Groat today became the ‘face’ of the U20S Origin match where he was on hand for the announcement of the U20s NSW team. He will be joined in the Blues side by Wests Tigers half-back Jacob Miller.
The tough young prop is adamant there will be plenty of feeling in the match at Centrebet Stadium.
“I was over the moon when I was told I made the team. There is obviously a lot of pride in the NSW jumper,’’ Groat said.
“Every time you put on the NSW jersey, be it in the U16s or U18, it is a great honour.
“There is always a strong rivalry with Queensland and it will be the same on Saturday. Growing up in NSW, you are bred to hate Queenslanders and to take pride in the NSW jersey.
“I think the U20s Origin match is a great concept as it rewards players in form in the NYC competition and those young players who are playing in the NRL. It is a chance for them to show what they are capable of at a representative level.”
Groat said he would feel right at home with Miller barking the orders at half-back.
“Jacob is a very aggressive half-back and a very good organiser. He demands respect on the field and he gets it,’’ Groat added.
“I’m sure he will be pumped for the game.”
City Origin prop Aaron Woods says Groat deserved his selection after working very hard on his game over the off-season after coming into the NRL midway through last year.
“Groaty is really focused this year. He was living off the adrenalin and was just happy to be in first grade when he came into the team last year,’’ Woods said.
“There has been a massive change in him and he has been doing a lot of extra work at training.
“Matt is a very good talker on the field. Being in the front row is not easy as you have got all of the big boys coming at you. He is always pushing up in the line and working with you, so it makes your job a lot easier.
“I’m sure he will do NSW proud.”
Matt Groat came through the Western Suburbs Magpies junior system before being contracted to the Wests Tigers U20's team.
16/04/2012 5:45:57 PM