State of Origin: Queensland need a new leader, Gorden Tallis says

As Queensland prepares to farewell another leader, ex-Maroons skipper Gorden Tallis has demanded a new one emerge in Wednesday's State of Origin III in Brisbane.

Stand-in skipper Billy Slater will play his 31st and final Origin in the Suncorp Stadium dead rubber before joining the Big Three - retired Maroons greats Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.

Queensland have struggled to deal with life without their big names to date - NSW have sealed their second series win in 13 years.

Tallis said it was time someone stood up and ensured Queensland denied NSW their first series whitewash since 2000, providing veteran fullback Slater a fitting farewell.

Slater captains Queensland for the first time in his last Origin, replacing Greg Inglis (broken thumb).

"They have to stand up and want to take that mantle. They have always sat behind (the Big Three)," Tallis told Sky Sports Radio.

"I know what it is like. I would walk into the dressing room and see Mal Meninga and was like 'oh my God'.

"They have had Cameron, Johnathan and Cooper in front of them so now someone has to stand up and actually be the leader.

"I thought Greg Inglis was outstanding in game one and two. Now there is a new chance for someone else to step up and say 'I am going to lead Queensland into the future'."

Tallis could empathise with Queensland's current plight after taking over the captaincy in the wake of NSW's last whitewash series in 2000, capped by a record 56-16 game three loss in Sydney.

He led the Maroons to a 2-1 series win the next year, sealed by a 40-14 game three romp.

Asked what advice he would give Queensland to avoid a sweep, Tallis said: "I was in the Queensland team which had the biggest loss ever - I have to live with that.

"I would tell them how embarrassed I was (about 56-16).

"Don't be that guy. Make sure every kid in Queensland wants to be you the next day.

"And Billy will want to see his legacy live on."

Tallis said it was time Queensland finally moved on from the Big Three and began a new chapter.

"You can't say Cameron Smith left us in the lurch. If he feels he can't go on, that's his decision - we have to win without him," Tallis said of Smith, who retired from rep footy just three weeks before the series opener.

"Wally Lewis, Darren Lockyer, Arthur Beetson, Mal Meninga - they don't play any more and now we have to go on without Cameron Smith."