The NSW Universities Residents side might get a surprise tomorrow when they hear a distinctly-American accent on the field in Coffs Harbour.
The Queensland Universities Residents will face their NSW counterparts in a one-off meeting of the representative sides chosen from the university domestic competitions.
Queensland lock David Todd was born in Mackay, but moved with his parents to Oklahoma when he was six years old.
His father was a diesel mechanic working for Caterpillar, and despite being ensconced in the American way of life, Todd always wanted to play rugby league.
The strongly-built back rower will get a thrill tomorrow when he represents the state of his birth.
“I came over here on a student exchange and had not played a game of rugby league until last September,” said the University of Queensland player.
“I played rugby union back home and always watched the State of Origin games growing up.
“I am really enjoying it and have found I can use my experience from playing American football in the game as well.”
Todd impressed in the trial for the team three weeks ago for the side that represents the Universities Rugby League Queensland competition that is played between six teams on Wednesday nights.
“David Todd is a tough kid," said Queensland’s coach Jamie Dowse, who is also the chief executive of Intrust Super Cup club Norths Devils.
“I was looking forward to getting him into training and teaching him a bit.
“He's a fast learner and he wants to learn. David's the type of kid that you want to coach.”
The Maroons are in for a tough game though with NSW traditionally bringing an older, more-experienced side to these clashes.
This match was played in Tonga in 2013 and Coffs Harbour in 2014, with Queensland winning two tight matches.
Last year the student Maroons pulled off a huge upset when they beat the much older and larger Great Britain Armed Forces side in an exhibition game in Brisbane.
Tomorrow they will be captained by Griffith University Logan’s skipper Tyrone Girle, who has played in every one of those matches.
Every player on the field will be eligible for the elite State teams to be chosen later in the year to contest the annual university ‘Origin’ game.
The Queensland and NSW universities teams will collide at Suzuki Stadium at Coorparoo on October 8.
The Australian Universities team to represent the country at the 2017 Festival of World Cups will be chosen from the match.
NRL players to have previously played in that game include Lote Tuqiri, Mark Tookey and Nick Kenny.
Current NRL players Anthony Don (Gold Coast Titans) and Matt Parcell (Manly Sea Eagles) both recently played for their state and national university teams.
The Australian University Rugby League recently announced former Canberra and Warriors coach Matt Elliot would coach the national side in the World Cup that will take place next July in Sydney.
Queensland Universities Residents Team
1. Cameron Jones - QUT
2. Patrick Robinson - GU Dragons
3. Quillan Pritchard-Malaki - QUT
4. Hale Vaihu - GU Dragons
5. Albert Robertson - GU Logan Redbacks
6. Nick Trevisiol - QUT
7. Geoff Fabila - ACU
8. Mason Pakai - QUT
9. Blake Trace - QUT
10. Tyrone Girle - GU Logan Redbacks
11. Jack Peoples- ACU
12. James Fuli - GU Logan Redbacks
13. David Todd - UQ
14. Julian Conboy - GUGC
15. Jack Watson - QUT
16. Chris Proctor - GUGC
17. Panapa Asiata - GU
18. Richard Tengdui - ACU
Head Coach- Jamie Dowse - QUT
Assistant Coach - Nathan Osborne -GU Logan Redbacks
Manager – Grant Stephenson - URLQ
Assistant Manager - Aimee Wildman- GU Dragons
Trainer- Henry Ilga - QUT