In an interstate rivalry that has raged since 1980, three Rabbitohs will line up for Queensland in State of Origin’s 100th game, to be played at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night against New South Wales.
Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen and Ben Te’o will again don the Maroon of Queensland for the opening match of what will either shape up to be the Maroon’s ninth straight series win, or the first series win for the Blues in as many years.
Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, is proud to have his three players rewarded for their hard work with selection at Origin level.
“It’s certainly great to see the boys rewarded for their efforts,” said Madge.
“All three of them work very hard at Club level chasing the standards that we’re after as a team and when you do that you stand to reap the rewards.
“Greggy’s (Greg Inglis) obviously been putting in the hard yards, playing some great football and he was rewarded for that with a spot in the Australian team and now for Queensland.
“Both Benny Te’o and Chris McQueen are an important part of what we do here at Souths with their enthusiasm across the park – I think they’ll be out to do the kind of job they did last year.”
The Rabbitohs mentor is certain that the bond the three players share, having been part of a talented Queensland outfit that claimed its eighth straight victory in 2013 has nurtured an even stronger spirit that will prove an imposing challenge for New South Wales this year.
“The three of them played together last year for Queensland’s eighth-straight (series) win, so there’s a bond there for sure that they’ll definitely be out to play for,” said Madge.
“That sort of hard-earned success is the sort of thing that builds teams and you can see that in the way Queensland have gone about their business over the last eight years – building on their success and not resting on it.”
And when Game One is over, Maguire is sure that his Maroon’s contingent of players will return to Redfern with even more enthusiasm on the back of their experience.
“The good thing is that when they come back, the confidence that they gain rubs off on other players,” said Madge.
“Everyone in the team benefits from enthusiasm, and as a team and a Club we’re proud of our players’ achievements.”