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'From the first time to the 20th time, it's special' -Papalii

Every time Queensland Maroons mainstay Josh 'Big Papa' Papalii pulls on his jersey, all he wants to do is rip in for the state, for his family, for his friends and for his team mates. 

Papalii will become the 31st player to play 20 games for the Maroons when he lines up for State of Origin Game III tonight. 

The 29-year-old received the FOGS Dick 'Tosser' Turner Medal from coach Paul Green during an emotional presentation which included a video message from the last recipient of the medal Matt Gillett. 

"Great achievement," Gillett said. 

Matt Gillett sent a message into the bubble.
Matt Gillett sent a message into the bubble.

"We all know you're a man of few words, but you definitely lead with your actions on the footy field. You're the leader of that pack as it stands at the moment... no doubt you'll be going out and leading the pack, leading from the front and doing the state proud. 

"What a journey that you've been on to get to this stage. I loved every second of playing alongside you on that footy paddock. Everyone can depend on you. Rip into them. Do whatever it takes to win the game. 

"No doubt the boys will be behind you, supporting you. No doubt the wife and the kids will be right behind you. Hopefully the result goes our way and you get to enjoy and experience a win, playing 20 games for Queensland. 

"Go out and give it to them... rip in and hopefully you get to enjoy a XXXX after the game."

Papalii getting his 20th jersey. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Papalii getting his 20th jersey. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

Papalii said it meant everything to him to run out wearing the Maroons jersey.

"From the first time to the 20th time, it's special... I just can't wait," Papalii said.

Papalii training this week. Photo: Scott Davis/QRL
Papalii training this week. Photo: Scott Davis/QRL

"I'm very honoured. It's always a privilege putting that jersey on. Receiving it off Paul Green and then Matty Gillett's video... it's obviously very special, very emotional. I just want to do the state proud. 

"I think we're going to go good. We obviously trained pretty well all week. I'm always confident, every time I put that jersey on. Tonight's going to be no different.

"We just need to do our job and stay focused and hopefully sink a few XXXX after the game." 

FOGS Dick 'Tosser' Turner Medal recipients

  • Martin Bella
  • Greg Conescu
  • Trevor Gillmeister
  • Allan Langer
  • Gary Larson
  • Wally Lewis
  • Bob Lindner
  • Darren Lockyer
  • Mal Meninga
  • Gene Miles
  • Steve Price
  • Dale Shearer
  • Matt Sing
  • Darren Smith
  • Paul Vautin
  • Kevin Walters
  • Shane Webcke
  • Petero Civoniceva
  • Cameron Smith
  • Johnathan Thurston
  • Nate Myles
  • Billy Slater
  • Brent Tate
  • Greg Inglis
  • Sam Thaiday
  • Matt Scott
  • Cooper Cronk 
  • Justin Hodges
  • Darius Boyd
  • Matt Gillett 
Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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