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Images from the inner sanctum

Two special exchanges took place within the Queensland Maroons' inner sanctum yesterday.

Just before hitting ANZ Stadium for the captain's run, Maroons rookie Kalyn Ponga received his No.14 jersey from Billy Slater.

Slater, the pre-eminent fullback of the past decade, dedicated a few cherished words to Ponga in a restricted circle within the bowels of the stadium.

"It was unreal. To have Billy present the jersey is something I'll treasure," Ponga later said.

It is a little-cited fact that Slater actually wore jersey 14 in 2008 for Queensland, playing off the bench after being a starting player in his first six games for the Maroons.

He has, of course, gone on to be regarded as one of the best Origin players of all-time and will play his 30th game for Queensland in Sunday's do-or-die encounter.

That milestone was acknowledged and celebrated late last night when Slater was given his FOGs Statesman's presentation, an award for the select group of men to have played 30-plus Origins.

On hand to make the presentation was the last man to have achieved the feat – current Maroons skipper Greg Inglis.

The award is implemented and financed through the Former Origin Greats (FOGs) organisation.

Slater was destined to receive the award in the first Origin game of this year's series, but was a late withdrawal due to injury.

Queensland heads into Game II of the series trailing 0-1 and must win to keep the 2018 series alive.

For important match facts – including details on how to watch the match from anywhere in the world – follow this link.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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