After 3 consecutive series losses, Queensland selected Mal Meninga as the coach of the 2006 State of Origin side. There was enormous pressure on him to select an experienced, battle-hardened side but he, instead, selected a side with 7 debutants. Among those 7 were names like Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday, Matt Scott and Nate Myles. He also resisted pressure and selected the much-maligned Johnathan Thurston at halfback and Cameron Smith at hooker, even though most pundits thought these two probably wouldn’t amount to much.
Yet, history tells us that Meninga was looking to the long game and, as history now tells us, that group of players made up the core of the great Queensland sides of the last 12 years.
My point is not just to trumpet the success of Queensland (though