Former Origin players from the first Queensland Origin team pose for a photo with members from the current squad.

Former Origin players from the first Queensland Origin team pose for a photo with members from the current squad. Photo: Getty Images

BRISBANE Wally Lewis says the Queensland Rugby League's decision to charge through the nose for State of Origin tickets is nothing short of embarrassing.

Lewis has joined Queensland coach Mal Meninga to attack the price hike, which has left almost 8000 tickets unsold, just a week out from the series opener in Brisbane.

The former Maroons captain and rugby league great says the hike has put Origin matches beyond the reach of many fans.

Fullback: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta) Click for more photos

NSW squad for Origin I

Fullback: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta) Photo: Getty Images

"A lot of them can't afford to go along to the game," Lewis told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"It's really quite an embarrassing moment for the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) because, if you try and put a finger on the last time a State of Origin game was unable to be sold, you're going back 25 years, minimum."

Meninga had said he hoped the QRL would learn from its mistake.

"I guess the league has to make some tough decisions and say they're sorry, admit they are wrong and make them more available to our core supporters - the blue collar workers, the mums and dads who love the game so much and want to come to Origin," he said.

"We learn our lessons and hopefully we are strong enough to say we were wrong and make it a bit more accessible to our audience for game one and three."

The cheapest, bronze category tickets valued at $80 have sold out.

Only gold ($250) and silver ($220) category tickets are still available.

AAP