Maroons on guard for 'different environment' in Origin II

Billy Slater admits the Maroons will face a "unique" challenge in the next State of Origin game given the "different" conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

After blowing the Blues off the park in the opener, Queensland now have the opportunity to lock up the series with a victory next Wednesday night with a 2-0 lead.

Slater has made two changes to his side for the clash in Melbourne, with veterans Kurt Capewell and Felise Kaufusi coming in to replace Selwyn Cobbo (dropped) and J'Maine Hopgood (injured).

However, one factor that Slater won't be able to control is the MCG conditions, which will see the players enter new surroundings at one of the world's most iconic venues.

maroons on guard for 'different environment' in origin ii

A packed Melbourne Cricket Ground for the 2018 State of Origin opener.

Speaking on Nine's The Billy Slater Podcast, the coach admitted both teams would need to slightly alter their preparation, but doesn't believe it will impact the Maroons.

"I'd say different rather than difficult," Slater said.

"It's just a different environment, but it's still a field.

"There's gonna be some different elements that we'll have to be conscious of, whether it be the conditions or the bearings around the stadium.

"We'll get an opportunity to have a little run on the MCG on Tuesday evening - the kickers will have a kick and the catchers will have a catch.

"We'll get on with our preparation and work out and focus on what's important and our actions that are important inside that rectangular field that we're gonna be playing on."

Watch the 2024 State of Origin series exclusively live and free on Nine and 9Now.

Melbourne hasn't hosted an Origin fixture since the 2018 opener in a game that saw NSW emerge with a 22-12 victory to set up their eventual series victory.

In that match, only three players from Slater's game two line-up - Kaufusi, Valentine Holmes and Ben Hunt - were in action for the Maroons, meaning the majority of the squad will experience the "colosseum" style stadium for the first time on June 26.

maroons on guard for 'different environment' in origin ii

Valentine Holmes and Dane Gagai during the 2018 series opener.

"There's things that you remember from your playing days and one thing that I remember is running out onto the MCG with 100,000 people," Slater said.

"It's a real colosseum feel and it's very different to Suncorp Stadium or anything else and that's got it's own unique sort of vibe. To run out in front of 100,000 people at a real iconic venue, that's gonna be pretty unique for 34 players.

"They will get that opportunity … that's something to look forward to."

NSW have made five changes to their side for game two, with the likes of Latrell Mitchell and Cameron Murray answering the call from coach Michael Maguire.

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