McGuire ready to start for Maroons
Queensland prop Josh McGuire says he's ready to step up and start for the Maroons in Game Two of the Holden State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium.
McGuire has played three Origin matches off the interchange bench for Queensland, but a knee injury to regular starter Nate Myles has presented him with a great opportunity to stake his claim as the next Maroons enforcer.
New Zealand Warriors stalwart Jacob Lillyman has come into Queensland's 17, with the 32-year-old expected to start off the bench.
Lillyman was one of the Maroons' best in Queensland's 52-6 victory in Game Three of the 2015 series, but the 32-year-old was overlooked for the Maroons 6-4 win in Game One this year.
Lillyman's likely return to the bench means that McGuire should start for Queensland for the first time, and the 26-year-old says that he would love to make his starting debut, but it's up to the coaching staff to decide what's best for the team.
"I'd definitely love to start. I'm not going to shy away from the fact that I want to start," McGuire said.
"It will come down to whether or not Kevvie (coach Kevin Walters) and the coaching staff want me to start.
"I'm happy to do whatever they want me to do and that'll obviously be what's best for the team.
"It's a hard team to get into, let alone start for."
Game Two will be McGuire's first for Queensland at Suncorp Stadium after missing Game Three of the 2015 series with an Achilles tendon injury.
He has played once in Melbourne and twice in Sydney, and the Brisbane local couldn't hide his excitement when he spoke exclusively to NRL.com.
"I haven’t played an Origin match at Suncorp Stadium before and I'm very excited about the opportunity," he said.
"I feel more comfortable at Suncorp because I play there every week. I love playing there.
"In my opinion it's the home of rugby league.
"It's the best stadium I've ever played at so I'm excited to get the opportunity to play there in front of my friends and family."
McGuire's Broncos have turned Suncorp Stadium into a fortress, with Brisbane having lost just one of their last ten at the ground.
That one loss came to the Wests Tigers in Round 12 of 2016, with the one-point win coming against an Origin depleted Broncos side.
McGuire says his experiences at Suncorp Stadium growing up have helped him perform to his best.
"Growing up I played in a few junior Queensland teams and we used to play the curtain raisers at Suncorp Stadium," he said.
"I played Under 14's, Under 16's and Under 19's for Queensland.
"I was lucky enough to have some games at the ground representing Queensland at a younger level and that's really helped."