Ushering in an era of Queensland dominance

NRL legend Gene Miles talks about what Queensland must do to win Game II of the 2019 State of Origin.

Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry will return for Game II of 2019 State of Origin series on Sunday, 23 June, when Queensland’s mighty Maroons take on the New South Wales Blues.

The game will be played at the new Optus Stadium in Perth, marking the first time – barring a 1987 exhibition match in Los Angeles – that an Origin match has been played outside of the eastern states of Australia.

Thousands of fans are expected to travel to Western Australia to watch the 10th State of Origin match played outside of New South Wales and Queensland in Perth’s new stadium, which has a seating capacity of 65,000.

When previous State of Origin matches were held in Melbourne, more than 39,000 travelled from out of state to watch the game. The Western Australian Government estimates that if 20,000 visitors travelled to Perth, it could inject more than $15 million to the economy.

Pride is on the line in Game II, with New South Wales looking to tie the series and a young Maroons side out to cement their legacy and win back state pride.

Both teams have undergone several changes since Game I with Maroons selectors replacing the injured Joe Ofahengaue and Jai Arrow with Tim Glasby and Jarrod Wallace.

New South Wales team selectors have made seven changes, including dropping one of rugby league’s biggest stars, Latrell Mitchell.

With the retirement of Origin legends Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater, the team will be led by new captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

Cherry-Evans, the 15th captain for Queensland, proved himself on rugby league’s greatest stage in Game I, but will need to continue his performance after previously being dropped by Queensland selectors in 2015.

Chairman of Selectors for Queensland State of Origin and NRL legend Gene Miles (pictured above) said it was time the young players cemented their own legacy.

“We have been successful over the last decade, however, it’s their turn now and time to set some standards,” he said.

Miles said Queensland’s strong forward pack, young backline and the leadership of Cherry-Evans would usher in a new era of Queensland dominance.

“Queensland really needs big guys up front doing the damage, so the playmakers can weave their magic,” he said.

“We need these young guys to step up and carry the State of Origin team for the next five or six years.”

Miles said not much had changed from his playing days and he expected every Maroon to play for his teammates.

“You might be intimidated by the names in the blue jerseys but they’re all human – if you tackle them around the legs they will fall over,” he said.

To hear more about Miles’ expectations for the 2019 Origin series, listen to the podcast below.

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