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Tatey’s top five Origin teammates

Brent Tate is a passionate Queenslander.

The talented centre, who hails from Roma - FOG #134 - played 23 games for the Queensland Maroons between 2002 and 2014. He loved every minute and every teammate, but there were five who really stood out for him.

“They're all my favourites, in all honesty… they were all my bloody favourites,” Tate said.

“But there were a special few. I don't want to go with the guns Cam Smith, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, because everyone goes those blokes. We all loved playing with those blokes. We honestly did.

“It's nice to have some of the unsung heroes mentioned as they're equally important to Queensland's success, especially in that period we had.”

Tatey's top five

1. Karmichael Hunt 

"First off was a player who didn't play too much Origin but when I did play with him, I just absolutely respected his toughness and that's Karmichael Hunt. I remember playing with K… I think he played No.6 and we were down troops.. K had to play in the front line and he was used to playing fullback. I will never ever forget, he flew out of the line and he flogged Greg Bird off the scrum. I just loved watching K's toughness. When he played fullback, he'd bring the ball back really hard. That was really, really inspiring to me. When I played Origin, I just loved playing with him. K was really confident, always a really confident person. Confident in his ability, confident in who he was. I really respected that. He came into Origin and footy pretty early, but he was always really self-assured, K, and that showed in the way he played his footy."

2. Darren Lockyer

"I used to love playing with Locky. I think everyone would probably say that. I will never, ever forget the calmness Locky brought to Origin. In a specific moment in 2006, third game in Melbourne when I think they'd scored their second try to get eight or 10 points ahead, the wheels had come off the team and Locky's calmness - and his captaincy - kept everyone on track. If we didn't have Locky that night, we wouldn't have won. He is certainly one I loved and was an absolute favourite to play with. Locky was pretty quiet. Give him a few beers and that changes, but he is pretty quiet. He's not a guy that is always in the middle of a conversation. Locky is very much in the background and he's always been a quieter sort of bloke. But always good to be around, always fun to be around. I loved what Locky did on and off the field, as captain. He used to have a real presence around the group. He's the sort of guy that when you looked in the dressing shed, and looked around, he would inspire you."

3. Justin Hodges

"The other player I used to love playing Origin with was Justin Hodges. Hodgo was one of the toughest, most competitive blokes you'd come across. Hodgo did have a presence when he played. You always knew Hodgo was going to play well. Outside of the start of his Origin career, Hodgo was brilliant for Queensland. I remember Mal Meninga always referring to Hodgo and the way he played… it would have a huge influence on the team when we'd run out. He's the sort of bloke you just knew he was going to aim up and compete really hard. I played a lot of my Origin outside of Hodgo and you know, watching him go from dummy half and take those really tough carries out of trouble... he'd always have a real touch of brilliance somewhere in the game. So, I just to loved playing with Hodgo, because in my position I could really rely on him turning up and being where I needed him to be. Hodgo was a hell of a player and one of those players that when you talk about presence, on the footy field, he had a huge presence when we were playing. Off the field, Hodgo is always the life of a conversation, always front and centre of any team activity or team bant… Hodgo was right in the middle of it. That was always good fun. Hodgo was always confident in his ability and I think that's why he thrived in the Origin arena. He was really confident and knew how to get the job done. He backed himself, all the time. I talk about brilliance, but Hodgo wasn't afraid to do the hard stuff either. If there was tough carries or big defensive plays to be made, Hodgo wasn't scared of making those plays. That's his personality."

4. Greg Inglis

"I loved playing with GI. The reason I'm going Greggy is because I've never, ever seen anyone - and this goes for all the big guns like Smithy, Cooper, Billy… no one had a bigger effect on the team than Greggy. When Greggy got into camp on day one, you knew, you could tell straight away, if he was going to play well or not. I always remember when you could see the look in Greggy's eyes… he'd get into camp and you could see it or feel it... we'd all get really excited.  We'd all get around going ‘Greg is on, Greg is on'. When you knew Greggy was on, you knew you'd either be winning the game or competing in it right up until the very end because at times during those games.... I get goosebumps talking about it... there's just no one more damaging or who could have as big of an influence on one play in a game. Origin is about moments and sometimes you can miss those moments, but when Greggy got his moments, he never missed them. When he was on, mate, everyone in the Queensland team including Mal would know we were going to be really competitive. You just knew Greggy was going to do some damage.  I just always remember down that left hand side of the field, Greggy and Darius Boyd would make the opposition look stupid. Greggy looked like a man amongst boys sometimes when he played. That influence that he had over the whole group... I don't think there's been a particular player that I've seen, when you knew he was on, that would get the whole team excited about what was going to happen. Greggy is quiet without being quiet. Always really respectful. Greggy was always really respectful, always about the group, always about the team. He was really passionate about playing for Queensland and I love that about him." 

5. Steve Price

"I'm going to say my brother-in-law Pricey. I loved playing with Pricey. Obviously, being family, I just really enjoyed playing with him. It was really special for us as brother-in-laws and growing up together, to play together in the Origin arena. The great thing about him, too, is I don't ever remember him having a bad game for Queensland. With him and Petero Civoniceva in the front row, you just knew they were always going to get you going forward, always going to have a big game and get the job done. He played Origin for a long, long time and I can't remember him ever having a bad game. He's a bloody great player. Pricey is definitely one of my favourites. Pricey is again, one of the blokes who is really respectful, always a bit older… one of the statesmen in the group coming through, a big dad being around everyone. Very experienced, and like Locky, a calm head when playing. We had some nice moments."

Special mentions

"I can’t do this without some special mentions. Corey Parker and Scott Prince are my really good mates. I loved playing with those two blokes. Again, like with Pricey, when I ran out with them it made me try even harder because they were my best mates and I wanted to do really well for those guys. So yeah, I think they're definitely special mentions. The night playing with Princey at Suncorp, it took a long time to get back in the team, I was defending outside him and I wanted to make sure that he had a really good night and enjoyed his experience . I always remember running out looking for Coz because he was my mate and I always remember that'd be one of the last things I'd do as we ran out… I'd eyeball Coz, because he's my mate and I knew he had my back." 

 

 

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