Moeaki Fotuaika says even though he has been picked in the initial Queensland side, he doesn’t know how he will react if Wayne Bennett reads his name in the final team list for Origin One.
“To be honest, I don’t know what I would say but I would just be over the moon, happy and stoked,” Fotuaika said.
“I’ve always watched it every year when Origin is on and to play it would just mean the world to me.”
The 20-year-old forward joins team-mates AJ Brimson and Phillip Sami as potential Queensland debutants in 2020, with Jai Arrow also named to return to the maroon jersey.
“I’m a proud Queenslander,” Fotuaika said.
“I’ve always supported Queensland ever since I knew about State of Origin.”
Born in Gisborne, New Zealand, Fotuaika moved to Queensland when he was seven and went to school on the Gold Coast at Keebra Park.
He made his NRL debut as just 18 and in 2019 was the youngest ever winner of the Paul Broughton Medal as the Titans best and fairest.
Despite his age, former Queensland Origin great Petero Civoniceva says Fotuaika is ready for the challenge of Origin.
"Despite his young age he plays with that promise and grit that are needed in his position," Civoniceva told NRL.com
"His selection is warranted and it is a great thing for him and Queensland that he is getting that recognition that he thoroughly deserves.
"I am confident he can take the next step into representative football, and it doesn’t get any bigger than State of Origin.
Fotuaika says he hopes he can follow in the footsteps of Civoniceva and will use Petero’s game as a guide for how to perform on the big stage.
“For myself being a middle man, I’ve always looked at players that played in the same position as me,” Fotuaika said.
“I’ve always looked at the likes of Petero, Shane Webcke and even Matt Scott.
“Those type of blokes just do the job well in the middle and get the team forward and they don’t take a backward step when they come up against the New South Wales team and that’s something I want to build my game around.”