Queensland legends Darren Lockyer and Wally Lewis have both defended the Maroons' decision to axe a number of State of Origin veterans.

Famous for a pick and stick strategy, the Maroons have often picked players well and truly out of form only for them to shine in the Origin arena.

But when teams were revealed for Game 1 of the 2023 series on Monday morning, Queensland's side was missing all of Dane Gagai, Kurt Capewell and Kalyn Ponga.

Add that to the retirement of Josh Papalii from the Origin arena and ongoing suspension of second-rower Felise Kaufusi, and the experience drain on the Maroons for Game 1 of a series they will enter as possible favourites is enormous.

Speaking on Channel 9s QLDER show, Lockyer said the changes to the Maroons' squad were a sign of the depth that previously hadn't been available to the state.

"Either side of the border likes to try and find ways to niggle," he told Wide World of Sports' QLDER.

"I think it's just a reflection on the fact that our depth in the squad is very good.

"Yes there's a couple of players who have done a lot for the Queensland team, and by no means is their career done in the Queensland jersey, but there's good options there that come in to replace those guys. They're in form and they bring something to the team.

"We've got a few more options than we once did. There was a period where we were probably limited with some of our positions, but now we're getting multiple options in different positions."

Lewis agreed, hitting out at suggestions there wouldn't be confidence in the Queensland team.

"There's suggestions from Sydney that not a lot of confidence will be in the Queensland team, I don't see how that's going to be possible," he told QLDER.

"We've got some of the best names in rugby league history (Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston) giving advice to players that have put together a wonderful campaign to earn selection for Queensland."

The comments come in line with Capewell confirming he had been dropped due to form, suggesting he will do everything he can to fight his way back into the side for Game 2 of the series.

Game 1 of the series will be played on May 31 in Adelaide.