A bizarre Blues ban has been slapped on Queensland, with Maroons coach Kevin Walters refusing to let his players talk about NSW ahead of the State of Origin opener.
Queensland usually revel in the underdog tag but Walters has taken a very different approach this year after consulting mind coach Bradley Charles Stubbs in May.
Adopting lessons learned from the "Coach Whisperer", Walters raised eyebrows for the second time in as many days when the unprecedented request to his players was revealed on Tuesday.
A day after Walters surprisingly declared the Maroons will win next week's State of Origin series opener, he turned heads again when his edict was declared to the media before players spoke at their fan day at Charleville, western Queensland.
As Joe Ofahengaue and Ben Hunt approached reporters, a Queensland official told the media that they could ask about the Blues but the players had been directed by Walters not to answer.
Stubbs has been involved with numerous high profile sporting teams and has been credited as the key to two NRL premierships and an A-League crown with his Expect to Win sessions.
Walters had already adopted one of Stubbs' key teachings by ditching the word "try" and declaring the Maroons will win the June 5 opener when he unveiled his team of 17 on Monday.
And 24 hours later Walters was at it again with his head scratching Blues ban.
Not mentioning the opposition is another tactic of Stubbs who reportedly instructed former Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold to drop the word "Victory" from A-League rivals Melbourne and made Wallabies mentor Michael Cheika refer to the All Blacks as New Zealand.
It led to unusual scenes on Tuesday with Maroons debutant forward Ofahengaue going out of his way to avoid uttering NSW.
At one point a frustrated reporter asked if he could simply say who they were playing in the series opener.
"I think we are playing the other team," Ofahengaue offered.
Even speaking about NRL teammate Payne Haas - who will make his NSW debut next week - was off limits for Brisbane's Ofahengaue.
"I don't want to talk about the other team," Ofahengaue said when the topic turned to Haas.
Maroons hooker Hunt then faced the cameras and made it clear why they weren't allowed to mention NSW.
"(Because) Kevvie said. He wants the focus to be about us and what we can do," he said.
"He believes he's picked a team that can win the series and he wants us all to buy into that.
"He just wants us to worry about ourselves."
Hunt insisted Walters' claim that the Maroons "will win" Origin I had not put extra pressure on the new-look team as they attempt to avenge last series' 2-1 loss.
"It's business as usual," he said.
"He (Walters) is just putting the mentality in our heads that we've got the team to win and we need to believe that."
© AAP 2019