I reckon anyone writing off the Maroons this year could be in for a surprise...
With Wayne Bennett naming his 27-man squad this week Queenslanders have been given plenty of reasons for optimism.
Over the past few months, we have all heard plenty about injuries, unavailability and the lack of experience in the Maroons ranks. In fact, if you believed a lot of what was being written down south, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if Bennett had started plucking players straight out of school in order to cobble a side together.
Instead, he has come up with a list that he and his assistant coach Mal Meninga will be itching to start working with. Far from being inexperienced, 10 of the squad have already played Origin. They are also in good form, with six playing in Sunday’s grand final and 10 having been involved in last week’s final-four play-off.
There is arguably the best front rower in the game in Josh Papalii, form five-eighth Cameron Munster, Origin specialist Dane Gagai, tough-as-teak hooker Jake Friend and the ultimate competitor in half-back and captain Daly Cherry-Evans.
Add to them exciting up-and-comers like AJ Brimson, Harry Grant and Tino Fa’asaumaleaui and I reckon you have the making s of a side that just might be lifting the Origin trophy at Suncorp Stadium on November 18.
What do YOU reckon?