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Tino's top five Origin moments

Queensland Maroons lock and Gold Coast Titans captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, currently sidelined through injury, loves everything about State of Origin.

He loves playing alongside his mates, he loves being able to inspire and positively influence young fans of the game and he loves the fierce rivalry.

“It means a lot…I cherish every moment of it and I never take it for granted,” Fa'asuamaleaui said.

“Hopefully I get the chance to wear the Maroons jersey again.”

Fa'asuamaleaui said Origin during his household growing up was like nothing else.

“I think similar to other people, you think about it all day, or all week to be honest, and when the day comes, you’re just excited to get home and sit down with your family, eat heaps of food and celebrate it, watch the big game,” Fa'asuamaleaui said.

“It was pretty simple but we just loved it. And I’ve loved it ever since I first watched it.”

Fa'asuamaleaui said he loved all Queensland players and he always struggled to narrow down who he was cheering loudest for.

“Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges were all my era when I was watching… Israel Folau as well… but I could name the whole squad,” Fa'asuamaleaui said.

“I just loved watching Queensland play, as a whole. And now, I am so grateful to be part of it and hopefully I can continue to be for the rest of my career.”

Fa'asuamaleaui said it was an honour to be one of the people inspiring the next generation of rugby league players.

“It’s crazy to me… I never thought I would get to play one NRL game let alone 12 Origin games now, so I’m grateful,” Fa'asuamaleaui said.

“It means so much to me to see kids and go and do clinics with them and they’ve got the Queensland jersey on, and they're looking at me like I was looking at players when I was young, and that just makes me motivated to play good for them and be that good Queenslander for them.

“Represent the state and be up for them.”

Mic'd up: Tino and Buddy Lander run amok

 Tino’s top five Origin moments

1. Ben Hunt’s runaway try

“As a player, it would be Ben Hunt’s try. Because I was part of that. Me and Patty Carrigan were actually the kick pressure on the inside and I remember as it all went down and it was kind of a blur. We just saw Hunty sprinting down the field and then we just hugged each other, me and Patty, and put our hands up to the sky. We were both just so happy and hugging each other. It was a pretty cool moment… definitely one I’ll remember forever.”

With Ben Hunt. Photo: NRL Imagery
With Ben Hunt. Photo: NRL Imagery

2. Gorden Tallis’ ragdoll

“Definitely as a kid watching it was Gorden Tallis and that jersey sling. That was all pretty mad. He just ragdolled him. I love that he took him over the sideline like it was nothing… it was pretty cool… love that aggression.”

3. Lindsay Collins jumping over Tedesco

“Lindsay, I thought that was a pretty cool moment. I was on the bench and it was a pretty tight game. We were back in Adelaide, where my debut was, so that was pretty cool, and it was close. And then Lindsay, just out of nowhere, jumps up and secured the game for us. We won. That was a cool feeling. I wish I could have been out there on the field with him but I was celebrating just as hard on the bench.”

4. Queensland’s eight-in-a-row

“The eight-in-a-row for sure. You always knew they were going to win. Even if there was ever a close game, or a loss, they were always going to fight back hard for the series.”

5. Debut

“This should be higher than five. But here it is. Debuting for Queensland was pretty cool, in Adelaide. I never thought I would play an NRL game, let alone Origin. But Wayne Bennett gave me my opportunity back in 2020 and it was so good. A dream come true. I never thought I’d make it but there I was, as a 20-year-old, starting. It was pretty amazing.”

In the sheds: Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

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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