Queensland State of Origin veteran Josh Papalii has confirmed his retirement from the interstate series.
Papalii, who was no guarantee to hold his spot in Billy Slater's side for this year's series after seeing limited minutes last year, has instead decided to focus on his rugby league with the Canberra Raiders over the upcoming Origin period.
The Raiders revealed Papalii called Queensland coach Billy Slater last week to inform him of the decision.
“I've loved every minute of my time playing for Queensland and representing the State and I have memories from my time in maroon I will never forget,” Papalii said in a club statement.
“For me, it's about giving the next generation of Queensland players the chance to represent and it also allows me to concentrate on my football for the Raiders during the middle part of the season.
“I want to thank all of the coaches over the years that have given me the opportunity to play for Queensland and all of the players who I have taken the field with.”
Of note however, Papalii has not elected to retire from all representative football and could still line up for Samoa at the end of the year when international rugby league returns - likely in a tri-series against Australia and New Zealand.
Ricky Stuart said he will go down as a Queensland great.
“Josh's decision to retire from State of Origin showcases Josh's character and his selflessness for his state,” Stuart said.
“Playing one State of Origin match is a huge achievement, but to play over 20 Origin matches over a decade makes Josh one of the most experienced and decorated players in Origin history.
“His efforts for Queensland playing in the toughest arena in the toughest position will forever be remembered and Josh will go down as one of Origin's greatest players.”
“The fact that he's made this decision at a period of his career where he would still be able to compete at this level is testament to Josh's character and humility and I think it highlights just how much origin has meant to him over his career.”
Billy Slater will name his team for Game 1 on Monday.