Thousands of Gold Coast students returned to school this week, and for a few lucky Titans there will be a bit of extra-curricular learning this weekend when they join the Queensland Maroons for the annual State of Origin and Emerging Origin camps.
Titans stars AJ Brimson, Phil Sami, Jai Arrow and Jarrod Wallace have been chosen to go into camp with the senior Maroons squad, while Tanah Boyd, Juwan Compain, Alofi Khan-Pereira, Tristan Powell and Ioane Seiuli were selected in the Emerging Maroons squad.
Brimson, who had his first taste of the Origin environment last year when he was called into Queensland camp by Maroons coach Kevin Walters, said being a part of the Origin set-up was an opportunity for young players to learn from the game’s elite.
“I can’t wait,” Brimson said. “Obviously (I’ll be with) a few of the boys from here in Phil, Jai Arrow and Jarrod Wallace.
“It is always good going into camp with those types of players, and Cherry-Evans, Ben Hunt and those types of players – just trying to learn what you can off them in a short time.
“You have (Maroons assistant coaches) Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater – all those great players there.
“I just learned about the professionalism of it – the little things they do to get their bodies right, pre-training and post-training – and just trying to take away little things from the likes of Billy Slater into my own game.”
For Boyd, who broke through for his NRL debut last year, going back into camp with the Emerging Origin squad was about the future – ticking boxes for his own personal development and building combinations with current Titans teammates – and future Titan, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui from the Storm.
“It is always good to go to those camps and see some familiar faces. I’ve played in a fair bit of this stuff, and it is always the same boys,” Boyd said.
“It is always good to build those combinations, and now we have big Tino coming (to the Titans) and it is going to be good to talk to him and catch up with what he is feeling about coming to the club.
“If he wants to know anything, I will let him know. When we get into training and things like that it will be good to get those combinations and make him feel comfortable.”