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Damon Marshall: 'It's such a special honour'

Born and bred in Townsville, Queensland Under 19 lock Damon Marshall cannot wait to don maroon.

A proud Queenslander who looked up to Queensland Maroons star Greg Inglis as a child, Marshall said taking small steps towards achieving great things in the game was always the goal.

Marshall, who went to Ignatius Park College in Townsville, played for the Townsville Blackhawks in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competition last year before being picked up by the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.

He captained the Blackhawks to the 2022 grand final, where they were beaten by Souths Logan Magpies.

Playing in the 2022 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup grand final. Photo: Josh Woning/QRL
Playing in the 2022 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup grand final. Photo: Josh Woning/QRL

Marshall, who represented Queensland Under 17 Country in 2021, said playing for the Bulldogs was "going good, a new experience". 

"Big move for me, but it's going really well," Marshall said, adding his rugby league journey started in Townsville and that's where he'd been until now.

"I've been in Townsville my whole life until this year. I was a Western Lions junior and I just started playing because all my cousins played.

"Everyone used to watch footy every night, so I just fell in love with it from a young age."

Prior to heading to the Bulldogs, Marshall said the biggest influence on him at the Blackhawks was this year's Hastings Deering Colts coach Roy Baira.

"Roy Baira, he took me under his wing," Marshall said.

"He had really big talks to me... he sees how I hard I work and he made me realise that maybe I can go somewhere."

Marshall said the thing that kept him in the game and kept him striving to get to the top level was the fact that rugby league brought everyone together.

"Rugby league is really big in my family... it's always brought everyone together, especially State of Origin," Marshall said.

"We'd all go over to my nan's house, see each other. Brought up around it and it's brought my family closer together, so I love it. I live for it."

Marshall said he always looked up to Maroons great Greg Inglis.

"Everyone loved Greg Inglis... he is a big role model for me, especially being Indigenous as well. Watching him, it was spectacular," Marshall said.

"He was just a monster, you know, he was so aggressive, just played with his heart on his sleeve. It's something I looked up to heaps, especially because he was Indigenous. He was just a monster... he always gave 110 per cent every single time."

Marshall said getting the opportunity to don maroon as part of the Queensland Under 19 team was "a special honour". 

"It's been a really big goal of mine for the past year... to represent my family back home, especially since I'm not living back home anymore, just to represent them, represent the whole of Queensland.... I'm just really looking forward to it," Marshall said.

In camp for the Queensland Under 19 side. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL
In camp for the Queensland Under 19 side. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

"It's such a special honour that I hope all of us take to the best of our ability."

Queensland Under 19 assistant coach Nathan Cross said Marshall had been outstanding in the SG Ball competition in New South Wales this year.

"He’s got a really high work rate and he’s also got a very good pre-line pass for the middle forward. He’s got excellent support play," Cross said.

Marshall said his goal come Thursday night was to put in the best effort he possibly could.

"Just work on the little things... the one-percenters, the maroon way to play," Marshall said.

"Just working when no one else wants to work, you know, just keep chopping at it. Little one-percenters, little effort areas. That's what I pride myself on.

"Hopefully if everyone can get those little one-percenters done, it will equate to a bigger picture.

"Everyone was chosen for a reason. We've all been performing back in our local league clubs. I'm 100 per cent confident that we can get the job done."


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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