Jai Arrow content to be the undersize overachiever for Queensland Maroons


“I am always that little white boy and 99kg middle forward that has always been undersized in my position,” Arrow said. “I have a job to do for this team. I thought I did that on Wednesday. I enjoyed my role. I thought it was great.

“I got to relax. Instead of coming straight out into the thick of things I got to calm myself down and make sure I was ready when I came on. I knew I was going to be the first interchange and had to get my mindset ready to go on and do a job for the team.”

Jai Arrow was vital for the Maroons in game one and wants to repeat the dose on Wednesday.Credit:Getty

Arrow had to change his normal approach in game one. He could sense the Maroons needed impact and that’s exactly what he sought to deliver once he was given the green light.

“It was obviously a different role for me and I knew I had to come on and bring energy, especially being down, too,” he said. “As a utility, you want to come on and change the game and change the momentum.

“I thought Lindsay Collins was great as well in his first Origin. He came on and brought a lot of spark and ‘Dozer’ [Ben Hunt] as well. Jaydn Su’A came on and did a great job for us.

“It did change my mindset a little bit coming off the interchange but, if I’ve got the Maroons jersey on, I will do whatever I have to. I’d deadset play wing if he wanted me to.”

Arrow will have a familiar face in the squad for game two, with the concussion suffered by Christian Welch opening the door for the Gold Coast’s Moeaki Fotuaika to make his debut. It will be a night of immense emotion for the 20-year-old Keebra Park product, who lost his older brother Mosese, a promising talent at the Wests Tigers, in 2013.

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“I am so proud of Moe with what he has to overcome,” Arrow said. “He is a legend of a bloke and one of my good mates. When I first came to the Titans I was picking him up and driving him down to pre-season training where I got to know him a lot, driving down on the M1.

“He is not only a great bloke but a great player as well. He has earned his mark in this team and I am sure he will do an outstanding job.”

Arrow doesn’t expect Fotuaika to be doing much talking once he gets on the field. He’s a man of action in every sense and his humility has made him a beloved member of the Titans and now the Maroons.

“He does not say a word,” Arrow said. “He is very quiet and down to earth. I remember when he earned his debut in the NRL the whole bus went berserk because of how much of a good guy he is.

“Everyone loves him. Everyone loves being around him and everyone wants to be his mate. The scary thing is he is only turning 21 in a few days so he has got the world at his feet.

“He is so quiet and such a gentle giant off the field but when he gets on the field he is an animal. He loves the tough, gritty stuff and he has brought a lot to his game this year. He is powerful, he’s got good leg speed and he can whack in defence.”

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