Blues beware the new Raging Bull
Memo: NSW. Get ready. Here comes the new age Gorden Tallis.
The Maroons will unleash the latest incarnation of The Raging Bull when Broncos sensation David Fifita is asked to terrorise the Blues in his Origin debut at Suncorp Stadium.
When Fifita runs out, he will celebrate a series of milestones.
At 19 years and 100 days, he will become the youngest forward in Origin's 39-year history, eclipsing former NSW prop Lindsay Johnston, who debuted in 1983, by seven days.
Fifita is also the first player born in the 2000s to play State of Origin.
Completing a handy treble of achievements, Fifita, named in jumper No.17, is Queensland's 200th State of Origin representative.
The teenager had his maiden jumper presented to him by legendary Maroons prop Petero Civoniceva on Tuesday, but it is another Queensland great to whom the back-row young gun is being compared.
"David Fifita reminds me of Gorden Tallis (former Maroons skipper and back-row firebrand)," said ex-Queensland lock Billy Moore.
"He has the power and brutality of Tallis, combined with the athletic ability of a tall outside back like Justin Hodges.
"He is a physical specimen. It's only a matter of time before he is a genuine superstar in the game."
The 107kg Fifita has played just 22 top-grade games and such is his head-spinning ascension to the Origin arena, he was playing in the under-18s Mal Meninga Cup just 12 months ago.
Now Queensland selectors are banking on Fifita's cocktail of pace, strength and powerful straight-line running on the fringes to combat the punch of NSW interchange duo Cameron Murray and Angus Crichton.
One of Fifita's earliest mentors, Souths Logan coach Jon Buchanan, has been blown away by the Maroons rookie's meteoric rise.
But just like Tallis, Buchanan says Fifita will relish the code's toughest arena.
"David is very unique with his skill set," he said.
"He has the speed of an outside back with the power and aggression of Gorden Tallis.
"I thought he needed to move up to the Intrust Super Cup last year. He was only 18 and the Broncos had some concerns, but the boys (at Souths Logan) were saying to me, 'This kid is too good. He is rag-dolling us at training. He is ready to go'.
"I'm really pleased for Dave. At 13, he was a dumpy sort of kid, he didn't even make rep teams, so he's hard to work hard for his opportunities.
"But from day one, he was always able to play above his age group. He just has a presence in a group. He's only young but he won't be fazed by Origin."
Queensland coach Kevin Walters warned the Blues to brace for fireworks.
"There won't be a lot of pressure on him when he comes on but when gets on there he's going to explode," Walters said.
"Dave has been part of our Emerging Origin programs since being a 15-year-old boy. He's a great asset for our side coming off the bench."