There’s plenty of terrific young talent on display in this year's State of Origin series. The likes of Kalyn Ponga, David Fifita and others will be around for many years to come.
But I’ve embarked on an exercise to look into the future; to put together a future Queensland State of Origin team made up entirely of players yet to play in the NRL.
This means I have to leave out the likes of young Brisbane Broncos half Tom Dearden, along with young Canberra Raiders forward Corey Horsburgh and Parramatta Eels star Reed Mahoney. And plenty of others.
I've only broken my rules with one player, Harry Grant, as he played one game for the Storm in 2018, but I'm so excited about the talented number nine. He has a terrific all round game and is set for a big future in the game.
This team has been put together by looking at competitions like the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup and various Queensland under 16 and under 18 teams in recent times.
So, here it is... have a read and have your say, then bring this back out in seven or eight years to see how many we got right.
Future Queensland State of Origin team
|1.||Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow - Townsville Blackhawks|
|2.||Xavier Coates - Tweed Seagulls|
|3.||Tesi Niu - Souths Logan Magpies|
|4.||Izaia Perese - Redcliffe Dolphins|
|5.||Reece Walsh - Tweed Seagulls|
|6.||Josh James - Norths Devils|
|7.||Sam Walker - Ipswich Jets|
|8.||Tino Fa’asuamaleaui - Sunshine Coast Falcons|
|9.||Harry Grant - Sunshine Coast Falcons|
|10.||Ethan Bullemor - Norths Devils|
|11.||Beau Fermor - Newcastle Knights (Canterbury Cup NSW)|
|12.||Brendan Piakura - Tweed Seagulls|
|13.||Tom Gilbert - Townsville Blackhawks|
It was a tough team to put together because so many have played in the NRL now.
I know there’s a few guns I’ve left out. The likes of Cory Paix, Tanah Boyd, McKenzie Baker and Jack Martin have big futures in the game.
One thing I’m liking with the development of these players is most of them are developing their game in the Intrust Super Cup. While David Fifita is one out of the box, most of these youngsters might have to play week in week out against hardened professionals, which can only help for the future.
Other names will emerge I’m sure and I’m not writing this to put pressure on anyone; it’s a fun exercise in showcasing the great young talent coming through the state of Queensland.
The bottom line - the future looks bright. See if you can add any names to the list.