Justin Hodges will carry a special memento and a moving tribute from great mate Greg Inglis into his final State of Origin match tonight.
At an emotional team dinner at South Bank last night, Inglis presented his backline partner with a Maroons jersey featuring the names and signatures of the players who will be by his side at Suncorp Stadium one final time.
The top of the jersey reads:
24 Origin games
Those few words and numbers mean everything to Hodges, who embraced Inglis before opening up to the group.
Hodges thanked his teammates, coach Mal Meninga and his staff, saving a special mention for long-serving Queensland physiotherapist Scott Thornton for his work in “getting him on the park” on so many occasions.
Earlier in the evening, injured Queensland fullback Billy Slater presented Maroons debutant Dane Gagai with his playing jersey.
Slater encouraged Gagai to enjoy the occasion – and to “draw on the confidence” from the rest of the group’s faith in his ability.
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