Not content with looking like his idol Michael Crocker, Queensland lock Josh McGuire is ready to act like him and step up as the Maroons enforcer in Wednesday night’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane.
Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace has revealed McGuire adopted his trademark head tape as a tribute to his hero, former Maroons hard man Crocker.
But after witnessing McGuire’s Origin II heroics, Wallace said McGuire was ready to make a name for himself at Suncorp Stadium as Queensland’s next hit man.
“Crock was a massive inspiration for Moose (McGuire),” Wallace said of Crocker, a no nonsense Maroons backrower who played 13 Origins from 2003-09.
“He just loved him. Crock wore head tape and he (McGuire) pretty much said that’s why he wears head tape.
“Crock was aggressive, a Queensland legend. He was always there when they needed a big shot or aggression.
“At the end of the day Moose is probably that player for us when it comes down to it.”
McGuire showed he was ready to do his best Crocker impersonation in the decider with an inspirational hand in Queensland’s game two win over NSW in Sydney.
The 27-year-old ripped into the giant Blues pack that monstered Queensland in game one, running 117m, making a team high 49 tackles and nabbing a line break as the Maroons came back to win from 16-6 down.
Wallace said McGuire was ready to produce more of the same in a bid to inspire one of Queensland’s most inexperienced packs in 20 years.
Wallace and fellow starting prop Dylan Napa have played a total of three Origin games between them.
“Moose will definitely be foaming at the mouth and big Naps doesn’t mind chucking a shot on here and there,” Wallace said.
Maroons bench forward Josh Papalii believed McGuire had stepped up as a pack leader after taking over the Queensland No.13 jersey from retired great Corey Parker this year.
“Out of the big blokes, Moose is definitely the most experienced in there,” he said of McGuire.
“So he’ll do a bit of talking. But you’ve got Naps there who likes that kind of role as well.”
Maroons centre Will Chambers said McGuire’s game two effort had set the yardstick for what was expected from everyone in the Queensland side.
“It’s about doing your job for the team and making sure that you keep giving 100 per cent and that’s what he does really well,” he said.