Queensland-born but NSW-raised Christian Hazard is one of several young guns to be added to the QRL's rugby league system via its Junior Emerging Origin squad. Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
He played his junior footy for Taree Red Rovers, attended famed Matraville Sports High in Sydney and starred for the South Sydney under-20s side this season but Queensland Rugby League officials have wasted no time in bringing Christian Hazard into their system.
Toowoomba-born Hazard is one of the new faces in the 23-man QAS Junior Emerging Origin squad that will enter into a four-day camp on January 23 and will be indoctrinated into the way of the Maroons by legendary mentor Wayne Bennett and Maroons under-20s coach Kevin Walters.
It is just the second year that the QRL have convened the junior squad at the Queensland Academy of Sport and it further emphasises their determination to extend their dominance of State of Origin into the next decade.
Hazard was a key figure in guiding the Rabbitohs into the Holden Cup finals series this season and has been welcomed with open arms to the Titans fold following his off-season switch.
Lloyd Perrett, the younger brother of Kiwi international Sam Perrett, has also been included for the first time and will be joined by former Bulldogs under-20s teammate Jaelen Feeney and 2013 Panthers premiership winners Kierran Moseley and Sam Scarlett.
The Brisbane Broncos dominate the squad with eight players selected including the only two members of the squad who have already made their NRL debuts, boom rookie Corey Oates and Jordan Drew.
The senior Emerging Origin Squad is expected to be named by the QRL on Thursday.
QAS Junior Emerging Origin Squad: Jai Arrow, Corey Oates, Joseph Ofahengaue, Francis Molo, Ajuma Adams, Ashley Taylor, Jayden Berrell, Jordan Drew (Brisbane Broncos), Luke Bateman, Patrick Mago, Brenko Lee (Canberra Raiders), Lloyd Perrett (Canterbury Bulldogs), Valentine Holmes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Christian Hazard (Gold Coast Titans), Christian Welch, Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm), Jaelen Feeney (Newcastle Knights), Patrick Kaufusi (North Queensland Cowboys), John Folau (Parramatta Eels), Kierran Moseley, Sam Scarlett (Penrith Panthers), Nene Macdonald, Brendan Elliot (Sydney Roosters). Coaches: Wayne Bennett & Kevin Walters.