Fresh faces in Walters’ 2020 Maroons squad
TO THE surprise of absolutely nobody, Mackay’s talented trio of Dane Gagai, Daly Cherry-Evans and Kalyn Ponga were today named in the 33-man Queensland Maroons squad for 2020.
Gagai, 28, will reprise his role in Maroon for a sixth year, having debuted in 2015.
Cherry-Evans, who got his first State of Origin start in 2013, will look to add to his 10 Queensland caps next year.
Barring injury, breakout star Ponga will almost certainly add to his three-game Origin total in the 2020 series.
In a strategic move away from the traditional Emerging Origin camp, Maroons coach Kevin Walters decided he wanted the complete squad at the pre-season camp to begin preparations for the 2020 campaign.
“We want the 2020 Origin squad to spend as much time together to build their relationships off the field as well in their specific positions,” Walters said.
“It is also a wonderful opportunity for those who haven’t experienced State of Origin football to mix in and spend time with current team members.
“There has always been a strong bond and mateship between Queensland players and we will continue to drive that message over the two-day camp.”
Ten of those selected for the 2020 squad are yet to don a Maroons jersey.
Canberra Raiders wrecking ball Corey Horsburgh, who has been part of the Queensland Emerging Origin Program, is in the line-up alongside Cronulla Sharks speed demon Ronaldo Mulitalo, who ran out for the Queensland Under 20 side this year.
The other eight yet to debut are AJ Brimson, Kurt Capewell, Kyle Feldt, Phillip Sami, Jake Friend, Reed Mahoney, Thomas Flegler, and Jaydn Su’A.
Four players who formed part of the 15-strong 2019 Emerging Origin squad – Joe Ofahengaue, Christian Welch, David Fifita and Corey Norman – earned a Maroons call-up this year following camp in January.
The 2020 Maroons squad will get together in Brisbane at the start of February.
QUEENSLAND MAROONS 2020 SQUAD