Queensland great Darren Lockyer presented Maroons skipper Cameron Smith with his match day jersey amid emotional scenes on the eve of Origin I last night.
Fittingly, Lockyer was in the team hotel to hand the jersey to the man who will eclipse his own record of 36 Origin appearances at ANZ Stadium tonight.
In true Smith style, he deflected praise to his teammates, both past and present, and spoke passionately about the pride in the Queensland jersey.
Debutants Corey Oates and Justin O’Neill received their respective jerseys from Sam Thaiday and Billy Slater.
Oates said he would do everything in his power to do his “job” and make his teammates proud.
Fellow first gamer O’Neill echoed those sentiments.
“It’s pretty special, it’s something I grew up and dreamt about, like Billy (Slater) said,” O’Neill said.
“It has been a great week, I’ve enjoyed been in camp with you guys. Thanks for making it a welcoming start to camp and a great week.
“Like Oatesy said, I just want to do my job tomorrow night and make you boys proud as well and come off the field knowing I’ve done my best and all I could on the night.”
The achievements of two mainstays of the Queensland forward pack – Matt Scott and Nate Myles – were also recognised.
Scott was presented with the Dick Tosser Turner Medal by Darius Boyd, the last Queensland player to reach the 20 game milestone.
The honour of presenting Myles with the FOGS Statesman Award (30 Club) was given to Johnathan Thurston, a fellow member of the illustrious club which also includes Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Allan Langer, Petero Civoniceva, Darren Lockyer and Cameron Smith.