Australia gears up for State of Origin series

The Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues prepare for battle

Australia gears up for State of Origin series

Image: NRL Twitter

The showpiece event of the Australian Rugby League season is upon us as the Queensland Maroons take on the New South Wales Blues in the 2017 State of Origin series.

The unique three match series, dubbed "mate against mate, state against state" sees the country's top players leave their clubs and play for their state - the state where they played their first professional club match.

The format sees club-mates regularly step over the line against one another as tempers flare in Australia's biggest grudge-match. 

The Maroons have dominated the series recently, winning the shield in 10 of the last 11 years.

Thanks in no small part to the excellent management of Mal Meninga, who had players such as Jonathan Thurstan, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and legendary captain Cameron Smith at his disposal, Queensland have had the Indian sign over their illustrious Sydney-based rivals. 

The appointment of Laurie Daley in 2013 has seen an upturn in fortunes for the Blues and a spate on injures to their northern neighbours this season, sees them enter game one on Wednesday confidently. 

However, given it's a three match series with the home venue swapping each game, two of this season's games take place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. 

Game One takes place in Brisbane on Wednesday.