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Milestone man Ben Hunt has always said whenever the call comes through to represent Queensland in State of Origin – it’s one he will answer.

His never say no mindset will see him play in his 20th match for the Maroons next Wednesday night, earning him a FOGS Dick “Tosser” Turner medal, something the Queensland hooker said was “a huge honour” to achieve.

“I was always happy just to play one, but to get to 20 is a massive achievement and something I am very proud of,” Hunt said.

“You look at the list of the guys that have made it and to be in their company is something I am very proud of and honoured to share the Tosser (Turner) Medal (with them).”

Hunt – who has been sharing the hooking duties in recent series with Harry Grant – made his Queensland debut off the bench in the 2017 decider at Suncorp Stadium, the venue for next week’s series closer and has experienced the highs and lows of Origin.

Coming out the other side of the team’s heavy loss in Game Two, Hunt was hoping to see the team learn from their poor performance and turn things around.

After claiming Game One in Sydney, the Maroons have previously gone on to win seven series (1988, 1995, 1998, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2022) and lose only one (1994), with Hunt keen to play in front of a home crowd to try and clinch another decider. 

A decider in Brisbane? Yes please!

“It was definitely a bad defeat down in Melbourne and something that we are looking to improve on,” Hunt said.

“We had a look at the Melbourne game and it was definitely a tough watch, that is for sure. Billy [Slater] definitely had honest conversations with a fair few of us.

“I don’t think there were many guys in that game that could say they played a good game of footy. It was a tough video session, but one we needed.

“In 2022, we had a pretty bad loss in Game Two and came to Brisbane and won in a tight game. I think it is going to be like that Wednesday night. It is going to be a tough battle and a tight game and one both teams are going to be up for. We just need to draw on everything we can, embrace the crowd at Suncorp and get a win.

“Coming back to Suncorp, it is always the place we play our best footy. It is our home ground and a place where you don’t like to lose. It brings out the best in us.”

Ben Hunt with Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans in Queensland camp.
Ben Hunt with Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans in Queensland camp. ©Chloe Davis / NRL Images

Now 34 years old, the St George Illawarra Dragons captain and halfback has plenty of experience to share with the Queensland squad, but his advancing age – and that of his skipper Daly Cherry-Evans – have seen questions asked about if this will be his final campaign in maroon.

“It could be. It is not something I have given a lot of thought to,” Hunt said. “At the moment, I am enjoying playing Origin. Towards the end of the year of in the off-season, I might have a think about that, but at the moment I am enjoying myself.

“I have always said that as long as Billy is going to call I’d be happy to play.

"It is always a huge honour to play Origin, but I think it is going to come to a point where I will make a decision at some stage.

“I am not too sure about the old fella (Cherry-Evans). He doesn’t seem to be ageing at all.

“He is playing excellent footy and seems like his body is in good nick and he is looking after himself.”


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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