Qld rookie ready to intimidate NSW pack

Laine Clark
·2-min read

If Tino Fa'asuamaleaui's State of Origin inspiration is anything to go by, the rookie Queensland forward won't be holding back on debut on Wednesday night.

Melbourne's NRL premiership-winning enforcer has laughed off suggestions that he will suffer stage fright in the series opener in Adelaide, vowing to "intimidate" the Blues.

It's enough to sound alarm bells for any rival pack.

But NSW may want to brace themselves further after the Gold Coast-bound wrecking ball revealed his Origin inspiration before finally donning the Maroons jersey - Gorden Tallis' infamous "rag doll" tackle on Brett Hodgson.

It's a moment that is still savoured by Queensland fans - and one that disgruntled Blues supporters surely will never forget.

Back in 2002 "Raging Bull" Tallis sealed his entry in Origin folklore when he collared Hodgson and effortlessly dragged the NSW fullback kicking and screaming 13m into touch to spark a Queensland fightback that sealed a game three draw - and another series win for the Maroons.

It was not quickly forgotten by Maroons fans - just ask poor Fa'asuamaleaui's brother who copped reenactments for years in the backyard.

Asked about his favourite Origin moment, the hulking 116kg Fa'asuamaleaui said: "Probably the Gorden Tallis tackle I reckon.

"Seeing that growing up I always tried to do that to my little brother in the yard.

"That was one of my favourite ones. It was pretty cool and got everyone pumped up."

Not that Fa'asuamaleaui has been too keen to practice the Tallis tackle at Maroons training - yet.

"I am too nervous to talk to some of the boys," he laughed.

"I got a bit star struck (coming into Maroons camp). I couldn't talk properly.

"I was a bit nervous but it's good now. I am with the boys now and have moved on - I will just take it out on the field on Wednesday."

He may have been initially overawed by Maroons teammates like Canberra giant Josh Papalii but Fa'asuamaleaui has warned the NSW pack he will be ready to make his mark on Origin debut next week.

"I won't get intimidated. I have played against those fellas during the year (in NRL)," he said.

"I know it is a big game and it will go to another level but I can't wait to get out there and try to match it against them.

"I will try to intimidate them."