Rabbitohs assistant coach Kurt Wrigley says he’s very pleased with the attitude of the Queensland under 20s side as they prepare to take on New South Wales under 20s this week.
Wrigley is heading up the Queensland under 20s side as Head Coach in the curtain raiser to Wednesday night’s third State of Origin match at ANZ Stadium.
Wrigley will coach against Rabbitohs player Tevita Cottrell who will line up for New South Wales in this game, and North Sydney Bears Coach Ben Gardiner is also part of the Young Blues’ set up.
Wrigley says the opportunity these players have to train at the elite level is nothing but a positive for their future careers.
“The camp’s been really good. I’m really pleased with the attitude of the team,” Wrigley said from Camp Maroon.
“The boys had the opportunity to train with the Origin team on the weekend which was a great experience for them, and they get to see what it’s like playing and training at that level.”
In his second year as Head Coach of the Queensland under 20s side, Wrigley has not changed much of his formula, and neither has the all-conquering Queensland Origin side.
“Not much is different. We only get three to four days with the boys so we concentrate on a few keys areas and make sure we get those right,” Wrigley said.
“The main change I’ve made is the number of people we’ve brought into the group.
“This year we have Brent Tate in camp with us and he’s a great mentor for the boys.
“We really try and teach them about the Queensland spirit and the history of Origin. We feel that’s very important.
“It’s similar up in the Origin team set up. ‘Kevvie’ (Queensland Origin Coach Kevin Walters) probably hasn’t changed too much from what Mal (Meninga) had set up.
“It’s a bit of a different set up for them this year because the series has already been won. They are a player-driven group and they were very sharp in their session. They are relaxed and enjoying each other’s company.”
Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis will reach a very special milestone in Wednesday night’s Origin clash.
“I caught up with GI after our training session and he looks good. We had a good chat,” Wrigley said.
“He plays his 30th Origin match on Wednesday night and he’s really looking forward to it.
“He’s very aware of how big that milestone is and how importantly it is treated within the Queensland organisation.
“They have a ‘30 Club’ and recognise the guys who have played 30 Origins. It’s similar to playing 300 NRL games in our eyes. It’s huge.”
Wrigley, whose side gets into Sydney on Tuesday morning to prepare for Wednesday night’s clash, says those watching can expect a great attitude from his players.
“We’ve had a good preparation and we will bring our A-game,” Wrigley said.
“This group of players this year are fresher than the group we had last year.
“We had a lot of kids from the Broncos last year who were going through a tough, physical patch in their club footy at the time.
“This year we’ve picked a few guys from the Cowboys, Broncos, Storm and other clubs, and they will all bring a great attitude to this game.
“It’s Origin, and it will be a great experience for everyone involved.”