The lure of the Maroons is too great to ignore. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
The lure of the Maroons is too great to ignore. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Kevvie claims another win for Queensland

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has struck another blow against the Kiwis, with boom Broncos back-rower Jaydn Su'A following the lead of Kalyn Ponga and pledging his allegiance to the Maroons.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Su'A will be among a host of new faces to be named in Queensland's Emerging Origin squad as Walters looks to safeguard the Maroons against a NSW uprising.

The 2019 Emerging Maroons will be unveiled as early as Friday.

For the second consecutive year, Walters has trumped New Zealand by winning a tug of war for Su'A, just 12 months after young gun Ponga resisted the overtures of the Kiwis to declare his loyalty to Queensland.

Born in Christchurch, Su'A is eligible for the Kiwis, but has opted to chase a senior Maroons jumper after watching his good mate Ponga break into the Origin arena last season.

The 21-year-old Su'A played 15 NRL games for the Broncos in 2018 and will headline a posse of Maroons hopefuls for the three-day Emerging Origin camp from January 17-19.

Walters named just 11 players last season - one of the smallest outfits in the Emerging Origin concept's 17-year history - but he is expected to unveil a 14 or 15-man squad this year.

Su'A’s call is great news for Queensland. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Su'A’s call is great news for Queensland. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
 

Others who will join Su'A in the Emerging Maroons include Melbourne halfback Brodie Croft and Titans backline sensations AJ Brimson and Phillip Sami.

The 20-year-old Brimson - whose idol is Broncos legend Darren Lockyer - had a superb 2018 rookie season, scoring seven tries from 15 games. He is capable of playing five-eighth or fullback.

Titans teammate Sami, 21, underlined his potential last season with 14 tries from 23 games, including a sublime hat-trick in Gold Coast's shock derby defeat of the Broncos.

Brimson won plenty of admirers last season. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Brimson won plenty of admirers last season. (AAP Image/Darren England)
 

It is understood emerging Cowboys playmaker Jake Clifford will be named in the squad, while Su'A's Broncos colleague Joe Ofahengaue will also be selected as he inches closer to an Origin debut.

Queensland selectors considered blooding Ofahengaue in Origin III this season but he just missed out, giving the Broncos forward added incentive for a bumper 2019 season.

Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt is also expected to make the squad, with Walters considering his wing options following Valentine Holmes' shock decision to quit the NRL to chase his American football dream.

Feldt was a shining light for North Queensland, scoring 14 tries from 24 games, and will challenge Broncos flyer 

The lure of the Maroons is too great to ignore. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
The lure of the Maroons is too great to ignore. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Corey Oates for the wing spot vacated by Holmes.

Earlier this season, Su'A told The Courier-Mail he was in no rush to finalise his representative allegiance.

"I'm not too sure," he said in March. "I love Queensland but I was born in New Zealand.

"Obviously I have to make a decision but that will come in time. Origin is definitely an attraction."

 

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