You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Brendan Piakura: 'Living the dream, that is for sure'

Brendan Piakura is still pinching himself after getting a call from Queensland Maroons coach Billy Slater to join camp ahead of State of Origin Game I.

The 22-year-old Brisbane Broncos second rower was at home planning a golf day for Monday when he got the call to tell him he would be named.

"Pretty exciting... still pinching myself that I got the call," Piakura said.

"I actually didn't pick up the phone call. I let it ring out because I didn't have his number saved.

"I called him back. Just crazy to get a call from Billy Slater, one of the best players to play the game. I'm still starstruck. This is where I've wanted to be and now I'm here.

"Just grateful to be here. Speechless, actually. Before I got the call I was organising a golf day for Monday. This is way better.

"Best news to tell your parents and family. Grateful."

Brendan Piakura at training. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Brendan Piakura at training. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

Rugby league for Piakura started at Helensvale Hornets at the Gold Coast and he was part of the 2019 Tweed Seagulls side that won the Mal Meninga Cup grand final; a side that included fellow Maroons squad members Reece Walsh and Xavier Coates.

He has also represented Queensland in the under 16 and 18 age groups, Australian schoolboys and played for Norths Devils in the Hostplus Cup, including in their 2022 grand final win.

"Helensvale Hornets at the Gold Coast, that's where I started around five, six.... went through that club.... kept on playing, stuck at it and here we are," Piakura said.

"JT was my favourite player growing up... he really wore his heart on his sleeve and he wasn't the biggest body but you could always tell he was what Queensland is all about.... that's what I loved about watching him and Queensland play."

Queensland Under 18s. Photo: QRL
Queensland Under 18s. Photo: QRL

Piakura, who made his NRL debut for the Broncos against Cronulla in 2021 and has since played 23 NRL games, including last year's grand final, said he was blown away to now be in Maroons camp, surrounded by the greats of the game including Johnathan Thurston.

"All your idols, all in one place, one team.... that's why Queensland is the best," Piakura said, adding to one day don a Maroons jersey would be a dream.

"One of my biggest dreams is to play for this state and put on that Maroons jersey... I would be so over the moon.... it's the pinnacle of footy in my eyes.

"I would love to put on that jersey one day."

Being named in the squad has not come without hard work for Piakura, who has overcome injury and been in fine form for the Broncos.

"Lots of hard work throughout the pre-season, start of the season... few injuries start of the season but stuck at it," Piakura said.

"I know that my best footy is still ahead of me... I haven't touched my potential yet so I'm just excited for what the future will bring."

This week, Piakura is keen to soak up the Maroons camp experience and learn as much as he can.

"A lot of brains I'd love to pick from this squad and definitely from the coaching staff. So much footy knowledge everywhere.... it's exciting," Piakura said.

"Living the dream, that is for sure."

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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners