Why 2014 Origin defeat still matters to Queensland

Laine Clark

Memories of 2014 are spurring on stand-in Queensland skipper Billy Slater to prevent a NSW clean sweep in his State of Origin swansong.

Before his 31st and final game for the Maroons, Slater said he was determined to steer his team to victory and ensure the Blues did not gain momentum for their own dynasty.

NSW are vying for their first series whitewash since 2000.

Slater said Queensland's current plight reminded him of their past series loss in 2014.

Four years ago the Maroons recorded a 32-8 Origin III win in Brisbane, the catalyst to go on and win the next three series.

NSW's series win this year marks just the second for the Blues in 13 years.

"We were in this position in 2014, we lost the series. It is important to gain a bit of momentum to go into next year and hopefully get that winning feeling for these boys," Slater said.

Billy Slater. Pic: Getty

"I know the series isn't on the line any more and NSW have wrapped it up and fully deserve it but we are playing for Queensland.

"This team is pretty important to the people of Queensland. I have always remembered that pulling on this Maroon jersey."

Rather than adopt a "do it for Billy" approach to avoid a whitewash, Slater wanted the new-look Queensland team to remember the support on their regional fan day at Hervey Bay last week when locals queued for hours for autographs.

"We will be doing everything possible to do that, that's not something you want next to your name," Slater said of the possibility of a NSW clean sweep.

"We need to go out there and play best we can.

"We went up to Hervey Bay at the start of the camp, I really enjoy going to those fan days in the rural areas.

"It reminds you of how much this team means to the public, that's who we are playing for on Wednesday night."

Slater will skipper Queensland for the first time after centre Greg Inglis was ruled out with a broken thumb.

Inglis joined the Queensland camp on Sunday.

"He's just arrived, it's good to have Greg in camp that's for sure," Slater said.

"We will go up to Brisbane this afternoon, then it starts getting pretty serious."

Inglis's injury ensures Slater is the last man standing from Queensland's 2006 side that launched their incredible run of 11 series wins in the past 12 years.

He takes over the reins of a Queensland side that has struggled in life without their Big Three - skipper Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.

But Slater believed Daly Cherry-Evans was ready to make a statement at halfback after ending three years in the Origin wilderness.

"I think he can play in that No.7 jersey for a long time," he said.