Maroons settle on new Origin kicker

Laine Clark

Valentine Holmes will be Queensland's new goal kicker in Wednesday's State of Origin opener at the MCG.

Coach Kevin Walters has told reporters Dane Gagai and Cameron Munster were options but he believes Holmes impressed most after a kick-off at training.

"We expect Val to be kicking for us. He is not kicking in clubland but always practising," Walters said.

"It was down to Val and Gags. Cameron Munster was considered but we feel Val is our best option."

The role was up for grabs after Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith retired from representative duty.

Holmes has not kicked for Cronulla this year but is 71.88 per cent (23 from 32) for his career, while Munster is 56 per cent (14 of 25) and Gagai just three of six in first grade.

Walters got emotional when speaking about Greg Inglis taking over the captaincy as Queensland begin life without retired greats Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.

"I know how Greg will play. He will lead from the front. If he can do that I will be really confident sitting in the coach's box," he said.

"I would not want anyone else but Greg right now in the situation we have found ourselves in."

Inglis - ahead of his 30th Origin game - admitted he did not know what he would say to his troops before kick-off but was confident of leading by example.

"It's a tremendous opportunity for myself. I started my career down here when I moved to the (Melbourne) Storm at 16.

"To be back here and leading the Maroons, it is ironic but I will put the team first."

Inglis becomes Queensland's 13th captain and third indigenous Maroons leader after taking over from 42 Origin great Smith.