NSW v QLD - State of Origin Game 1
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 08: Patrick Carrigan of the Maroons is tackled during game one of the 2022 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 08, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Despite his side claiming victory in Origin I on enemy territory, Queensland legend Darren Lockyer is of the belief that Billy Slater may yet tinker with his starting 13 ahead of Sunday's kick-off in Perth.

While the balance of senior names earning starting spots and youthful impact coming from the bench served the Sunshine Staters well earlier this month, the possibility of making alterations could yet come to fruition.

Though Slater named Lindsay Collins in the front row and Ben Hunt as his starting nine ahead of respective talents in Pat Carrigan and Harry Grant, Lockyer hinted before Channel Nine cameras that the status quo could be shifted.

Speaking on the role the pair of rakes would play, the 38-time Queensland representative explained the rationale behind granting Hunt the starting position over Grant.

“The concept is that Ben takes the sting out of the game and allows Harry to come on and do his thing,” Lockyer said.

“I think there was a theory that Ben Hunt, when he came back onto the field late, might have gone into lock, but Connor was going so good, he (Slater) didn’t want to bring him off.

“When Ben came out in his second stint, he made that break and bombed a try, but he made a break from nine, so I think we’ll see something very similar."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 27: Ben Hunt of the Maroons offloads the ball during game two of the 2021 State of Origin series between the QueenslandMaroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 27, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Given Carrigan's performance after coming off the pine also played a leading hand in seeing the Maroons earn a series lead, Lockyer also stressed that his former teammate would likely wish to see more of the same.

“Sometimes when I get to these big games, I look at the bench first before I look at the one to thirteen,” the 45-year-old delineated.

“The bench plays a big part in the outcome of the result of a big game. Our bench was really, really good in game one, and I think Billy’s just thinking that Carrigan was so good when he came off the bench that he wants the same effort, or the same impact, from him."

Still, it wouldn't be Origin week without some form of posturing, and with Lockyer and Slater maintaining a close relationship, the former suggested that Slater could still get an itchy trigger finger before Sunday.

“Maybe there might be some late changes,” Lockyer said with a knowing chuckle.

Across the course of the series opener, Carrigan and Grant combined to carve up 221 metres in comparison to the 161 created by the duo of Collins and Hunt.

So, should Slater place a premium on early metres and effort, Lockyer's elusions towards alterations could well come to fruition.

Kick-off for game two is scheduled for 7:50pm (AEST) at Perth's Optus Stadium this Sunday night.