Tino, Haas poised to renew Origin rivalry

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Queensland's decision to pick Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the front-row is set to reignite one of the most memorable recent stoushes in State of Origin history.

The Gold Coast captain has spent most of his NRL and Origin careers at lock but will line up at prop in next week's series opener against NSW in Sydney.

It's a move that has him set to face off with Blues star Payne Haas.

The pair created one of the storylines of the 2020 series when they were both sin-binned for punching in the second game, just days after reports emerged that both players had an altercation during an under-18s match three years before.

Both insist there is nothing more than a friendly rivalry between them but Fa'asuamaleaui has also made it clear he won't be taking a backward step to the Brisbane giant.

"Anyone that puts a blue jersey on in front of me, that's a rivalry straightaway," the 22-year-old told AAP.

"We're friends away from footy but once we get on that field, there's no friends out there."

The Maroons camp is also a good chance for Fa'asuamaleaui to spend time away from the glare of the Titans' woes.

Having been named captain of the club ahead of the 2022 campaign, Fa'asuamaleaui has been a heroic performer in a team that has often failed to match his efforts.

As leader, Fa'asuamaleaui was in tears after the Broncos overcame a 20-point deficit to claim a 35-24 win over the Titans at Suncorp Stadium last week.

That result has left Gold Coast in real danger of missing out on finals football this year, sitting 14th with a miserable 3-9 record.

Fa'asuamaleaui took a lot of the blame for the defeat on his shoulders despite being one of the best players on the field from either team, particularly after instructing Jamayne Isaako to take a disastrous short kick-off which led directly to a Broncos try in the second-half.

Maroons coach Billy Slater, who spent time with Fa'asuamaleaui while he was coming through the ranks at the Melbourne Storm, has encouraged his hard-working forward to use the Origin series to reset his mindset.

"He probably is a bit too hard on himself," Slater said.

"He's focusing on the result, we need him to focus on his actions and what he brings to the team.

"He's a leader. I don't know who the captain is after DCE (Daly Cherry-Evans) but he is a leader."

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