KEY ROLE: Richard Duff will offer his experience to the Queensland under-18 players as the team manager in 2018.
KEY ROLE: Richard Duff will offer his experience to the Queensland under-18 players as the team manager in 2018. Dylan Suska GLA060416LEAGUE

Duff to help with Queensland's best

RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone will have a connection with the 2018 representative season.

Gladstone Rugby League operations manager Richard Duff has been appointed as the Queensland under-18 State of Origin team manager.

Duff has a wealth of experience and said it is a special feeling to be involved with the best young players in Queensland.

"It's a privilege and it always has been to be to have access to these sort of sides and it's been 9 or 10 years that I have been involved with the Queensland side and have been very blessed," he said.

Duff, the coaching staff and the players will attend a Queensland Academy Squad training camp at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in Brisbane from January 18-21.

"It's a squad of 28 and we will all meet each other, meet the coaching staff, get some training done so that not everything will be foreign to us when we meet back again in May for the Origin," he said.

The youth State of Origin is in its 11th year and will be the curtain-raiser to the main Origin game between Queensland and New South Wales on June 22.

Duff's role is just as important as the players, head coach Kurt Richards and the rest of the coaching staff.

"Just making sure that everything runs smoothly and just to organise everything from getting the players on the training paddock," he said.

Duff explained his other role is also to make sure the players eat the right food, as well as to ensure they hydrate properly.

"Also to make sure the players all turn up on time for team meetings and video sessions and the games," he said.

The U18 Origin is a haven for talented players and has produced the likes of Dane Gagai, Coen Hess, Valentine Holmes, Josh McGuire, Anthony Milford, Michael Morgan, Justin O'Neill and Josh Papalii.

Queensland are chasing their first win over NSW since 2015.


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