The Maroons hierarchy will assess some of its brightest prospects when the Queensland (QAS) Emerging Origin Squad assembles in Brisbane next month.
The 14-man squad, which includes Dally M Player of the Year Ben Barba, will work with QAS rugby league director Wayne Bennett and current XXXX Maroons coach Mal Meninga from January 25-27.
The camp will feature five newcomers to the QAS Emerging Origin program, a key component of the Maroons’ recent Origin success.
The fresh faces are Edrick Lee (Canberra Raiders), Michael Morgan (NQ Cowboys), Ben Ridge (Gold Coast Titans), Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters) and Josh Papalli (Canberra Raiders).
They will train alongside Bulldogs star Barba, who returns for another QAS camp in 2013 along with Justin O’Neill (Melbourne Storm), Dale Copley (Brisbane Broncos), Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles), Andrew McCullough, Martin Kennedy (Sydney Roosters), Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos), William Zillman (Gold Coast Titans) and Chris McQueen (South Sydney Rabbitohs).
Next year will also see the introduction of a Junior Emerging Origin squad, which brings together Queensland’s best young players who will be vying for spots in Queensland’s Under 20 Origin team to play New South Wales.
The development squad includes six players who are not eligible for selection in the annual game due to their age.
Several of these players took part in last season’s Under 20s match and selectors have opted to involve them in the January 17-20 QAS camp to further bolster their representative experience.
Queensland Rugby League (QRL) chief executive officer Robert Moore said the QAS program had been a vital cog in the pathway for elite players for many years.
“In the past few seasons alone the likes of Matt Gillett, Ben Te’o, Dave Taylor, Dane Nielsen and Jharal Yow Yeh have made the step from the QAS program into the Origin team,” Moore said.
“There is no doubt that their transition into one of sport’s toughest and most competitive arenas has been helped by their involvement in the QAS Emerging Origin program.
“The State Government and the QAS have always been big supporters of rugby league and this is reflected by the introduction of an Under 20s development squad that will utilise the QAS’s state-of-the-art facilities early next year.”
QAS EMERGING STATE OF ORIGIN SQUAD 2013
Ben BARBA (CANTERBURY BULLDOGS)
Justin O’NEILL (MELBOURNE STORM)
Edrick LEE (CANBERRA RAIDERS)
Michael MORGAN (NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS)
Dale COPLEY (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Daly CHERRY-EVANS (MANLY SEA EAGLES)
Andrew McCULLOUGH (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Martin KENNEDY (SYDNEY ROOSTERS)
Ben RIDGE (GOLD COAST TITANS)
Josh McGUIRE (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Aidan GUERRA (SYDNEY ROOSTERS)
Josh PAPALII (CANBERRA RAIDERS)
William ZILLMAN (GOLD COAST TITANS)
Chris McQUEEN (SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS)
• Training Camp at Queensland Academy of Sport – January 25-27 (2013)
QLD JUNIOR EMERGING ORIGIN SQUAD 2013
Caleb TIMU (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Corey OATES (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Chris GREVSMUHL (NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS)
Hymel HUNT (GOLD COAST TITANS)
Kurt MANN (MELBOURNE STORM)
Ian RICCARDI (PENRITH PANTHERS)
Anthony MILFORD (CANBERRA RAIDERS)
Travis PEETERS (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Francis MOLO (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Zac SANTO (NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS)
Kierran MOSELEY (PENRITH PANTHERS)
Patrick MAGO (CANBERRA RAIDERS)
Soape PALAU (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Patrick KAUFUSI (NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS)
Moses MBYE (CANTERBURY BULLDOGS)
Cameron CULLEN (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Brenko LEE (CANBERRA RAIDERS)
Joseph FORRESTER (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
John FOLAU (PARRAMATTA EELS)
Billy BRITTAIN (MELBOURNE STORM)
Ben HAMPTON* (MELBOURNE STORM)
Luke KEARY* (SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS)
Dylan NAPA* (SYDNEY ROOSTERS)
Korbin SIMS* (NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS)
Lachlan MARANTA* (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
Aaron WHITCHURCH* (BRISBANE BRONCOS)
*Ineligible for U20 State of Origin team in 2013
• Training Camp at Queensland Academy of Sport – January 17-20 (2013)