Paul Green has been confirmed as Queensland’s State of Origin coach with the former North Queensland mentor saying he’s humbled to be given the opportunity after last year’s “special” series victory.
Harry Grant went to great lengths for more opportunity at NRL level and has no problem doing the same as he seeks a Queensland State of Origin debut.
It took a temporary shift of club for Harry Grant to earn a State of Origin shot so he’s happy with a temporary shift of position if it leads to a Queensland debut.
Grant made the most of his time in the No.9 jersey for Wests Tigers, while on loan from Melbourne, to become one of 17 uncapped members of the Maroons’ 27-man squad for the series beginning in Adelaide on November 4.
Like at club level with Cameron Smith and Brandon Smith in his way, Grant sits in a queue with Jake Friend and Ben Hunt as options at hooker for veteran Maroons coach Wayne Bennett.
Friend is a fellow debutant-in-waiting but has 263 NRL games to his name while Hunt was named Queensland’s best player last year and has proven his utility value in a number of positions.
Kalyn Ponga and before him Cooper Cronk’s first taste of State of Origin football came in utility roles and Yeppoon product Grant says it could work for him as well.
“Some pretty good stock’s come through there,” he said.
“If they wanted me to play utility I’d jump at it; I played a bit of lock in the NRL this year and halves in juniors.
“If that spot comes up I’d throw my hand up.
“Anything can happen over the next few weeks … if you told me I’d be in an Origin squad six months ago I would have taken it.”
Where Grant continues his NRL career next year is still a topic contention as Cameron Smith delays a call on is future.
The 22-year-old Grant said “at this stage” he’ll return to the Storm, where he has two years to run on his contract.
But if Smith does play on Melbourne and the Tigers could agree to extend Grant’s loan for another season.
There’s no doubt of his loyalty though, Grant offering to cut short his brief off-season of “chilling out, surfing and drinking a few beers” to join the Storm in the bubble as a training partner.
It became too logistically difficult and instead he watched nervously as they secured the premiership on Sunday.
“I’m excited for them and they’re still partying now, which is something I’m a bit jealous about,” he said.
“But without the opportunity to go to Wests Tigers I wouldn’t be in this camp and wouldn’t have played many NRL games at all.”