Will age weary Queensland Origin champions?

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THE champion Queensland State of Origin team is doing its best to reinforce the theory that its run of eight consecutive winning series is about to come to an end - due to an ageing squad.

Whether the Blues buy it is another issue.

While Maroons management has pushed the line it has been introducing new blood into the squad, the fact is that seven of the 17 Maroons players are 30 or older heading into Wednesday night's Origin opener at Suncorp Stadium.

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Justin Hodges celebrated his 32nd birthday yesterday while six others - Billy Slater (30), Cameron Smith (30), Cooper Cronk (30), Johnathan Thurston (31), Brent Tate (32) and Corey Parker (32) - are certainly closer to the end of their careers than the start.

A regular line out of the Maroons camp at the idyllic Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast, where the players will have three days off by game time, has been that the players have focussed more on quality than quantity.

"The focus for us was our quality this camp," Queensland prop Nate Myles (pictured) said. "I think the quality has definitely lifted among our side, and I think the boys are really feeling the benefits of it so far.

"You can't really say it's working because we haven't gone out and won, but our week has gone fantastic and to plan."

The squad will have another day off today before moving back to Brisbane tomorrow morning ahead of the captain's run in the afternoon.

Topics:  maroons

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