Queensland Origin legend Wally 'King' Lewis has delivered his opinion on what the QLD Maroons team should look like for the opening game of the 2024 State of Origin series.

In selecting his team, Lewis has opted to choose Tom Dearden over Ezra Mam for the five-eighth spot left vacant by injury Storm player Cameron Munster.

Dearded has emerged as the leading frontrunner to play alongside Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves and previously impressed in his one and only Origin match in Game 3 of the 2022 State of Origin series.

He has also chosen J'maine Hopgood (Parramatta Eels) to make his Origin debut after being around the squad last year, and changed the positions of outside back Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Selwyn Cobbo.

"I quite like him," Lewis said of Dearden on Wide World of Sports' QLDER.

"He's got a bit of experience there - honestly, mate, it could go either way. I guess the selectors will work with the coach on the preference there.

"He's performed well - not that (Mam) couldn't - but I've seen (Dearden) perform extremely well in the toughest of circumstances, I quite enjoy watching him.

"He's got a bit of mongrel in him and can work extremely well in the toughest of situations."

Wally Lewis's Predicted QLD team for Game 1

1. Reece Walsh (Brisbane Broncos)
2. Xavier Coates (Melbourne Storm)
3. Selwyn Cobbo (Brisbane Broncos)
4. Valentine Holmes (North Queensland Cowboys)
5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (The Dolphins)
6. Tom Dearden (North Queensland Cowboys)
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles)
8. Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters)
9. Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm)
10. Moeaki Fotuaika (North Queensland Cowboys)
11. David Fifita (Gold Coast Titans)
12. Reuben Cotter (North Queensland Cowboys)
13. Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos)

14. Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons)
15. Christian Welch (Melbourne Storm)
16. Jeremiah Nanai (North Queensland Cowboys)
17. J'maine Hopgood (Parramatta Eels)