Ipswich talent Milford, Ofahengaue and Greinkein in U20s
IPSWICH has provided three players to the Queensland Maroons under-20 squad to be coached by fellow Ipswich product Kevin Walters.
Canberra Raiders star Anthony Milford and Brisbane Broncos under 20s Joe Ofahengaue and Brett Greinke were yesterday named in the team that will try to avenge last year's under-20 loss to NSW.
Walters believes the groundwork from the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) training camps earlier this year will prove invaluable in Saturday night's annual representative match.
"These players are the future of State of Origin," Walters said.
"The majority of our players who have been named today were involved in our QAS Junior Emerging Origin squad earlier this year, so it shows our selectors are not only getting it right, but the players themselves are improving all the time and benefiting from the pathways on offer.
"We've got a really good mix of players who have been involved in the under-20s, Intrust Super Cup and NSW Cup, as well as a number of players with National Rugby League experience," Walters said.
Milford and Corey Oates are regulars with their respective NRL clubs, while a number of other squad members are on the fringe of top grade selection.
Raiders livewire Milford will take on a leadership role.
"We're delighted to have Anthony in the Queensland team," Walters said.
"We understand there is going to be a lot of discussion around eligibility but this is a pretty simple one - Anthony is eligible for Queensland, he wants to play for the Maroons and he's been selected.
"Anthony has been right through our pathways, from club football with the Souths Logan Magpies through to the Queensland Academy of Sport squad and various Queensland under-age representative teams."
Queensland squad: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Nene MacDonald, 3 Brenko Lee, 4 Brendan Elliot, 5 John Folau, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Jaelen Feeney, 8 Lloyd Perrett, 9 Kierran Moseley, 10 Christian Welch, 11 Corey Oates, 12 Patrick Mago, 13 Luke Bateman, 14 Cameron Munster, 15 Francis Molo, 16 Brett Greinke, 17 Joe Ofahengaue, 18 Jayden Nikorima.