Maroons five-eighth Johnathan Thurston meets Roma school children during the street parade.
Maroons five-eighth Johnathan Thurston meets Roma school children during the street parade. The Western Star

Queensland squad a big hit in Roma

QUEENSLAND second-rower Sam Thaiday says fans and players alike will never forget the Maroons' visit to Roma yesterday.

An estimated 5000 people lined Roma's streets for a parade before the Maroons squad headed to Arthur Beetson Oval for a training run and autograph-signing session as part of the annual Queensland State of Origin fan day.

It was a fitting place for the Maroons to meet their Roma fans, given the impact one of the town's best rugby league talents, Brisbane Broncos legend Darren Lockyer, has had on Queensland Rugby League and Origin.

Fans got jerseys and balls signed, along with having the chance to meet their favourite Queensland players.

For winger Brent Tate it was a chance to return to his home town and catch up with family members, like his aunt and cousins.

Thaiday also said the players took plenty from their whirlwind trip to Roma ahead of taking on New South Wales in game two in Sydney on Wednesday night.

"All in all it was a great day and a great turnout," Thaiday said.

"I'm sure everyone that turned out and the players will remember it.

"The boys enjoyed it and I'm sure we'll take it with us and use it as motivation."

Thaiday also thanked fans for their patience in waiting for signatures, given the big number of supporters on hand.



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