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Hodges named young Maroons coach

Hodges named young Maroons coach
New under-20s Queensland coach Justin Hodges. Copyright: NRL Photos.

Queensland State of Origin great Justin Hodges has been named coach of the Maroons under-20s.

Hodges, who played 24 State of Origin games before his NRL retirement at the end of 2015, will replace Kurt Wrigley, who coached the side the past two years.

"It is a great honour, it is something I don't take lightly," he said.

"I've come a full 360. I never thought I would be a coach but it is something I really enjoy at the moment."

Hodges said he was eager to share the knowledge he had acquired over his career with the upcoming generation of players adding "mateship" would be the key ingredient to a breakthrough against the young NSW team.

"You almost get brought to tears every time you speak about the Queensland jersey," he said.

"The people that wore it before me were great warriors and that is something I want to try and instil in these young guys."

"It's important that the boys come into camp and we create a bond and friendship that you see with the (senior) Queensland side."

Since retiring at the end of 2015, Hodges has been involved in mentoring the Queensland under 16s and is currently the assistant coach of the Brisbane under-20s.

While Hodges hopes to one day coach the Broncos, he says he is happy to learn as much as he can for now.


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