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Fotuaika in, Fifita to miss Game I as Maroons confirm squad

The Titans will only have one Queensland representative for Game I after David Fifita was sensationally overlooked by Billy Slater ahead of the Origin opener on Wednesday week.

Despite an inspirational performance by the barnstorming back-rower that included a mammoth 235 metres across 20 runs, six tackle breaks and two try assists to compliment a solid two months of footy since returning from a pec injury, the performance wasn't enough to convince the Queensland coach of being part of his maiden 2024 squad.

Moeaki Fotuaika has retained his Maroons jersey and has been named on the bench; meanwhile fellow incumbents AJ Brimson and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui are unavailable due to injury.

The single debutant in the Maroons’ 17 is J’maine Hopgood, who has earned his first Origin cap after displaying strong form for the Parramatta Eels over several seasons.

Hopgood was part of the Maroons’ group last year and has featured in several Queensland under age representative teams.

The Game I extended squad for this year’s series opener includes Origin newcomers Brendan Piakura and Ezra Mam, who get their first taste of Camp Maroon following their consistent efforts with the Brisbane Broncos.

Consistency has also paved the way for the return of two players with State of Origin experience – Jaydn Su’A and Felise Kaufusi.

Su’A has earned his first Origin jersey under Slater, having played the most recent of his four games for the Maroons in Game I of the 2021 series.

Kaufusi, a mainstay of the Queensland forward pack between 2018 and 2022, has been named 18th man.

The squad enters camp on Monday, ahead of Game I at Accor Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday, June 5.

Queensland Maroons for Game I

Player Club
1. Reece Walsh Brisbane Broncos
2. Xavier Coates Melbourne Storm
3. Valentine Holmes North Queensland Cowboys
4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow The Dolphins
5. Murray Taulagi North Queensland Cowboys
6. Tom Dearden North Queensland Cowboys
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
8. Reuben Cotter North Queensland Cowboys
9. Ben Hunt St George Illawarra Dragons
10. Lindsay Collins Sydney Roosters
11. Jaydn Su'A  St George Illawarra Dragons
12. Jeremiah Nanai  North Queensland Cowboys
13. Patrick Carrigan Brisbane Broncos
14. Harry Grant Melbourne Storm
15. Moeaki Fotuaika Gold Coast Titans
16. J'maine Hopgood  Parramatta Eels
17. Selwyn Cobbo Brisbane Broncos
18. Felise Kaufusi The Dolphins
19. Brendan Piakura Brisbane Broncos
20. Ezra Mam Brisbane Broncos
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.