Clermont Junior Bears fullback Roman Revell-Blair with his under-9 team who are heading to State of Origin game one.
Clermont Junior Bears fullback Roman Revell-Blair with his under-9 team who are heading to State of Origin game one. Contributed

Origin starters

STATE of Origin always sparks excitement among footy lovers and eight-year-old Roman Revell-Blair is no different.

Except this year the excitement has been topped by the announcement that Roman and his under-9 Clermont Bears team will play a curtain raiser to game one of the series.

Roman, a fullback, was selected along with his teammates to represent Queensland in the inaugural Holden Junior State of Origin in Sydney on June 1.

The team will take on the Dungog Warriors from NSW in a curtain raiser to Game One of the State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium.

For Roman, whose uncle Maurice (Bob) Blair plays professionally overseas, the trip is a dream come true.

"I love playing footy at Clermont with my friends, but I never thought I'd be playing in Sydney in front of a big crowd and get to meet some of Australia's best players," he said.

"We can't wait to take on the Dungog Warriors and put on a show in Sydney."

As well as playing in the Junior State of Origin, Roman will toss the coin for the Blues vs Maroons game and together with his team, will form a guard of honour for the NRL players.

Queensland skipper Cameron Smith announced the exciting news to the club via video message.

"I hope you guys will knuckle down and train hard and do the Maroons proud," Smith said.

Roman's mum Anastasia Revell-Blair said Roman was beside himself with excitement.

"It's Roman's dream to one day play in the NRL and this opportunity is such a massive stepping stone for him," Anastasia said.

Holden's executive director marketing, Geraldine Davys said Holden was thrilled to make the opportunity possible for Roman and his club.

"Roman came to our attention as a rising rugby league star via our Holden Home Ground Advantage grant program which recently awarded $10,000 to the Central Highlands Junior Rugby League to support the league's expansion," Geraldine said.

"We're thrilled to be providing this unique experience for some of Clermont's most footy-mad kids.''


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