Ahead of Friday's #NRL game between Penrith Panthers and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, writer Rob C...
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New faces in QAS Emerging Origin Squad
The 2012 Queensland Academy of Sport Emerging Origin Squad will feature four newcomers when it assembles in Brisbane next month.
Selectors today named a 14-man squad that includes Broncos pair Dale Copley and Josh McGuire along with Roosters powerhouse Lama Tasi and Rabbitohs utility Chris McQueen.
The quartet will enjoy their first run under the guidance of QAS head coach Wayne Bennett and Maroons maestro Mal Meninga.
This year's QAS Emerging Origin Squad members Ben Barba (Bulldogs), Justin O'Neill (Storm), Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), Martin Kennedy (Roosters), Jake Friend (Roosters), Matt Gillett (Broncos) and Ben Te'o (Broncos) have again been selected, while Esi Tonga (Eels), Chris Sandow (Eels) and Maurice Blair (Storm) are back in the fold after featuring in 2010.
The QAS program continues to play a key role in the Maroons' success in the State of Origin arena, with Dane Nielsen the most recent example of the strong link between the Academy and Queensland's flagship team.
Queensland chairman of selectors Des Morris is pleased with the strength of the 2012 QAS squad and expects some of the players to get an opportunity at a higher level in the near future.