Well, this is a little uncomfortable.

The NSW Blues were paid a visit by a rather unusual guest during their training run at ANZ Stadium - none other than former Queensland coach Mal Meninga.

The long-time Maroons frontman won nine out of his 10 Origins while in charge of Queensland, including victory in last year's series.

With so many returning Origin stars in the Blues squad, it would have been more than a little awkward for them to play host to the man responsible for nine years of turmoil.


The invitation, however, was extended by Blues coach Laurie Daley as Meninga is now serving as Kangaroos coach.

"Some may say it's a bit awkward, but for me it's a good start," Meninga said.

"Being the Australian coach you've got to show some sort neutrality and independence, so it's nice to be here and be involved by Laurie (Daley) and the team.

"I'm here supporting both sides and supporting rugby league. We all understand how to play the game of State of Origin."

The former Queensland great diplomatically declined to say who he thought would win Origin I.

But Meninga lauded his former premiership-winning Canberra teammate for his controversial selection decisions in bringing rookies Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Dylan Walker and Adam Reynolds into his team for Wednesday's series opener.

"Going forward with Laurie picking a really good NSW team it holds the Kangaroos in really good stead," Meninga said.

"I'm expecting what everyone expects from Origin - a fantastic game. There's no favourites and whoever turns up ready to play and willing to play will be in a great spot to win the footy game.

"A draw? Can it be a draw? Maybe (I'm predicting) a draw then."

Meninga said hadn't needed to lend his experience to his successor Kevin Walters in his first outing as Maroons mentor. "Kevin has been a part of the team for a number of years and we'll leave it at that," he said.

Meninga said he was enjoying the Origin series build up from a different perspective.

"My new role as the Australian coach saw me with a number of these players just recently so I'm here supporting them and whatever comes from it," he said.

"The thing about Origin from my perspective is that these games do matter when it comes to selecting the Australian side.

"Success breeds success, and if the NSW team are successful this year then they deserve more spots in the Australian team."