With the NRL recently announcing their Team of the Decade and the team featuring so many Queenslanders, it was only fitting we also compile a Team of the Decade for the Queensland Maroons.
Below is a list of 17 players who I believe would make up the Queensland Team of the Decade based on individual achievements, contributions and performance for the Maroons between 2010 and 2019.
Queensland Maroons Team of the Decade
- Billy Slater
One of seven players named in the NRL Team of the Decade, Slater is arguably the greatest fullback to ever play the game of rugby league, let alone don the Maroons jersey. What Slater achieved over his 31-game Origin career, particularly between 2010 and 2018, is simply quite remarkable.
- Darius Boyd
Boyd is another player who was heavily involved in Maroons' decade of dominance, scoring 17 tries in 28 games between 2008 and 2017, the second most tries by any individual player in Origin history.
- Greg Inglis
Inglis is one of three players on this list to have captained the Maroons. He is regarded by most as one of, if not the greatest centre, to ever play the game; particularly in the Origin arena. Inglis scored the most tries in Origin history with 18 and was a genuine big game performer who could turn a game on its head with a single play.
- Justin Hodges
Hodges typified what it meant to wear the Maroons jersey, he never took a backwards step in the Origin arena and was a big reason for Queensland’s unrivalled success between 2009 and 2015.
- Dane Gagai
Gagai has fast become a household name at Origin time, having etched his name into the record books with 11 tries in 13 appearances, since making his Origin debut back in 2015. Gagai has been a star performer for the Maroons every series he has played, including 2017 where he was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal for Man of the Series - the first winger to do so since the introduction of the award in 2003.
- Darren Lockyer
Lockyer is considered by many as one of the greatest players to ever don the Maroons jersey. Despite the fact Lockyer only played two Origin series over the past decade, he is still an automatic selection in the Maroons Team of the Decade given his contribution to the Maroons in the 2010 and 2011 series victories.
- Johnathan Thurston
Thurston is one of the most decorated players to ever grace the rugby league field, having won just about every award there is to win. The four-time Dally M player of the year was at the forefront of Queensland’s decade of dominance, particularly between 2009 and 2017, where he orchestrated many famous Maroons wins with a touch of brilliance and with his never-say-die attitude.
- Matt Scott
Scott has consistently been the premium front rower in Origin arena over the past decade, clocking up 23 games in the Maroons jersey between 2006 and 2016. Scott led his team from the front with his aggression and relentless running game and is one of the stars for the Maroons over their decade of dominance.
- Cameron Smith
Smith is arguably the greatest player to ever step foot in the Origin arena. Smith is the only player to have won four Wally Lewis Medals for player of the series, and has the most Origin appearances by any player in the history of the competition with 42 - a record that will likely never be broken. Smith only missed one game for Queensland, due to injury, between 2003 and 2017 - an achievement that is testament to his greatness.
- Petero Civoniceva
Civoniceva is one of Queensland’s greatest front rowers – up there with the likes of Artie Beetson, Shane Webcke, Brad Thorn, Steve Price and Scott. The 116kg giant never left anything in the tank, and always put his body on the line for the greater good of the team.
- Matt Gillett
Unlucky not to have been included in the NRL Team of the Decade, Gillett has long been one of the premium edge forwards, particularly in the Origin arena. Gillett consistently maintains a high work rate in both attack and defence and his toughness has been a true testament to the success of the Maroons over the past decade.
- Sam Thaiday
Slammin' Sam is one of the most talented forwards to have worn the Maroons jersey in recent years. Thaiday was known for his aggression and wrecking ball-style running game that proved irreplaceable for so many years. Thaiday personified the Maroons phrase “don’t let your mate down, don’t let your state down”.
- Corey Parker
Parker aged like a fine wine over his 19-game Origin career. He was best known for his workhorse efforts in attack and defence, and his second phase offload that set up a Queensland victory on more than one occasion.
- Cooper Cronk
The ultimate professional, some would consider Cronk a bit of an unsung hero for the Maroons over his 22-game career. Cronk made his Origin debut in 2010 and made his first six appearances off the bench. In 2012, during his first full series as a starting half, Cronk iced a 45-metre field goal to claim a series victory for the Maroons – a play that typified Cronk in the Origin arena.
- Ashley Harrison
Harrison was one of the first players picked for the Maroons between 2008 and 2013 and was a noted workhorse much like Parker or Dallas Johnson. Harrison was a quiet achiever who - regardless of the position - you knew he would do his job for Queensland.
- Ben Te'o
Te’o may have only made six appearances for the Maroons between 2012 and 2014, but he quickly made a name for himself coming off the bench for Queensland in the second phase. Te’o was an explosive forward with a powerful running game, who often changed the momentum of the game with a big hit on an opposition player.
- Nate Myles
Myles is one of 10 players awarded the illustrious FOGS Statesman Award for playing 30-plus games for Queensland. The illustrious list includes Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Allan Langer, Darren Lockyer, Smith, Civoniceva, Thurston, Inglis and Slater. Myles is one player who you knew once he put that Maroons jersey on, he was going to a job for his state.