BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Kalyn Ponga of the Maroons passes during game one of the 2019 State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 05, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

A quarter of the way through the season, all eyes are beginning to look towards the 2022 State of Origin series.

For most, it wasn't until Latrell Mitchell was all but ruled out after a hamstring injury that we realised it wasn't long at all until the best series in the world kicks off again.

For the  Queensland Maroons and their new coaching staff, they will be counting down the days, hoping they can bounce back from a historic loss last year.

Here is the team to do just that.

1. Kalyn Ponga

While it doesn't seem like a tough choice, it is. With AJ Brimson and Reece Walsh both playing good footy, and Ponga facing injuries and not lighting the world on fire when he plays, his spot isn't guaranteed.

That being said, with Reece Walsh not being quite ready and Ponga still being one of the best players in the competition when he plays his best, he had to be picked.

2. Dane Gagai

I wanted to pick him in the centres, but with wing and centre stocks not being the most proficient area of the Maroons, Gagai will have to shift out wide.

Looking rejuvenated at the Knights in 2022, having performed outstandingly on the wing in the past and with it being crucial against the blues, Gagai is the man for the job.

NRL Rd 4 - Sharks v Knights
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Dane Gagai of the Knights warms up before the round four NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights at PointsBet Stadium on April 01, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

3. Valentine Holmes

While he might not be as quick as he used to be, he is still strong defensively and can still get past his man, as the Broncos found out in Round 3, and the Raiders in Round 6.

Up against Tom Trbojevic, Holmes is Queensland's best option defensively.

4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

One of Queensland's shining lights in the 2021 series, Tabuai-Fidow will be better for the run this year. Though he's playing fullback for his club, I have no doubt he will shift easily into centre and wreak havoc with his pace.

5.  Xavier Coates

Living up to the hype of his move to Melbourne, Coates has been great this year. One of the game's best speedsters and possibly the best high-flyer, Coates is a try waiting to happen and will be one of the first picked.

6. Cameron Munster

Munster is not only Queensland's best player. He is the best five-eighth in the game and possibly the best player.

Able to win a game practically on his own (and has done it in the past) with Munster in the team, victory is always within reach for the Maroons.

7. Daly Cherry-Evans

The Maroons Captain. Though he has his moments of confusion and lack of control, nobody is as good as Cherry-Evans when he is at his best. Luckily for Queenslanders, that usually happens when he pulls on the Maroons jersey.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Daly Cherry-Evans of Queensland breaks through the Blues defence during game three of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

8. Josh Papalii

It doesn't matter what form he is in. He is going to be picked. One of the rare props who can be a legitimate game-winner. In his prime, Andrew Fifita was one and Josh Papalii has, unfortunately for NSW Blues fans, proven to be one.

9. Harry Grant

The best hooker in the competition at the moment. With the perfect combination of great service, defence and ruck control, Grant is as dangerous out of dummy half as anyone. While he might not be as quick as a Damian Cook, he's plenty fast to make a break and pass to someone faster.

10. Lindsay Collins

Unavailable for the Maroons last season due to a knee injury, there is no doubt Lindsay Collins will be in the team in 2022. Averaging 107 metres a game along with 32 tackles at 95 per cent efficiency, Collins is the perfect prop to start a state of origin match. While he may not have the stats of some other props, Collins is the type to rise when playing for his state.

In his first series in 2020, Collins averaged 129 metres and 25 tackles in only 40 minutes. With more experience under his belt, the 25-year-old will be better for the run.

11. Felise Kaufusi

While his performance in the last series might not be his proudest moment, there is no doubting what Kaufusi brings to a team. Looking rejuvenated in what will be his last season at the Melbourne Storm, Kaufusi seems primed for a big performance in the Maroon jersey. One of the best defenders and line-runners in the competition, Kaufusi at his best is one of Queensland's biggest assets.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Felise Kaufusi of the Storm looks on after being placed on report for a tackle on Ryan Matterson of the Eels during the round two NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Melbourne Storm at Bankwest Stadium on March 18, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

12.  Kurt Capewell

Failing to reach the heights that we've seen him reach in the past so far in 2022, Capewell is still Queensland's best back row option. Facing off against Tom Trbojevic in the centres last year, putting Capewell back into his position, outside the likes of Munster or Cherry-Evans sets him up to shine.

One of the best attacking players at his position, Capewell will be back to his best with such talent around him.

13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

Playing the position every game so far for the Gold Coast Titans, big Tino has proven himself as a lock. An absolute workhorse in the middle, making 116 metres along with 33 tackles in just under 60 minutes a game, Fa'asuamaleaui has been in everything for the Titans.

While they have a few options at lock and playing around with the prop positions, this line-up looks the scariest for the Blues.

14. Reece Walsh

Much like Kalyn Ponga coming off the bench in his debut, Reece Walsh entering the game against a tired NSW squad is a scary prospect. Good enough that it is a question whether Walsh should start at fullback, the thought of him roaming around the middle as a 14 and causing chaos should excite Maroons fans.

15. Moeaki Fotuaika

One of Queensland's shining lights in an embarrassing series last year, Fotuaika is one of the most damaging ball runners in the game. With a different body shape and great leg speed, Fotuaika is the perfect prop to come into the game once it has opened up.

16. David Fifita

Speaking of damaging ball-runners, nobody is more damaging than the Titans second rower when he decides he's going to make something happen. While he was kept quiet last season by an incredible defensive performance from Cameron Murray and a dominant NSW team, coming off the bench could open the game for Fifita. With great strength, speed and footwork, Fifita is a nightmare for a tired middle or edge.

NRL Rd 3 - Cowboys v Titans
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: David Fifita of the Titans celebrates after scoring a try during the round three NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans at QCB Stadium on March 28, 2021, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

17. Jai Arrow

More of a standard prop, Arrow makes sure the drop-off is non-existent when the starting props come from the ground. One of the best forwards in the game, he won't take a backwards step to anybody and is the perfect replacement for Collins or Papalii.

There you have it, the Queensland Maroons as seen through the first five rounds of the season.

Want to make your own team but aren't sure who's eligible? Take a look at our player eligibility list.