JUNIOR CLUB REPRESENTATION: Gavin Cooper sports a Mustangs jersey with his Maroons teammates.
JUNIOR CLUB REPRESENTATION: Gavin Cooper sports a Mustangs jersey with his Maroons teammates. QRL

Maroons remember their roots ahead of game three in Brisbane

RUGBY LEAGUE: Ahead of the third State of Origin game at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night, the Maroons team pulled on the jerseys of their junior clubs to remember their roots.

For Gavin Cooper, this meant pulling on the blue and gold of the Murgon Mustangs.

Coach oKevin Walters hatched the idea for a night of laughs before the team got down to business at training.

"It's really important we all remember where we come from,” Walters said.

It will be Cooper's first full series for the Maroons and he is looking forward to running out with the team and alongside Billy Slater to make sure the Maroons are on top at full-time.

"I have really enjoyed being back around the boys again and being Bill's last time to pull on a Maroons jersey has made it all the more special and hopefully we can send him out a winner,” he said.

Slater has been handed the Queensland captaincy for the first time, replacing Greg Inglis, who is injured with a broken thumb.

It is a fitting honour for Slater, who will bow out of representative football after his 31st Origin, but it remains to be seen if an injury-hit Queensland can provide a fitting farewell.

With the series already decided thanks to NSW winning the first two games, the third match in Brisbane has been labelled as a dead rubber but Cooper insists the team will be giving it their all in front of their home crowd to avoid a series whitewash.

Cooper is looking forward to playing in front of a sea of maroon on Wednesday night.

"I have only experienced it once before and that was last season and obviously that series went a little bit more according to plan but for this one there is no such thing as a dead Origin, so to get out there in front of Queensland fans is always special and this will be no different,” he said.