Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Rising Stars Emerging from Legends' Shadows

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Rising Stars Emerging from Legends' Shadows

Article excerpt

RUGBY LEAGUE: Queensland is preparing for life without the playmakers from the golden generation with Kalyn Ponga, Ash Taylor and Corey Norman named in a streamlined Maroons Senior Emerging Origin squad.

The smaller squad of 11 NRL players will assemble on the Gold Coast next month as part of the annual camp when Maroons-in-waiting are indoctrinated into the Queensland system, which has triumphed in 11 of the past 12 interstate series.

With Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk retiring from representative football and fullback Billy Slater committed to just one more campaign for Queensland, the Maroons need to find their next batch of superstars for the spine.

Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster and Anthony Milford lead the race for the vacant halves spots while Darius Boyd will be a natural fit at fullback when Slater hangs up his Origin boots.

But the depth in the critical positions has been showcased by the inclusion of Taylor, Ponga and Norman in the pared-back squad. …

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