Pictured: Queensland five-eighth Moses Mbye at QAS training earlier this year.
Queensland great Dale Shearer is providing the inspiration behind-the-scenes as the young Maroons prepare for Saturday’s Holden State of Origin Under 20s match against New South Wales at Penrith’s Centrebet Stadium.
Shearer, who played 26 Origin matches for the Maroons, has fought his way through a number of personal setbacks and is now enjoying the opportunity to mentor Queensland’s best young talent.
Queensland Under 20s coach Andrew Dunemann said Shearer would present the jerseys to the players at dinner tomorrow night.
“He’s really keen to get back involved (in rugby league),” Dunemann said from Sydney today.
“He has made his own way here and he came and watched our training session this morning. It’s just great to have him around.”
The Maroons assembled in Sydney on Tuesday and Dunemann put the squad straight to work, with three sharp field sessions already under their belt.
Queensland is looking to square the ledger with NSW after the Blues won last year’s inaugural match 18-14.
“I know that the pride and passion in the jersey will be there,” Dunemann said.
“But as with any game of rugby league, it’s about how you execute and how you handle the football.
“So far the signs are good (at training).”
Souths Logan product and emerging Canberra Raiders star Anthony Milford will captain the Maroons. Winton junior and Melbourne Storm fullback Kurt Mann is the vice-captain.
Dunemann said the players were able to strike up an immediate rapport.
“Most of the boys know each other already through last year’s (Queensland) 20s team and the Under 18 side, so we’ve already got some combinations going there,” the former Northern Pride coach said.
UNDER 20S ORIGIN – QUEENSLAND V NSW
Saturday, April 20
Centrebet Stadium, Penrith.
Kick off: 5.35pm (FOX Sports)
1. Kurt MANN (vice-captain)- Melbourne Storm
2. Zac SANTO - NQ Cowboys
3. Hymel HUNT - Gold Coast Titans
4. Brenko LEE - Canberra Raiders
5. Nene MacDonald - Sydney Roosters
6. Moses MBYE - Canterbury Bulldogs
7. Anthony MILFORD (captain)- Canberra Raiders
8. Francis MOLO - Brisbane Broncos
9. Kierran MOSELEY - Penrith Panthers
10. Patrick KAUFUSI - NQ Cowboys
11. Caleb TIMU - Brisbane Broncos
12. Corey OATES - Brisbane Broncos
13. Chris GREVSMUHL - NQ Cowboys
14. Luke BATEMAN - Canberra Raiders
15. Lloyd PERRETT - Canterbury Bulldogs
16. Rhyse MARTIN - Sydney Roosters
17. Brandon TAGO - Sydney Roosters
18. John FOLAU - Parramatta Eels
Coach: Andrew Dunemann
New South Wales
1. Clinton GUTHERSON - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
2. Vai TOUTAI - Parramatta Eels
3. Dylan WALKER - South Sydney Rabbitohs
4. Charly RUNCIMAN - St George-Illawarra Dragons
5. George JENNINGS - Penrith Panthers
6. Luke BROOKS - Wests Tigers
7. Mitch CORNISH - Canberra Raiders
8. David KLEMMER - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
9. Michael LICHAA - Cronulla Sharks
10. Matthew LODGE - Melbourne Storm
11. Kelepi TANGINOA - Parramatta Eels
12. Dean BRITT - Melbourne Storm
13. Brendan SANTI - Wests Tigers
14. Craig GARVEY - St George-Illawarra Dragons
15. Kyle LOVETT - Wests Tigers
16. Jake TRBOJEVIC - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
17. Junior PAULO - Parramatta Eels
Coach: Dean Pay