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Turner to inspire Maroons, says Meninga

14/07/2009 08:13:33 PM Comments (0)

Queensland will be driven to embarrass NSW 3-0 by memories of legendry Origin "Godfather" Dick Turner who loved nothing more than smashing the Blues.

Queensland coach Mal Meninga declared prop Steve Price fit and ready to go on Tuesday and promised the Maroons would test out Kurt Gidley's suspect ribs which have prevented him training all week.

A plaque in Turner's memory was unveiled on Tuesday and will be placed in the walk of fame alongside 166 Queensland players' names near Wally Lewis' statue outside Lang Park.

Meninga, who admitted to some pre-game nerves following a relaxed build-up, spoke emotionally on Origin eve about Turner's love of beating the Blues when he was team manager during the 1980s.

"His plaque is in the sheds now," said Meninga.

"Tosser was a really important part of our history. He made some significant decisions and had a big input in a lot of players' lives.

"It's good we can remember him.

Turner, who died last year following a long battle with cancer, was regarded as the best Queenslander never to take the field.

The Maroons will be bursting with passion after another inspirational Queenslander, injured prop Petero Civoniceva, handed out the team jerseys on Monday.

Price, flattened by the flu on Sunday, was always going to play despite playful rumours that injured Bulldogs prop Ben Hannant was on standby.

"We need Steve tomorrow night, we're down in troops in the front-row with the loss of Petero (Civoniceva), Ben (Hannant) and Nate Myles," said Meninga.

"We need Pricey's leadership, it's important to us."

Meninga ruled out threats of retribution against NSW five-eighth Trent Barrett who will be public enemy No.1 with the Suncorp Stadium sellout crowd.

But he guaranteed Gidley, who's been nursing a rib cartilage injury and will have painkilling injections, a torrid time.

"Yeah, we'll target him for sure," smiled Meninga.

Queensland don't want to revisit 2007 when they won the first two games only to hold the Origin Shield aloft in front of their fans as third game losers.

"We did it in 2007, it's a bit of a hollow victory," said Meninga.

"It's hollow in the sense that it gives NSW team a bit of hope for the future."

Pulling off a whitewash - not achieved since 1995 - would be special for the players, especially skipper Darren Lockyer who could draw the curtain on his glittering Origin career.

"I had a talk to him the other day and I think he is a bit up in the air at the moment about things," said Meninga.

"I would think he would like to finish on a high note, so it depends on the result tomorrow night I would suggest."

Meninga, who experienced the thrill of a 3-0 series whitewash as a player, said the current crop of Maroons knew their responsibilities to those who have gone before them.

"They've embraced Origin's history and they've embraced all the ex-players and all the things we tried to put into the team," he said.

"They've sucked it all in and breathed it out."

The Queensland team bus will travel down Caxton Street on the way to Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

The wild ride past the Caxton Hotel overflowing with well lubricated fans, has not been done since 2001.

"It's a bit of a one off for the players," said Meninga.

"I think the senior players like Darren and Steve (Price) are the only ones who have experienced it.

"Coming down George Street in Caxton .. hopefully it will be a motivating experience for them."

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