Since the very first State of Origin game in 1980, Queensland Maroons teams have featured some outstanding Indigenous talent, with some players regarded as the best to have ever played the game.
With the first part of the men's State of Origin camp falling during National Reconciliation Week, it was a perfect time to get the thoughts of some current Maroons squad members on their favourite Indigenous Maroons players.
Who is your favourite Indigenous Maroons player?
"My favourite Indigenous player – JT would have to be up there, Matty Bowen… it’s a tie!"
"That’s not easy, but I’m going with GI. He’s hard to go past."
"GI. Straight away. I couldn’t go past GI."
"Matty Bowen, 100 per cent. I used to put my collar up like he did and that intercept he took, that was the number one highlight of Origin for me growing up... Matty Bowen."
23 - Matty Bowen's intercept try
"Johnathan Thurston, the way he competed for Queensland, he was the ultimate competitor and he came up with some really big moments and he’s an idol of mine and someone I looked up to as a kid... he has got plenty of great moments for Queensland."
"JT is up there, but I have to say Arthur Beetson."
"The Pearl (Steve Renouf). He’s an ex-Bronco as well and has had an amazing career."
"Geez, can’t put me on the spot like that... there has been a fair few good ones. Probably Matty Bowen, only because I used to love watching him when I was a kid up in Townsville. When I think of Origin and him, I think of that intercept try."
"There’s so many picks, but I can’t go past GI. He’s a big game player, always wore his heart on his sleeve and always played his best when he could."
Greg Inglis, simply brilliant
"I have to say GI. There’s so many, but I was more starstruck by him in my first Origin camp. I couldn’t believe I was sitting next to GI and I got to play golf with him. That was pretty surreal."
"Johnathan Thurston. I was lucky enough to be in the same team at the back end of his career and I saw how much hard work he puts in. I probably didn’t realise it at the time how hard it is to win and how much hard work you have to put in to win and he was always the forefront of that. I was lucky to have him as a role model and leader at such a young age."
"My favourite Indigenous player to play for Queensland would be Matty Bowen, when he took that intercept to score that try, it was pretty cool to watch. I obviously watched him growing up, he was probably my idol growing up. Scoring that try was a pretty cool moment to watch on TV."
This is the first instalment of "Set of six" where we get to know more about what Origin means to the current Maroons squad. Stay tuned to QRL.com.au for more insights from the players.