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'It's a memory I'll keep forever': Captain Tino's magic news he treasured sharing

When Billy Slater’s name appeared on Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s phone last Saturday, the Gold Coast captain instantly felt a sigh of relief… but he wasn’t expecting what came next. 

Never taking the opportunity to wear the Maroons jersey for granted, he was glad to have got the confirmation he'll line-up for his state in Game II - even though his place was never in doubt - but what made the conversation with coach Billy Slater even more special was what news he got to share with Beau Fermor and his Titans team.

"It was good to obviously get the phone call from Bill, and it was even better because I got to tell Beau that he was coming on camp with us," Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"Billy let me do the honours of doing that and it's a memory I'll keep forever.

"All the boys jumped up and down on the bus and it definitely brought the spirits up after the loss on the weekend.

"The boys were so happy to get around Beau and he deserves it. He's worked so hard to get here."

'I can't wipe the smile off my face' - Fermor

Heading into his eighth Origin appearance in Maroon, the 22-year-old will move to lock to replace the injured Reuben Cotter - a position Fa'asuamaleaui is no stranger to as his regular club role.

"The difference is just the work ethic. As a lock, they're the ones that do all the little things that other people don't see and that's what I need to do in this game," Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"I've got some big shoes to fill with obviously Reuben Cotter out.

"I've just got to work hard and make sure I do everything good for the team and then I'll take it back to the Titans."

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Although having been to Perth before, this Sunday's clash is the Gold Coast skipper's first in the Origin arena at Optus Stadium, and after watching the disappointing result when Queensland last played there in 2019, he wants to use that as motivation to whatever he can to get the win and wrap up the series in Western Australia.

Whenever I put that Queensland jersey on, I'll do anything for the boys, I'll do anything for the state and for that colour maroon," Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"I just can't wait and I'm excited."

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.