Alarm bells were ringing early for Greg Inglis when Queensland launched their new era under coach Kevin Walters.
But the star centre insists the Maroons are in safe hands as they begin life after legendary mentor Mal Meninga.
The Maroons kicked off their 2016 State of Origin campaign on Thursday with their first official training session under Walters at the Gold Coast – and Inglis was soon feeling the difference.
New strength and conditioning coach Alex Corvo delivered something of a wake-up call, running players through a string of drills before they could even touch a ball.
Known as the team larrikin during his playing days, Walters clearly meant business as Maroons coach.
Not that Inglis had to be told.
“What’s different under Kevvie? There’s more warm-up – Alex Corvo took it a bit too far,” Inglis said.
“I think the players might give it to him (Corvo) after this.
“(But) he (Walters) is head coach and got the respect of the players.”
Walters was keen from the outset to put his own stamp on Queensland when he took over from Meninga, who had led the Maroons to nine series wins in 10 years.
Corvo was appointed along with performance director Chris Gaviglio, assistant coach Anthony Seibold and physio Rob Godbolt.
Walters had another ace up his sleeve on Thursday – Billy Slater.
The recovering Maroons fullback ran through backline drills and passed on tips to new No.1 Darius Boyd in his capacity as “coaching consultant” before the June 1 season opener in Sydney.
“I am just cleaning the boots and filling the water bottles up at the moment,” a modest Slater said.
Corvo’s tough love may have been a big change noticed by Inglis under Walters’ watch.
But Inglis reckoned there was no difference to the one thing that counted at a Queensland camp – passion.
Inglis confirmed Walters had produced a stirring speech on what Origin meant to him on their first day in camp on Tuesday.
“Kevvie has now stepped up to the plate,” Inglis said.
“Little things have changed in the scheduling here and there.
“But as far as showing the Queensland passion, not too much has changed.”