The departure of New South Wales captain Paul Gallen from State of Origin will see the Blues having to replace a mountain of experience that their fearless leader brings.
But former Queensland star Justin Hodges says there’s another role up for grabs in the 2017 series.
Hodges, who was well known for being Queensland’s chief villain during his time with the Maroons, told NITV’s League Nation Live that the Blues need to find someone to act as the enforcer and add some spice to the series.
“That’s what Origin is all about, the whole theatre - what’s said before Origin before they get on the field. That’s why you see all those elbows and pushing peoples face on the ground, that’s what Origin is built on,” said Hodges.
League Nation Live panelist Matt Gillett was quick to offer up his chief candidate, handing David Klemmer the title as the one Maroons fans north of the border will love to hate.
“I’d have to say Klemmer. He’s got that fierce about him and likes a bit of niggle. Corey Parker and him had a few runs ins over the last two years.
“He’s a big bloke and hard to handle and can throw his weight around,” said Gillett.
The enforcer role isn’t the only hole that needs filling in the New South Wales side according to Hodges, with Robbie Farah’s ongoing Origin involvement not a guarantee.
“I think there’s one piece of the puzzle missing, that’s the hooker.
“I think with Robbie Farah he’s been a great servant, but you’ve got so many good young players like Tedesco, Matty Moylan, James Maloney, who’s been awesome for the Sharks and NSW these last three games, I think that's the piece missing,” said Hodges.