Maroons reveal their 2020 Origin jersey
MAROONS coach Kevin Walters has declared the race for Queensland's No.1 jersey is wide open as Kalyn Ponga looks to reclaim the coveted fullback duties.
The Maroons will today launch their 2020 State of Origin jersey, a tribute to celebrate the 40-year history of the series.
The full maroon jersey with white collar and distinct 'Kangaroo Q' logo evokes images of Arthur Beetson leading out the first Maroons team in 1980.
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The Queensland Rugby League has chosen Ponga to model the new-look kit despite the Newcastle dynamo missing last year's decider with injury.
Ponga sat out Queensland's 26-20 loss with a calf injury, opening the door for Melbourne's Cameron Munster to star in his first Origin at fullback.
Munster is likely to revert back to five-eighth this year, but Ponga has a new contender for the No.1 jersey in Cowboys star Valentine Holmes.
Holmes, who has scored eight tries in five Origins on the wing, has returned to the NRL from American football and will play fullback for North Queensland.
Ponga, 21, had a tough season at Newcastle last year and Walters said Origin spots were up for grabs on the back of Queensland losing the past two series.
"They need to fight hard and play well for everyone position really," he said.
"We've got some really good options around fullback.
"Kalyn is as good as any of them. It's a matter of him going out and doing what he does.
"We saw when he can do in game one of last year's series. More of that will be pleasing for everyone.
"He's a big part of our future. The best thing he can do is start the season well at the Knights.
"I don't want to put any pressure on Kalyn to be the next Origin superstar. I want him to go out and be Kalyn Ponga. When he does that everything else will look after itself."
Holmes, 24, missed last year's entire season as he pursued an NFL career with the New York Jets.
He will be part of a 33-man squad that attends a Queensland camp in Brisbane this weekend as Walters shakes up his preparation following two series losses.
Walters said he had spoken to Holmes about his involvement in the 2020 series and was excited about what the prolific try-scorer could bring to the Maroons.
"He's really excited, he's been out of the game for 12 months but he's very confident with where he is physically," he said.
"He would have done a full pre-season which will put him in a strong position to start the season well.
"He adds depth across our charts and his combination with Michael Morgan is something I'm looking forward to seeing."
Walters said he wanted the current crop of Maroons to value Queensland's Origin history when they pull on this year's special jersey.
"It's a good link from the first game in 1980 until now," he said.
"One thing that remains constant with this year's jersey and that of 1980 is the all-Maroon with the white sleeves and collar. It gives these guys a good look back at what happened in that first game.
"It's got Beetson written all over it, particularly with the kangaroo and 'Q'.
"It's a really good design for our history and what's happening now with the team."
The 2020 series begins in Adelaide on June 3 before moving to Sydney (June 21) and Brisbane (July 8).