JOSH Papalii isn't saying it, but his assignment on Wednesday night will be to provide some protection for Johnathan Thurston and deliver a few bone-rattling hits on menacing NSW forward David Klemmer.

The softly spoken Papalii told APN he was honoured to be back wearing a Queensland jumper after being overlooked for the first two Origin games.

His job in the decider will be to dish out some punishment to the NSW pack which got over the top of Queensland to level the series in game two in Melbourne, with big Klemmer leading the way.

Papalii may speak softly but once he crosses the white line he is as hard and tough as they come.

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