Cowra rugby league product Shannon Boyd has been named in the inaugural NSW Under-20 State of Origin side.
The 123kg former Magpie and member of the Canberra Raiders National Youth Competition (Toyota Cup) side was selected on the back of strong performances in the first six rounds of the season.
“I’m stoked to be in the team,” he said.
“I was in the under 18 team in 2010 with some of the guys and it will be good to catch up with them as well as meet a few new players.
“It’s a stepping stone to making it into the NRL and it gives you an opportunity to see how you are going against the best players in the competition.
“It should be a physical game. They [Queensland] have good forwards and many strong players, so it should be good.”
Boyd, a front rower who is undertaking a business administration traineeship in Canberra, will take his position on the interchange bench in the NSW side which boasts six players with NRL experience- Cheyse Blair, Jacob Miller, Harry Siejka, Matt Groat, Boyd Cordner and Alex McKinnon.
The side will be coached by former Origin player and Melbourne Storm assistant Dean Pay.
Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said the introduction of an Under 20s Origin reflected the status of the game’s elite junior competition.
“The Toyota Cup is unrivalled in Australian sport as both a pathway for our junior stars on the field and for the career and education opportunities it provides for them as well,” Mr Gallop said.
“It has captured the imagination of fans and already this year has set new ratings records on Fox Sports.
“To see it provide the platform for an Under 20s State of Origin concept underlines the impact it has had on our game.”
NSW Origin coach Ricky Stuart said it was an intelligent move to aid the development of young players.
Teams will play for the Darren Lockyer Shield.
Fullback - Evander Cummins (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Wing - Young Tonumaipea (Melbourne Storm)
Centre - Cheyse Blair (Parramatta Eels)
Centre - Ed Murphy (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Wing - Chanel Mata’Utia (Newcastle Knights)
Five-eighth - Harry Siejka (Penrith Panthers)
Halfback - Jacob Miller (Wests Tigers)
Prop - Matt Groat (Wests Tigers)
Hooker - Michael Lichaa (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Prop - Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters)
Second row - Alex McKinnon (Newcastle Knights)
Second row - Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters)
Lock - Vaipuna Tia Kilifi (Penrith Panthers)
Interchange - Paul Carter (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Interchange - Jack Stockwell (St George Illawarra Dragons/Illawarra Cutters)
Interchange - David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Interchange - Shannon Boyd (Canberra Raiders)
18th Man - Lachlan Burr (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Coach - Dean Pay - Melbourne Storm
Action kicks off at Centrebet Stadium, Penrith at 7.30pm Saturday and is televised live on Fox Sports 2 with NSWRL Junior Rep Finals being played as curtain raisers from 3.35pm.