Cook wishes Maroons debutant Lowe luck – but not too much

As much as believes South Sydney teammate Ethan Lowe has earned his Origin debut, Blues linchpin Damien Cook won't cut the versatile back-rower any slack if their paths cross on Wednesday night.

Lowe's place in the Queensland 17 was confirmed on Tuesday night, with the Rabbitohs forward one of three Maroons debutants presented with their jerseys along with Corey Norman and Christian Welch.

Cook said he learned his clubmate was in line to replace veteran back-rower Matt Gillett in the team Whatsapp group after Gillett was ruled out on Tuesday morning.

"It's good to see Lowey getting a start in the jersey," Cook told NRL.com.

"All the [Rabbitohs] boys were congratulating him on his achievement. It's awesome to see him in that jersey."

Cook said Lowe had been a fantastic pick-up for Souths this year, particularly given his versatility and experience once injuries started to bite the club.

"He's a player that's going to do anything for you on the field," Cook added.

"He's done a job for us in the centres, back row and he's strong both sides of the ball. I can't speak highly enough of Lowey and I wish him luck – but not too much! I wish him luck for his first game but we're going out to get the win tomorrow against him."

While Lowe's preferred spot is edge back row – where he is expected to play for the Maroons – he has also covered centre for Souths amid a backline injury crisis at times.

"His versatility on the field, he's a big body, runs a good line, he's strong in 'D', he's got ball skills and used to be a goal kicker up there (at the Cowboys) as well so he's sort of the all-round player we've been lucky to have this year with injuries in certain positions, centre being one and his preferred position is second row and he's done a great job for us," Cook said.

"He's a very experienced player for his age and obviously played in the grand final when they won in 2015. It will faze him a little bit because it's his first game of Origin but his big game experience will kick in there."

Of his own preparations, Cook said new halfback Mitch Pearce had slotted into the new spine combinations seamlessly.

"That combination of Jimmy (Maloney) and Pearcey, they've obviously played a lot of footy together before so that combination is straight back to what it was," Cook said.

"I know my role, when the halves want the ball I've got to give it to them so it hasn't been an issue on my part and he's slotted straight in, he's been really good and brought the energy this week at training and he's really excited to play. I'm looking forward to getting out and playing alongside him."