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Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook.

Having incumbent State of Origin hookers Damien Cook and Andrew McCullough face each other on Thursday night is one of the sub-plots in the Broncos-Rabbitohs round eight clash.

While most eyes will be on coaches Anthony Seibold and Wayne Bennett taking on their former clubs, the Cook-McCullough stoush could be a preview of what's to come on June 5 at Suncorp Stadium in Origin I. Or is it?

Already Ben Hunt is being touted as the new Queensland No.9, with some arguing he would give the Maroons a few more attacking and kicking options.

Cook holds both men in high esteem, but he is an unabashed fan of the Broncos No.9.

"I love watching him play. He's someone who knows how to get his team around really well," Cook said.

"You've got two halves that are runners of the ball up there [at the Broncos] so he's someone who is really controlling the ruck and guiding them around the field. He does a great job of that.

"I get along with him really well. I enjoy coming up against him as one of the great hookers of the game. I've learned a few things from him as well.

"One is game management. And also in attacking. I ran or passed last year and this year I've got to make sure I do my job in getting the forwards around as well and helping the halves. That's something that he does.

He’s someone who knows how to get his team around [the field] really well

Damien Cook on Andrew McCullough

"He’s also just very strong in defence. And that's something you have to do as a hooker – be very strong in defence and it's something I've been working on the last couple of years."

But if the rumours are true and Maroons selectors go for Hunt, it doesn't make Cook's job any easier.

"Ben is a great player. He plays well at half and plays well at hooker. He's pretty crafty around No.9. We'll see which way they go.

"I've just got to make sure I'm playing good footy here and if I get my chance in Origin again I'll worry about that then."

Cook took no offence to the idea that a traditional hooker might be replaced by an experienced halfback at the game's highest level – Origin.

"I’m not a traditional hooker so I don't care that much."

Stats compiled by Stats show that Cook has had a better start to 2019 from an attacking standpoint when compared to McCullough. But what those numbers don't take into account is the leadership offered by the Broncos' hooker.

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