The toughest part of grand final week came well before kick-off for Billy Slater.
Adrian Proszenko is Chief Rugby League Reporter.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, one of the most important figures in State of Origin history, believes there's merit in rival code rugby union's plan to stage their own version of the interstate battle.
Frank Pritchard is already enjoying the benefits of becoming an Eel.
Valentine Holmes will base his game on Billy Slater and Brett Stewart after finally getting a crack at a coveted fullback spot.
Canterbury captain James Graham has made the stark admission the renowned September specialists may have crumbled under the pressure of expectation during their meek finish to last season.
Kieran Foran has been cleared to make his comeback in round three after the NRL registered his Warriors contract.
Warriors CEO Jim Doyle is adamant the NRL isn't taking a risk by greenlighting Kieran Foran's return into what will be one of the best rugby league spines ever assembled.
At least five NRL clubs oppose NSW and Queensland state directors holding a position on the Australian Rugby League Commission, a situation that threatens to stymie much-trumpeted constitutional reforms.
The football field is an outlet of expression for Suaia Matagi, but it's when he's performing to a more intimate audience that you truly appreciate his journey to the NRL.
Sandor Earl is readying himself for an NRL comeback as he nears the end of his drugs suspension, declaring: "I want to go out on my own terms."