he was named as 18th man.

With North Queensland Cowboys star and three-time Rugby League World Golden Boot victor Thurston struggling to overcome a shoulder injury sustained on global duty with Australia, Brisbane Broncos playmaker Milford has been given the nod at five-eighth.

Walters still backed Thurston to have a huge influence at their Origin camp on the Gold Coast, even if he failed to prove his fitness.

Milford's selection in the starting 17 avoided a potential clash with his Brisbane NRL club coach Wayne Bennett.

"We feel that Anthony deserves an opportunity at the next level to show everyone that he's capable", Walters said.

The Maroons team will be named at 1pm today.

Queensland team: 1. Darius Boyd, 2.

Papalii missed out on representing his country in the final Anzac Test, at Canberra Stadium 2½ weeks ago, due to a drink-driving charge, but will put that behind him when he starts for Queensland as the Maroons look to win their 11th series in 12 years.

Brisbane's Josh McGuire steps into lock following Corey Parker's retirement. Jacob Lillyman. 18th man: Johnathan Thurston.


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