NSW young props out to impress - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW young props out to impress

By Wayne Heming 01/07/2010 06:07:42 PM Comments (0)

State of Origin is set to usher in a new era of fierce front-row rivalries if NSW's rookie props can help deliver an upset against Queensland's most successful side since 1980.

The Maroons have already initiated its front-row changeover with 24-year-old Cowboy Matt Scott, towering Canberra prop Dave Shillington, Brisbane-bound 25 year-old Ben Hannant and South Sydney man mountain Dave Taylor all ready to take over from Petero Civoniceva and Steve Price.

The Blues have struggled up front with Queensland's forwards dominating in five straight series since 2006.

Selectors have tried a number of different options with Michael Weyman, Brett White, Brent Kite, Luke Bailey, Josh Perry and Justin Poore all featuring without much success.

They'll roll the dice one more time in Sydney on Wednesday, going with three players with no Origin experience, offering the trio an opportunity to establish themselves as NSW cornerstones for the foreseeable future.

Manly's Jason King, at 29, is by far the most experienced with a premiership ring in 2009 and approaching 200 NRL games.

Parramatta's 107kg bookend Tim Mannah has already claimed a (NSW) Origin record for the bushiest eyebrows, although a young Mal Meninga has the overall record in that department.

At just 22, Mannah has impressed everyone with his fearlessness, energy, enthusiasm and desire, qualities that make long-term Origin players.

That leaves Kade Snowden.

Queensland fans may not be too familiar with Snowden, who had two seasons with Newcastle before joining Cronulla, but Civoniceva said this week how impressed he had been by the 23-year-old's toughness.

The task is huge for NSW, Civoniceva has played more Origins than their entire starting forward pack.

However, three-game veteran Shillington, said it was encouraging to see NSW blooding new props.

"They'll get a lot of experience out of it and a lot of confidence and they'll probably kick on. Who knows next year what they'll be capable of? " he said.

"It's almost like a new start for Origin with NSW going with three new front-rowers, an area so vital to any team.

"Queensland have got some young front-rowers, including myself, Matty, Ben and Dave Taylor.

"The next few years will be very interesting as we all get more experience, every state of origin game will be exciting."

Shillington, the player's player from game two, predicted the NSW debutantes would all be nervous.

"I remember last year (game three) I was pretty nervous when I got the front-row starting spot but it's better than sitting on the bench for 20 minutes and doing your head in," he said.

"You don't realise how fast the game (Origin) goes. You sort of blink and it's all over and done with and you kind of wish you'd played better.

"It teaches you a lesson, to go as hard as you can for the whole game because it might be your only Origin game you play and it's over pretty quickly."

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