Rugby league: Battle lines drawn in neutral territory for State of Origin opener

The battle lines have been drawn on neutral territory ahead of Wednesday's State of Origin opener. 

On Tuesday, both the Queensland and New South Wales squads were on the charm offensive in Adelaide, with South Australia playing host to an Origin game for the first time.

Considered an AFL stronghold, the interest from South Australian fans has been tepid, with Adelaide Oval still far from a sell-out.

Queensland coach Billy Slater has made numerous changes to the team which triumphed 22-12 in the decider in Brisbane last year, most notably dropping one of last year's stars Kalyn Ponga in favour of debutant fullback and ex-Warriors star Reece Walsh.

All eyes will be on the 20-year-old Broncos hotshot in Adelaide on Wednesday, and Slater is adamant such decisions haven't been taken lightly.

"They're not easy decisions to make, but they're made for the right reasons," Slater said.

"Not one thing is the be all and end all, it's everything as a collective and then we make the best decision for our state.

"This isn't my team, this is Queensland's team and I'm put in a position to build for them, and for the players to go out and do our state proud."

On the other side of the fence, Blues coach Brad Fittler is hoping his team can recapture the form that saw him capture back-to-back titles in 2018.

Now preparing for his Origin series at the helm, the 51-year-old will be without the services of star centres Latrell Mitchell and Campbell Graham, plus hard-charging forward Jake Trbojevic due to injuries.

But forward talents Hudson Young and Tevita Pangai Junior get the nod to make their Blues debuts, with half Nicho Hynes set to feature off the interchange bench.

The series heads to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium for game two, with the final match of the series taking place at Sydney's Stadium Australia.

Catch State of Origin Game One live on Three and Three Now, Wednesday 9:30pm