SELECTION: Billy Slater has been a loyal servant of Queensland but will he play Origin again?
SELECTION: Billy Slater has been a loyal servant of Queensland but will he play Origin again? TRACEY NEARMY

Origin teams must shape Maroons' future

OPINION: There is always a certain amount of comment surrounding the naming of any State of Origin side.

It does not seem to matter what side of the Tweed you live, there is always debate around who should and shouldn't have made the team.

However, I feel like this year's hype has been warranted.

With Johnathan Thurston not playing, replaced by an untested rookie and Billy Slater not picked, it is any wonder federal politicians were weighing in on the selection debate.

I must admit, I quite like a bit of cynicism when it comes to Origin but I could not get behind outspoken politician Bob Katter's comments surrounding Billy Slater's omission.

Mr Katter, who claims to have played rugby league at a relatively high level, said "Some of the greatest try-saving tackles recorded in rugby league belong to Billy Slater.”

"We don't deny Darius Boyd is a solid rock on which you can build an NRL team; however that is not needed at State of Origin level.”

Queenslanders have to be careful as we wade through the post consecutive series wins era. It is important not to be stuck in our old ways and plan for the future.

It may sound controversial but I can't see Slater ever being picked for Origin again. That is not to say he won't be, but selectors have to consider what is best for the team in the long term.

The Anthony Milford/ Johnathan Thurston scenario is the same.

One is the best in the world, they other is a virtual unknown.

Selectors have to start picking players who are going to be around for the long haul.

Just because one player has had a monopoly on the jersey for years, doesn't mean he is the best man for the job in 2017.

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