McGuire, Tasi & McQueen join Emerging Maroons
The 2012 Queensland Academy of Sport Emerging Origin Squad will feature four newcomers when it assembles in Brisbane next month.
Selectors today named a 14-man squad that includes Broncos pair Dale Copley and Josh McGuire along with Roosters powerhouse Lama Tasi and Rabbitohs utility Chris McQueen.
The quartet will enjoy their first run under the guidance of QAS head coach Wayne Bennett and Maroons maestro Mal Meninga.
This year’s QAS Emerging Origin Squad members Ben Barba (Bulldogs), Justin O’Neill (Storm), Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), Martin Kennedy (Roosters), Jake Friend (Roosters), Matt Gillett (Broncos) and Ben Te’o (Broncos) have again been selected, while Esi Tonga (Eels), Chris Sandow (Eels) and Maurice Blair (Storm) are back in the fold after featuring in 2010.
The QAS program continues to play a key role in the Maroons’ success in the State of Origin arena, with Dane Nielsen the most recent example of the strong link between the Academy and Queensland’s flagship team.
Queensland chairman of selectors Des Morris is pleased with the strength of the 2012 QAS squad and expects some of the players to get an opportunity at a higher level in the near future.
“A few of them have been in the QAS squad before and have improved over the course of the season,” Morris said.
“With the halves, we’ve got a couple of young blokes (Cherry-Evans and Sandow) there to see how they work together. We’re also keen to have a look at a number of new players, including Chris McQueen who has come through the Intrust Super Cup and is now playing well in the NRL in a number of positions.”
The QAS squad will be put through its paces in Brisbane from January 20-22.
QAS Emerging Origin Squad 2012:
Ben Barba (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Justin O’Neill (Melbourne Storm)
Maurice Blair (Melbourne Storm)
Esi Tonga (Parramatta Eels)
Dale Copley (Brisbane Broncos)
Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
Chris Sandow (Parramatta Eels)
Martin Kennedy (Sydney Roosters)
Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters)
Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos)
Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)
Lama Tasi (Sydney Roosters)
Ben Te'o (Brisbane Broncos)
Chris McQueen (South Sydney Rabbitohs)