Inaugural GIO NSW Under-20s captain Boyd Cordner will draw inspiration from current and former Roosters captains and Origin reps Braith Anasta and Craig Fitzgibbon and study partner Sam Perrett when he leads the “Baby” Blues in the Toyota Under 20s State of Origin at Penrith this weekend.
The Roosters second rower, who has played 13 NRL games since his debut last year, was this week named to play in the historic battle with Queensland for the Darren Lockyer Shield at Centrebet Stadium on Saturday.
“I really like the concept; there is a lot of talent in the Toyota Cup and it has been very successful so an event like this is timely,” said Cordner.
“I was over the moon when I found out I had made the team but to be named captain as well is a great honour; I feel very humbled and privileged.
“Playing under Braith Anasta who is one of the best leaders I have ever had, I will take something from his book and put my own stamp on it along with what I have learnt from (assistant coach) Craig Fitzgibbon.
“He has been really good to me at the Roosters with advice, having played in the same position and as a former captain of the club.
“Sam Perrett is also a good mentor. We have been doing the Certificate 4 in Building Construction together and I have learnt a lot from him on and off the field.”
Cordner said the Toyota Cup policy of ‘no study, no work, no play’ is a “brilliant idea” and provides a good balance for players in preparing them for life after football.
In line with that policy, eight of the players selected for the Under 20s Origin are studying at university; five are doing apprenticeships; four are in traineeships; 12 are doing Certificate III/ Diplomas; and seven are in general employment.
From Bachelor of Science, Business and Education degrees to apprentice builders, plumbers and electricians, the players come from a wide and varied range of study and work backgrounds.
The teams, to be coached by former Origin greats and now Melbourne Storm coaching colleagues Dean Pay (NSW) and Kevin Walters (QLD), will go in to camp at Penrith later today and will have their first training sessions tomorrow.
All players selected have played in the Toyota Cup, while the GIO NSW team includes six players with NRL experience – Cheyse Blair (Eels), Jacob Miller (Wests Tigers), Harry Siejka (Panthers), Matt Groat (Wests Tigers), Boyd Cordner (Roosters) and Alex McKinnon (Knights).
The Queensland team has made one change since the teams were announced on Monday with Korbin Sims ruled out with a broken finger. He has been replaced by the Broncos’ Travis Peeters.
Toyota will donate a $1000 education grant to the Man of the Match on Saturday night.
GAME DAY DETAILS:
Date: Saturday, April 21
Venue: Centrebet Stadium, Penrith
NSWRL Harold Matthews - Week 2 Finals: 3:35pm
NSWRL SG Ball Cup - Week 2 Finals: 5:20pm
Toyota U/20's State of Origin: 7:30pm
Tickets to the 2012 Toyota Under 20's State of Origin clash are available through ProTicket.
Ticketed Club Members will be able to gain access to this match for free.
Junior Pass Card Holders who have activated their cards will also be able to gain free entry to this game.