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Even before the main Queensland side has been picked for State of Origin I, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys are guaranteed to have a presence at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 6.

Two Cowboys-contracted youngsters have been selected in the Maroons under-18s for their clash with NSW, which will be played as a curtain-raiser to the series-opening showdown between Kevin Walters's Queensland side and Brad Fittler's NSW outfit.

Townsville Blackhawks forward Tom Gilbert and Mackay Cutters prop Garrett Smith will both serve as key pieces for Kurt Richards's U18 side as they attempt to end NSW's two-year reign.

Two of the brightest young talents at the club, both Gilbert and Smith are products of the Cowboys Academy and enjoyed stellar Mal Meninga Cup seasons for their respective clubs.

Gilbert, who can play either as a middle forward or on an edge, joined the Cowboys from Brisbane, while Smith has played all of his junior football in his hometown of Mackay.

"The club is really proud of both Tom and Garrett for gaining selection in the Queensland under-18s side," Cowboys Elite Pathways head coach Aaron Payne said.

"Both players are bright young talents who work extremely hard at their craft and are players the club has invested a great deal of time in.

"I am confident they will do both the Cowboys and Queensland proud on June 6."

Queensland coach Kurt Richards is pleased with the overall strength of the team and the talent at his disposal.

"Every year we pick strong Queensland teams, but on the flipside so do New South Wales," Richards said.

"It's really exciting to go down to Melbourne and play at the MCG. It's going to be a great experience for everyone involved."

The Queensland team includes four players who represented the successful Souths Logan Magpies in the recent Mal Meninga Cup final against the Norths Devils at Bishop Park.

They are Tanah Boyd, David Fifita, Fanitesi Niu and Ioane Seiuli.

The Devils will be represented by Ethan Bullemor, Cory Paix and Jack Paterson.

Queensland players enter camp on the Gold Coast on Friday 1 June and will depart for Melbourne two days later to continue their preparations.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.