Ben Hunt told Maroons are his team now

Laine Clark and Scott Bailey
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NRL DRAGONS ROOSTERS

Ben Hunt has been told the Queensland Origin team is his to run

No pressure, then.

Preparing for his State of Origin halfback debut, Ben Hunt has been told by coach Kevin Walters that Queensland is now "his team" as the Maroons begin life without their Big Three.

The St George Illawarra playmaker held out Michael Morgan and Daly Cherry-Evans to be named in a new-look Queensland halves combination with Cameron Munster for the June 6 series opener in Melbourne.

Hunt already faced a daunting task taking over from halfback Cooper Cronk, now in representative retirement along with Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston and their combined 101 Origins experience.

But Walters upped the ante by making it clear what he expected from the pint-sized Hunt before he donned the Maroons No.7 jersey for the first time.

"It will be basically Hunty's team and Kevvie has told him that," Maroons chairman of selectors Gene Miles said.

"He's been doing a very good job for St George and his kicking game has vastly improved as well.

"But they (Hunt, Munster) have to step up ...because there is no JT, no Cam or Cooper.

"That day was coming and here we are. They have all this in front of them (Hunt, Munster) - we hope they take their chance."

Hunt will take Queensland's reins in attack with just one Origin game under his belt - a game three debut off the bench last year.

Melbourne's Munster also played his first game for Queensland in game three, starting at pivot in one of the great Origin debuts.

"They have a perfect opportunity right here and now. They will be crazy not to grab it," Miles said.

"The guys who retired had 100 or so Origin games and these guys are only in their early days but they can hopefully settle into those positions for the next six years or so."

Walters believed Hunt and Munster were "the future for the Maroons".

The Maroons mentor was not losing any sleep over Hunt's thigh injury which he aggravated in the Dragons' weekend NRL loss to Penrith.

"I am very confident he will be right," Walters said.

Hunt failed to finish the loss against the Panthers, hobbling off early in the second half after colliding with Dragons teammate Jack de Belin.

"I knew it was a bad cork straight away but at the same time you do think that (worst)," Hunt told reporters post-match.

"But I should be right (for Queensland)."

However, Hunt still admitted he would be "extremely anxious" as he waited for his name to be called in the Origin I team.

"This is the biggest opportunity I have had to get in that position and I feel I ...have put my hand up - Origin has been on my mind all year," Hunt said.