Scott sets sights on Maroons greats
They were the pillars on which Queensland's foundation for success was built when Matt Scott made his Origin debut in 2006 and now the Cowboys prop wants to emulate the longevity achieved by Petero Civoniceva and Steve Price.
With 34-year-old Corey Parker the latest Queenslander to signal the end of his representative career attention has once again turned to the next wave of Maroons ready to come in and carry on the legacy of the past decade.
Johnathan Thurston has indicated that next year's series is likely to be his last while Nate Myles, Cameron Smith, Sam Thaiday and Jacob Lillyman are all on the wrong side of 30.
Scott will turn 31 two weeks after Game Three next Wednesday night but says his body is feeling so good he can see himself playing on well into his 30s.
Civoniceva was 36 years and 74 days when he played the last of his 33 Origins in 2012 while Price was 35 years and 125 days when he lined up for the 28th and final Origin game of his career in 2009.
Ahead of his 22nd game for Queensland on Wednesday night, Scott could conceivably surpass Civoniceva as the most capped prop in Origin history if his body continues to hold up and he feels no ill effects from the neck surgery he underwent in the off-season.
"There's no real timeline for me in sight yet. I'm loving the time I have in this team and not thinking about the future too much," Scott said.
"I feel really good. I was talking to my manager this morning about a bit of a plan in place for the next few years and how many years I want to play for.
"I've had a bit of trouble with my neck but touch-wood the rest of the body is really fine.
"It's holding up well, I'm doing everything at training, probably more so than I have in previous years so if I can continue to train and the rest of my body feels good then I don't see there's a reason why I shouldn't be able to achieve the type of longevity that guys like Corey and Petero and Pricey did."
While Queensland have showed no fear of players plus-30 who are playing good footy with their selection of debutant Gavin Cooper this week, Maroons coach Kevin Walters will have to face in the coming years the prospect of a significant change in the playing roster.
That has already begun in part with the selections of Dane Gagai, Justin O'Neill, Josh McGuire and Corey Oates in the last two years but Scott says he intends to hang on to his Queensland jersey for as long as possible.
"There's no succession plan as such but I know there is going to be a lot of personnel changes over the next few years," said the Cowboys co-captain.
"There are a lot of guys over 30 in this group but we're all still playing pretty decent footy and for myself personally I'm not going to be looking at giving the baton over earlier than I have to.
"As long as I can continue to do my job for the team and I'm playing well and deserving selection then I'll be putting my hand up."
The fact that it will be Parker's 19th and final Origin game on Wednesday night was mentioned by Walters ahead of the team's first training session on Thursday morning and reinforced to Scott that you never know exactly when your time is up.
"There is always a huge desire to send them out on a high note," Scott said of Parker's final game providing any extra source of motivation.
"He's another that is very selfless and brings a lot to the team, both on and off the field. He's great to be around, good mates with all the players and what he does on the field is just incredible considering how long he's been doing it for.
"He's been in great form so he doesn't look like he's slowed down any but we all know it comes to an end at some stage for all of us.
"It's probably a little bit earlier than most of us thought but only he knows what's going through his head and his body."