Eels star headlines Kevvy’s Emerging Maroons
RUGBY LEAGUE: Kevin Walters has unveiled a small Emerging Maroons squad, which features a 26-year-old Parramatta star and the game's most exciting young fullback.
Experienced Eels five-eighth Corey Norman is one of just 11 players to be named in the 2018 squad of potential future State of Origin players.
He's joined by the likes of young gun Newcastle recruit Kalyn Ponga, and arguably the game's best young playmaker in Ash Taylor.
In the 2017 Origin series there was eight Queensland debutants who graduated from the Emerging camp just a few months earlier.
But Walters' 11-man squad is less than a third of the size of NSW counterpart Brad Fittler's Emerging Blues squad named earlier this week.
"With the smaller numbers it lets the Origin team staff spend more time with the individuals and the players can also spend more time with each other," Walters said.
Norman has emerged as a genuine contender for one of the halves spots in 2018 following the representative retirement of Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
Norman flourished in 2017 alongside Eels halves partner - and Emerging Blues halfback - Mitchell Moses and has caught the eye of the Maroons coach.
"Corey Norman is a player who has been on our horizon for some years and we feel the time is right to bring him in," Walters said.
"He gained a lot of maturity with his football this past season.
"I have spoken to Kalyn (Ponga) and he has indicated that he wants to be part of the Queensland pathways which is very exciting for Kalyn and very exciting for the Queensland Rugby League.
"He is a player of the future so it is good news for Maroons fans that he has confirmed his allegiance with us."
The squad will assemble on the Gold Coast in January for the camp.
Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)
Ethan Lowe (Cowboys)
Felise Kaufusi (Storm)
Kalyn Ponga (Knights)
Tautau Moga (Knights)
Jai Arrow (Titans)
Lloyd Perrett (Sea Eagles)
Ashley Taylor (Titans)
Christian Welch (Storm)
Corey Norman (Eels)
Brenko Lee (Titans)