The stakes couldn't be higher at Suncorp Stadium as the 2022 Ampol State of Origin series comes down to a decider.
Following Queensland's narrow win in the series opener in Sydney it was the Blues hitting back in Perth to set up a mouth-watering contest at the spiritual home of Origin.
Both sides have been forced into changes with Blues prop Payne Haas nursing a shoulder injury and Maroons stalwart Felise Kaufusi on family leave in the USA.
North Queensland forward Tom Gilbert will join Billy Slater's bench, with young gun Jeremiah Nanai set for his first start at the Origin level.
History favours the Maroons with the last five deciders played at Suncorp all going the way of the home side... 20-14 in 2020, 22-6 in 2017, 52-6 in 2015, 21-20 in 2012 and 34-24 in 2011.
The last time NSW prevailed in a deciding game in Brisbane was 2005 with Immortal Andrew Johns inspiring a 32-10 win.
A late change for the Maroons with Patrick Carrigan to start with Tino Fa'asuamaleaui moving to the bench. After days of uncertainty, Tom Dearden will start at five-eighth with Corey Oates on the wing — Ben Hunt will remain at hooker with Harry Grant on the bench.
Cowboys teenager Jeremiah Nanai is set to make his start in Origin as he replaces Felise Kaufusi (personal) with club teammate Tom Gilbert coming on to the bench for his debut. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is the 19th man.
New South Wales
The Blues have finalised their side with Junior Paulo a confirmed starter at prop with Jacob Saifiti to come off the bench.
Saifiti will make his Origin debut, joining Damien Cook, Angus Crichton and Siosifa Talakai on the bench. Apisai Koroisau will once again start at hooker with Cameron Murray and Liam Martin to start in the second row.
Coach Brad Fittler has stuck solid with Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton in the centres so Jack Wighton will remain 18th man.
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 3 -
Fullback for Maroons is number 1 Kalyn PongaFullback for Blues is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Maroons is number 2 Selwyn CobboWinger for Blues is number 2 Brian To'o
Centre for Maroons is number 3 Valentine HolmesCentre for Blues is number 3 Matt Burton
Centre for Maroons is number 4 Dane GagaiCentre for Blues is number 4 Stephen Crichton
Winger for Maroons is number 5 Corey OatesWinger for Blues is number 5 Daniel Tupou
Five-Eighth for Maroons is number 6 Tom DeardenFive-Eighth for Blues is number 6 Jarome Luai
Halfback for Maroons is number 7 Daly Cherry-EvansHalfback for Blues is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Maroons is number 8 Lindsay CollinsProp for Blues is number 10 Jake Trbojevic
Hooker for Maroons is number 9 Ben HuntHooker for Blues is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Prop for Maroons is number 10 Josh PapaliiProp for Blues is number 16 Junior Paulo
2nd Row for Maroons is number 11 Kurt Capewell2nd Row for Blues is number 11 Cameron Murray
2nd Row for Maroons is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai2nd Row for Blues is number 12 Liam Martin
Lock for Maroons is number 16 Patrick CarriganLock for Blues is number 13 Isaah Yeo
Interchange for Maroons is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiInterchange for Blues is number 8 Jacob Saifiti
Interchange for Maroons is number 14 Harry GrantInterchange for Blues is number 14 Damien Cook
Interchange for Maroons is number 15 Jai ArrowInterchange for Blues is number 15 Angus Crichton
Interchange for Maroons is number 17 Tom GilbertInterchange for Blues is number 17 Siosifa Talakai
Replacement for Maroons is number 18 Thomas FleglerReplacement for Blues is number 18 Jack Wighton
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
Daly Cherry-Evans v Nathan Cleary
With 18 and 12 Origins respectively, DCE and Cleary know exactly what is required on the big stage and the 2022 decider could well come down to which playmaker can hold his nerve, absorb the pressure and come up with the clutch plays. In Game One it was the Maroons No.7 producing a clever try from the srumbase to catch the Blues napping while Cleary had his fingerprints all over Game Two in a player-of-the-match display. The kicking game of both halfbacks will be crucial to building pressure and dominating field position, and a piece of magic in broken play could make the difference in a contest that is sure to be tight and tense with so much at stake. The chance to cement their Origin legacy awaits the victor of this intriguing battle of will and skill.
If the Maroons can grab the victory, Billy Slater will become the fifth Queensland coach to win the series in his first year as Origin mentor. Kevin Walters achieved the feat in 2016 as did Mal Meninga in 2006, Paul Vautin in 1995 and Kiwi Graham Lowe in 1991.
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 3 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane