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  1. #1
    Junior
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    Default Emerging Maroons Origin squad

    KEVIN Walters has unveiled a small Emerging Maroons squad, which features a 26-year-old Parramatta star and the game’s most exciting young fullback.

    Experienced Eels five-eighth Corey Norman is one of just 11 players to be named in the 2018 squad of potential future State of Origin players.

    He’s joined by the likes of young gun Newcastle recruit Kalyn Ponga, and arguably the game’s best young playmaker in Ash Taylor.

    In the 2017 Origin series there was eight Queensland debutants who graduated from the Emerging camp just a few months earlier.

    But Walters’ 11-man squad is less than a third of the size of Brad Fittler’s Emerging Blues squad unveiled earlier this week.


    “With the smaller numbers it lets the Origin team staff spend more time with the individuals and the players can also spend more time with each other,” Walters said.

    Norman has emerged as a genuine contender for one of the halves spots in 2018, following the representative retirement of Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.

    Corey Norman of the Eels.
    Corey Norman of the Eels.
    Source: News Corp Australia
    Norman flourished in 2017 alongside Eels halves partner — and Emerging Blues halfback — Mitchell Moses and has caught the eye of the Maroons coach.

    “Corey Norman is a player who has been on our horizon for some years and we feel the time is right to bring him in,” Walters said.

    “He gained a lot of maturity with his football this past season.

    “I have spoken to Kalyn (Ponga) and he has indicated that he wants to be part of the Queensland pathways which is very exciting for Kalyn and very exciting for the Queensland Rugby League.

    “He is a player of the future so it is good news for Maroons fans that he has confirmed his allegiance with us.”

    The squad will assemble on the Gold Coast in January for the camp.

    EMERGING MAROONS

    Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)

    Ethan Lowe (Cowboys)

    Felise Kaufusi (Storm)

    Kalyn Ponga (Knights)

    Tautau Moga (Knights)

    Jai Arrow (Titans)

    Lloyd Perrett (Sea Eagles)

    Ashley Taylor (Titans)

    Christian Welch (Storm)

    Corey Norman (Eels)

    Brenko Lee (Titans)


    In a squad of 11 we have 3. I think that’s a good sign for the future.
    Admittedly 2 are new recruits (Brenko really new) but it’s still a positive I think.

  2. #2
    Kangaroo Titanic's Avatar
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    Very positive and our squad is starting to have a vibrant feel about it.
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

  3. #3
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Default

    New recruits, but young ones. That is what we all want to see. Bringing them back home.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!

    Member: TITANS, DIEHARDS, LONDON BRONCOS, WEST COAST PIRATES, HKRL, TORONTO
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  4. #4
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Default

    Ashley Taylor wants to replace Cooper Cronk as Queensland’s halfback in 2018
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/

    TITANS halfback Ashley Taylor has set his sights on replacing Cooper Cronk in the Queensland No. 7 jersey next year.

    The Maroons are on the hunt for a new halfback and five-eighth following the representative retirements of Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.

    Cronk and Thurston played a total of 59 Origins and formed a dominant combination at Queensland’s scrumbase following Darren Lockyer’s retirement in 2011.

    To lose both playmakers in the same year could ultimately be a killer blow to Queensland’s Origin dominance, but the Maroons are blessed with a plethora of talent.

    Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster produced one of the great Origin debuts in this year’s decider and Michael Morgan is the incumbent Kangaroos No. 6.

    Throw Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford and Daly Cherry-Evans into the mix and there are plenty of options for coach Kevin Walters to consider.

    But the 22-year-old Taylor has declared he wants to be part of the discussions.

    The former Maroons under-20s halfback is viewed as a future Queensland Origin player and he is determined to produce the form in 2018 to be considered as Cronk’s successor.

    “There are two spots there, or maybe just one with Michael Morgan, so you’ve got to fight for those positions,” he said.

    “There is a lot to learn there. They are two great players and the ultimate competitors. I’m trying to work hard to get to where they are.

    “It’s a massive goal for me. I’m going to work hard, play the best I can and compete for everything I can to work my way into that squad.

    “There are some elite players in there and a fair few in the mix for the jersey. I want to make sure my name is getting mentioned.”

    Taylor was the only Titans player to feature in all 24 games for the Gold Coast in 2017, a solid achievement in just his second full season in the NRL.

    He could not replicate the form of 2016 which saw him claim Dally M rookie of the year honours, but that was not entirely his fault as the Titans slumped to 15th on the ladder.

    With 47 NRL appearances next to his name, Taylor is quickly becoming an established first grade halfback and recently signed a $3 million dollar deal to remain at the Gold Coast until 2021.

    There was a chance Taylor could have returned to Brisbane, but the indigenous All Stars representative said he wanted to forge his own legacy at the Titans.

    “I didn’t want to take the easy option and the easy option for me was to leave the club,” he said.

    “I want to build a great culture here and be at a good club.

    “We’re heading in the right direction here. We’re getting some high profile players. I want to be part of it.

    “I didn’t really want to leave. I love it on the coast but I still hate the beach.

    “We went surfing the other day and I didn’t enjoy it at all. We had a beach session and I hate sand.”

    Taylor has shown glimpses of the matchwinning brilliance he possesses over the past two years.

    He was one of the NRL’s leading try-creators last season and his booming field goal to beat the Rabbitohs in golden point last year was a career highlight.

    If the Titans are going to bounce back from a horrendous 2017 then Taylor needs to fire and reigning player of the year Anthony Don believes he will.

    “He’s proven he can be the match winner in his two years in first grade,” Don said.

    “He’s only going to get better. He’s still only young. He’s taking a leadership role which is only going to be positive.

    “I’m sure he’s going to keep improving.”

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!

    Member: TITANS, DIEHARDS, LONDON BRONCOS, WEST COAST PIRATES, HKRL, TORONTO
    NUTS

  5. #5
    Kangaroo Titanic's Avatar
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    The cynics will say he's putting a target on his back but for once I don't agree ... at this level he needs to be aspiring to that and if he wants to put it out there, then go right ahead.
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

  6. #6
    Captain Toads's Avatar
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    There's no doubting Ash's physical ability and skills to make it there one day. Though he'll have to overcome that trait that has seen him throw the towel in, mentally, like we witnessed with a handful of games earlier this year.

    I guess that will only improve in time..
    Like Sand through the Hourglass... So are the Days of Our Lives


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