The Queensland squad has been in camp for a week now and let me tell you this, there are no signs of complacency.
keep hearing outside influences say we must be cocky after six
successive series wins. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
camp has been great and, as Maroons assistant coach, I have seen
first-hand the excellent bonding among our squad. The team is fresh,
focused and fit.
But are we over-confident? Absolutely not.
We have a new skipper this year in Cam Smith. I know he wants to really put his stamp on the series.
There is a new halfback in Cooper Cronk. He has been exceptional throughout the week.
Petero Civoniceva will be playing his farewell series. He has motivation for another Maroons win.
Dave Taylor and Matt Gillett are bench forwards. I reckon there are some starting forwards looking over their shoulders.
And some red-hot players missed out on selection.
The list goes on and on as to why we want to win another State of Origin title.
players know NSW will come out and rip in. All Ricky Stuart coached
teams do that. They have chosen a top-shelf squad and, as always, I
predict they will come at us at 100 miles an hour.
This Queensland side does though have a settled feel about it.
year we didn't have Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges and our depth is
there for all to see when you look at the players we overlooked for
Daly Cherry-Evans missed out, so did Ben Barba, Ben
Te'o, Corey Parker, Dane Nielson, Ashley Graham, Justin O'Neill, Corey
Norman... the list goes on.
I don't think we can field a better team than the one in camp at the moment.
And each player is in exceptional form.
Thurston has been particularly brilliant this year, as has Cronk for
Melbourne while our bench of Gillett, Taylor, David Shillington and Ben
Hannant is rather intimidating.
I can't wait to see Civoniceva out there on Wednesday night.
His position has been questioned by some but he a quality player, a quality bloke and a quality Queenslander.
Everyone in camp is nice and relaxed and ready for battle.
We are optimistic and each player has confidence in the bloke next to him.
But are we cocky and arrogant?No way.