Maroons' Green plays Origin underdog tag

·2-min read

Amused by feedback that he appears a more relaxed and upbeat coach, Paul Green hasn't hesitated in claiming underdog status on the eve of the State of Origin opener.

The rookie Queensland mentor, fresh after a season out of the game since his North Queensland NRL exit, cut a relaxed figure on familiar turf at Tuesday's captain's run in Townsville.

"Are you suggesting I needed to," Green replied when asked if he had adapted his coaching persona for the Origin arena.

"A lot of people have said that to me (that I looked more relaxed); I thought 'geez I must have looked pretty ordinary previously'.

"But I've thoroughly enjoyed the week; they're a great bunch of blokes.

"For me coaching it's just great to be part of, but that'll count for little tomorrow night come full time, we just have to make sure we get the job done."

He said NSW were "probably on paper a better team than us" and that the Maroons' disrupted preparation had caused headaches in his maiden campaign at the helm.

Not until Tuesday's final session did Green enjoy a full complement on the training paddock, with Dane Gagai (tonsillitis), Cameron Munster (foot), AJ Brimson (knee) and Harry Grant (hamstring) all running together for the first time since arriving in camp last Monday.

Kalyn Ponga (groin) was an early casualty, his exit from camp allowing a debut for Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt.

Green confirmed utility back Brimson would be on the interchange bench potentially replace hooker Grant, with Coen Hess and Ben Hunt 18th and 19th men and only set to feature if there is more late injury drama.

"It's been a disrupted preparation there's no doubt, but they're our best players so you want to pick the best team possible and give them a chance," he said.

The Maroons are seeking back-to-back series wins after an against-the-odds victory under Wayne Bennett last year.

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