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Maroons culture crucial to U20s: Hodges

Under 20s coach Justin Hodges brought ex-Origin stars Scott Prince and Lote Tuqiri inside the tent to replicate the team culture Mal Meninga fostered during his dominant reign as Maroons coach.

Speaking to QRL Media from camp, the Maroons hardman said: “I knew that Mal created that here for us so I just wanted to make sure there was some Origin greats around the camp.”

He said on-field training opportunities were limited so the camp environment contributed heavily to any chance of success.

“What they form off the field is almost as important as what they do on the field so if they get around each other, respect each other, they are going to turn up for each other Wednesday night.”

The Under 20s play the curtain-raiser to State of Origin Game I at Suncorp Stadium. They have never beaten the Blues.

Hodges gathered his charges and asked them to share what state selection meant to them.  

“A few of the boys were pretty emotional, and that’s what you want to see," he said.

“Obviously, it means everything to play for Queensland.

“Some of these blokes may never put a Maroon jersey on again so it’s making sure they treasure that, and make sure they go out and do themselves proud, their teammates, their family and state.”


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