The Dad’s Army jokes will resume if an ageing Queensland stumbles in State of Origin III, Maroons captain Cameron Smith says.
But Smith is determined to get the last laugh by sealing Queensland’s fifth series sweep at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Maroons will have nine players on the wrong side of 30 in their 17 against the Blues in game three.
Jibes about their age have quietened down of late, especially after the Maroons clinched their 10th series win in 11 years.
However, Smith expects their critics to resume heckling if NSW provide a fitting farewell to retiring skipper Paul Gallen this week.
“There is no doubt the Dad’s Army jokes will (start again),” Smith said.
“We are under no illusion that there will be a changing of the guard over the next few years.
“We are all getting a little older now.
“But we are fortunate we have young players coming through in all positions.
“The older guys are just trying to continue the success for as long as we can and make a smooth transition for the team.”
The Maroons will farewell one of their own on Wednesday night – retiring lock Corey Parker will play his 19th and final Origin.
He follows centre Justin Hodges’ retirement last year.
Johnathan Thurston has claimed he will walk away after 2017 – although is having second thoughts – while Smith may retire in 2018.
The likes of Anthony Milford, Cameron Munster, Ben Hunt, Ben Barba and Dylan Napa are waiting patiently on the sidelines for their Origin nod.
But Smith could not see a dramatic personnel change coming soon for the all-conquering Queensland.
“We are losing Corey, and Hodgo went last year, so that’s two but everyone else wants to stay around for quite a while longer,” Smith said ominously.