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Roosters prop Lindsay Collins.

Roosters prop Lindsay Collins is on track to follow in the footsteps of his famous grandfather and represent Queensland at the highest level.

The 24-year-old prop joined Roosters veteran rake Jake Friend as the two additions to the Maroons extended squad on Wednesday.

Their inclusion takes the number of Queenslanders named for this year's State of Origin series to 16 after Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga withdrew to have shoulder surgery.

A further 11 players will be added to the squad in the next fortnight from the remaining four sides in the NRL finals series.

Collins is the grandson of former Kangaroo and Queensland three-quarter Lionel Williamson who was named in the Newtown team of the century in 2008.

Williamson, who hailed from Innisfail, also played for NSW when he was based in Sydney with the Jets.

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A former Queensland under 20s representative, Collins enjoyed a breakout season with the Roosters in 2020, playing 19 games before missing the semi-final loss to the Raiders with a minor groin strain.

Collins and Friend are yet to play for the Maroons but are at either ends of their rugby league careers.

Friend had a taste of emerging Maroons camps after making his Roosters debut in 2008 but the presence of Cameron Smith until 2017 meant there was a "no vacancy" sign on the No.9 jersey.

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He was overlooked for Andrew McCullough in the 2018 series and last year Friend suffered a torn biceps and broken arm and was unavailable for selection, with Ben Hunt filling the position with distinction to be Queensland’s Ron McAuliffe Medal winner.

Former Maroons coach Kevin Walters brought the 30-year-old into Queensland camp in the pre-season and was set to give him his Origin debut this year.

The new Broncos coach said his initial Queensland squad selection was a "tremendous and fitting reward" as Friend closes in on realising a childhood dream for the veteran of 263 first-grade games, 20 finals appearances and three premierships.

"Jake has been waiting a long time for this," Walters told

"Knowing Jake and the conversations we have already had I know he will be delighted to get the call-up.

"He is Origin-tough and just made for that arena, and the premierships he has won the last two years have shown he can more than handle it at the highest level.

"When you think of players who have earned their spot, you think of Jake Friend."

New Warriors assistant coach Craig Hodges was the Broncos under 20s coach when Collins was at the club.

Hodges worked closely with Bennett at the time and said the new Maroons mentor would relish coaching the Roosters tyro.

"Wayne will know exactly what he will get from Lindsay, and he can build around that," Hodges told

Roosters veteran Jake Friend.
Roosters veteran Jake Friend. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"He doesn’t deliver a 10 out of 10 one week and a four out of 10 the next. He is an eight out of 10 every week and Wayne loves that.

"Lindsay is an outstanding young fella and it doesn’t surprise me at all that he is making this Origin progression, and he has great bloodlines from his grandfather Lionel Williamson."

Collins always had outstanding aerobic capacity and a big motor as a teenager and has grown into his big frame.

"Lindsay's game has always been based on work ethic and effort. He is not big on the flash parts of the game but all the things you need a prop to do he does really well," Hodges said.

"They have done a fantastic job at the Roosters of bringing him along slowly and now he is more than comfortable at that NRL level and ready to take the next step."

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Queensland Maroons squad members

Jai Arrow (Gold Coast Titans)

AJ Brimson (Gold Coast Titans)

Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans)

Phillip Sami (Gold Coast Titans)

Edrick Lee (Newcastle Knights)

Hymel Hunt (Newcastle Knights)

Valentine Holmes (North Queensland Cowboys)

Coen Hess (North Queensland Cowboys)

Xavier Coates (Brisbane Broncos)

Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos)

Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Josh Kerr (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Harry Grant (Wests Tigers / Melbourne Storm)

Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles)

Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters)

Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters)

* Additional players will be added following NRL finals matches