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‘I’d be a happy man’: Broncos Carrigan ready for Origin

Pat Carrigan was groomed to succeed Josh McGuire at the Broncos and now the ironman lock is ready to turn up heat on the Cowboys hardman in the battle for the Queensland No. 13 jumper.

Buoyed by his shock captaincy debut in the opening round against McGuire's Cowboys, the 22-year-old Carrigan is keen to test himself in rugby league's ultimate proving ground - State of Origin.

McGuire's departure from the Broncos at the end of 2018 came as a surprise to many in the code, but Brisbane insiders were always confident they had a ready-made successor in the industrious Carrigan.

His rise has been meteoric. This time last year, Carrigan was celebrating his NRL debut against the Wests Tigers. Now, after just 19 NRL games, Carrigan was stunned to be handed the co-captaincy for Brisbane's first two games against the Cowboys and Souths before the COVID-19 saga forced the suspension of the season.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters will be searching for fresh blood this year to avoid a third straight series defeat and Carrigan plans to keep McGuire honest in his dream to wear Maroon for the Origin series in November.

"100 per cent, it's definitely a goal of mine that I have set (to play for Queensland)," Carrigan said.

Could Carrigan replace Josh McGuire for the Maroons? Picture: Getty Images.
Could Carrigan replace Josh McGuire for the Maroons? Picture: Getty Images.

"I need to do my job for the Broncos first and put myself in a position where I'm better than the opposite No. 13 or whatever role I am playing every week.

"I grew up in Queensland and loved watching the Maroons play.

"My mum is from NSW so I don't know how she would go but I remember the opportunity to play with Queensland in the younger rep teams and I would be around the coaches like Justin Hodges and Scotty Prince (former Origin stars).

"I'd love to be able to pull on the (Queensland) jersey one day and hopefully it will come."

Carrigan is already on Walters' radar, having captained the Queensland under-20s side two years ago. And with this year's Origin series to be held in November, it potentially gives Carrigan another 20 NRL games to stake his claim for the code's toughest arena.

"Anyone who has played Origin, I have seen the guys come in and back up three days after and they look pretty sore," he said.

"Three weeks in a row (of Origin games in November) might take a toll on the body.

"Hopefully it will be a good year. If we can win the comp and I could get to play some Origin this year, I would be a happy man."

Patrick Carrigan was chosen as captain for the Broncos to start 2020 after skipper Alex Glenn picked up a hamstring injury. Picture: Getty Images.
Patrick Carrigan was chosen as captain for the Broncos to start 2020 after skipper Alex Glenn picked up a hamstring injury. Picture: Getty Images.

 

Carrigan admits he initially feared he hadn't earned the respect of the Broncos group when he was appointed co-captain.

"As a younger fella, you always worry about that (getting respect)," he said.

"It's a bit hard for me to lead the boys and look across and see a guy like Darius (Boyd) who I respect.

"I was five or six years old when he debuted in the NRL.

"I just tried to take it like I would do my job and I don't need to tell the boys what to do. I ran out first but it doesn't change too much about what we do.

"It was a huge honour but I'm glad we have 'Lexi' (first-choice skipper Alex Glenn) back (from injury) to have some stability on that left edge."

Originally published as 'I'd be a happy man': Broncos Carrigan ready for Origin


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