Queensland's legend Allan Langer inspires Billy Slater to stand tall in final Origin

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The players Billy Slater will finish alongside on the State of Origin appearance list are pretty handy - Immortal Wally Lewis and former NSW skipper Brad Fittler.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 03:  Billy Slater of the Maroons is assisted to by Maroons trainer Allan Langer during game one of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Etihad Stadium on June 3, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Billy Slater of the Maroons is assisted to by Maroons trainer Allan Langer during game one of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Etihad Stadium.

Source: Getty

But Slater has identified to pint-sized playmaker Allan Langer for his inspiration before drawing the curtain on his glittering Maroons career in Wednesday's Origin III in Brisbane.

Stand-in Queensland skipper Slater will run out for his 31st and final Origin in the Suncorp Stadium dead rubber, joining Lewis and Fittler on equal ninth on the all-time list.

However, Slater reckoned it was 34 Origin halfback Langer - sitting fourth overall - who had lit the Maroons fuse for him as a kid.

Once an aspiring jockey, Slater, 35, admits he would never have dreamt of aiming for Origin if he had not seen Langer dominate for Queensland.

"He was a player I looked up to as a kid, I drew inspiration from Alfie," Slater said.

"He was so small and courageous. That's what I wanted to emulate. He showed that it was possible for the small kids.

"I dreamt of being Allan Langer running around the backyard, kicking the footy and scoring tries."

Those childhood memories will come flooding back when Slater leads Queensland out for the first and final time at Suncorp Stadium.

Billy Slater of Queensland attacks during the State of Origin rugby league Game III decider between Queensland and New South Wales, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia. 12 July 2017. Copyright Image: Tertius Pickard / www.photosport.nz

Billy Slater of Queensland attacks during the State of Origin rugby league Game III decider between Queensland and New South Wales, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Source: Photosport

Especially with now assistant coach Langer running the water for the Maroons on Wednesday night.

"That was just my childhood (being Langer). This is the jersey I dreamt of playing in when I was a little boy," said Slater, stand-in skipper for Greg Inglis (broken thumb).

"I am just so grateful and privileged to have this opportunity.

"I am 35, I played league all my life since I was four. I am pretty lucky to be able to get this job."

At 178cm Slater is head and shoulders above 165cm Langer.

But the fullback will still be able to empathise with Langer on Wednesday, giving away up to 20cm to the likes of NSW prop David Klemmer.

Slater hoped to finish his Origin career with another win for the little guy.

NSW are vying for their first series whitewash since 2000.

"I am not going to go out and try and be someone I am not, or try and do someone else's job just because I am captain," Slater said.

"I will go out and perform my role, hopefully we have 17 contributors, play a good game of football and come away with the win - that's the ideal scenario.

"It's been such a great ride. I am sure a few emotions will run through my body when I do run out and sing the national anthem."

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