Cotter named Maroons player of Origin series


Reuben Cotter has won Queensland's prestigious player of the series award after putting his body on the line for every minute of this year's State of Origin.

The 24-year-old North Queensland forward accepted the Ron McAuliffe Medal at the Queensland Rugby League awards ceremony in Brisbane on Friday for his tireless displays in the Maroons 2-1 series win.

He had previously won the Wally Lewis Medal as the best player of the series on either side.

Cotter started the 2023 Origin with a man of the match display in Adelaide, where - playing out of position as an edge second-rower - he made 48 tackles and ran for 84 metres in the 26-18 win.

He averaged 45 tackles and 109m throughout the series in three wholehearted 80-minute displays.

On the collar of the Queensland jerseys were the inspirational words of former team manager and Maroons 'godfather', the late Dick 'Tosser' Turner.

They simply said: Queensland expects you to do your duty.

"Those words just motivate you and get you ready before the game," Cotter told AAP.

"It means that you do everything and more to protect the team, the jersey and the legacy."

After missing two of last year's Origin games with injury, to play every minute of this series was special for Cotter.

"I have (coach) Billy Slater to thank for leaving me out there in the full 80 minutes for each game," he said.

"Every time you get to pull on the Queensland jersey it is very special. It is something I never take for granted. It was great to win the series this year after I missed out last year.

"There are so many amazing players to have won (the Ron McAuliffe Medal) before me. I am very grateful."

Maroons prop Lindsay Collins, in Melbourne with the Sydney Roosters for Friday night's elimination final, won the prestigious FOGS Peter Jackson Memorial Award.

The long-standing honour recognises a player or staff member who epitomises the Queensland 'spirit', as showcased by late Maroons star Jackson.

The equivalent award in the women's Origin program is the Renae Kunst Medal, which was taken out by halfback Zahara Temara.

The Annie Banks Medal for player of the year was awarded to Maroons fullback Tamika Upton.

The Maroons women won the series with NSW on for and against after the two-game contest was drawn 1-1.