Slater: I’ll do it my way

Billy Slater will lead Queensland for the first time in his last match. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Billy Slater will lead Queensland for the first time in his last match. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

BILLY Slater says he won't be seeking leadership advice from one of Queensland's greatest captains Cameron Smith, with the new Maroons skipper declaring: "I'll do it my way".

As his injured predecessor Greg Inglis entered camp to lift Queensland's spirits, Slater is backing himself to handle the burden of captaincy and spearhead a Maroons victory in Origin III on Wednesday night.

In his 31st and final game for the Maroons, Slater will become just the 14th man to captain Queensland in the Origin arena and he is acutely aware of the legacy left by leaders such as Smith and Darren Lockyer.

Slater's long-time Storm teammate Smith has been peerless as a club, Test and Origin skipper, winning six of seven series as Queensland captain after taking over from Lockyer.

Smith will be present Wednesday night at Suncorp when he and Slater are honoured for their services to State of Origin, but the champion fullback is determined to leave his own leadership mark on the Maroons.

Asked if he will seek out Smith's help, Slater said: "Not really - I am going to go out there and do my job.

Slater will become Queensland’s 14th captain. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Slater will become Queensland’s 14th captain. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

"I haven't spoken too much about captaincy with anyone. I've learnt a lot as a captain just watching Cam and playing under Darren Lockyer.

"They are great leaders of men and I will work it out myself.

"I hope I can play my part for the team, that's my role. I have always contributed as much as I can and this is no different. I'm not going to try and be someone I'm not or try and do someone else's job because I'm captain.

"I want to perform my role and hopefully we have 17 contributors and come away with the win, that's the ideal scenario."

Slater said the Maroons squad were buoyed by the presence of Inglis, who was outstanding in the opening two games before breaking his thumb against the Cowboys last week.

Can Slater leave Origin with a bang? AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Can Slater leave Origin with a bang? AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

"Greg has arrived in camp," Slater said. "It's good to have Greg in camp that's for sure. He is a great leader and he was really impressive as captain in the first two games.

"I want to go out and get that winning feeling, playing for the state is important to us and we want to win for the people of Queensland."

Maroons coach Kevin Walters challenged his troops not to fail Slater tomorrow night as Queensland look to avoid their first 3-0 series rout in 18 years.

"It's a special moment for Billy captaining his state and the other 16 guys owe him a send-off that is just right," he said.

"I know you don't always get what you want but for him to lead them out on to Suncorp is fantastic."



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