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Cotter's top five Origin moments

Donning the Queensland Maroons jersey and representing the people of Queensland “means everything” to Reuben Cotter.

“I love this state,” Cotter said.

“Growing up I was a proud Queenslander, playing all of my junior footy in North Queensland at the Sarina Crocodiles.

“Watching TV every Wednesday, Origin was on and wearing all your maroon colours, my jersey, my scarf even though it’s really hot in North Queensland… it meant everything. I means everything. I love this state, I love the community, the people… the way everyone gets behind Queensland. I love it.”

Cotter, who has an older brother and younger sister, said usually there would be extended family over to watch Origin games.

“We’d have family, aunties and uncles, over even though it was a school night and I had a Queensland jersey hand-me-down… anything maroons we could find, we’d put on… we would even put socks on and carry on,” Cotter said.

“All piled in on the couch, a three-seater couch, and scream at the TV.”

Cotter said he loved watching now Maroons assistant coach Johnathan Thurston.

“I loved watching JT,” Cotter said.

“As a kid, you probably don't understand the game as much but anything exciting… the game was exciting because of what he could do with the footy and how he could control the game and all the little moments that he created.”

Cotter said it was “pretty surreal” there were children out there now, piling onto three-seater lounges, watching him.

“It's a special feeling… it just sort of gives kids that are just starting out, that if you come from a small town like Sarina, or wherever, if you've got a dream to play for your state, you can achieve it,” Cotter said.

“It’s pretty special.”

Sarina to the Maroons: Reuben Cotter

Cotter’s top five Origin moments

1.  Game II in 2023

“My greatest Origin moment would have to be Game II at Suncorp where we sealed the series. That is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. In 2022, we won the first game but I got injured so couldn’t finish the series. But last year I was lucky enough to play all three and in front of the home crowd, the roaring Suncorp Stadium, with all our supporters getting behind us… to do it with this group of boys was probably the greatest football memory I have to date.”

2.  Origin debut in 2022

“My debut, I’ll never forget my debut down in Sydney. It’s got to be number two. First time pulling on a Maroons jersey was very special. It was a tough game that we only just won… it took 80 minutes, as it always does.”

3. Eight-in-a-row

“If you asked me a few years ago, number one would’ve been one of the years they were so dominant with the likes of Matt Scott, Johnathan Thurston, Sammy Thaiday… all the greats in that period.”

4. Gorden Tallis ragdoll

“A memorable moment was when Gorden Tallis dragged the New South Wales fella over the sideline. That to me, as a kid, when I saw that I was like ‘wow.. I want to play…  this is just awesome, how good is this’. I just loved the aggression and the passion. It epitomised what it is to be a Queenslander… you do anything to protect your own state and your own teammates.”

5. Dearden’s debut in Game III, 2022

“When my good mate Tommy Dearden debuted in Game III in 2022, at Suncorp. I was injured and watching on the sideline with a few of the boys. To see him debut after the start of his career at Broncos and then him coming to Townsville and to do what he's done…  and then to get a start… I was so happy for him and so proud. He’d worked so hard and set up a try and then to win the series as well on your debut game, it doesn’t get any better.”

Tom Gilbert and Tom Dearden celebrate debuts

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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.