Two former Dubbo juniors will wear their adopted state of Queensland on their sleeves when the State of Origin program gets underway tonight at ANZ Stadium.
Brandon Costin will coach Queensland Residents against New South Wales with Brad Cross playing five-eighth for the Maroons.
The match is a curtain-raiser to game three of the Harvey Norman State of Origin series.
Brad Cross’ parents Roslyn and Warwick from Dubbo will be in the stands tonight proudly barracking for Queensland but with some convictions.
“The marvellous thing about Brad’s selection for Queensland is that he has previously played for NSW Residents (in 2007-08) which is pretty remarkable,” Warwick said.
“But Brisbane is now his home. He’s still an electrician, still plays with South Logan in the Brisbane competition and later this year he will be married so yes, he’s a Queenslander and we’ll be giving him and his team our support on Wednesday night.”
Aged 24, Cross has been a part and parcel of Dubbo rugby league for many years. He left the city early to fulfil his dream of playing in the NRL with Canberra Raiders.
He returned home a couple of years later and rejoined Dubbo CYMS with success before heading back to Canberra where in 2007 he played three NRL games.
However in 2008 he was palmed off to Souths Logan and in his first season up north was the club’s best and fairest.
He was involved in NRL trials with the Raiders in 2009 but again missed out and headed back to Souths Logan.
Cross is obviously a smart young man. He started his electrical apprenticeship with Brad Alleyne in Dubbo and is still in the trade.
Queensland coach Brandon Costin was formerly Brandon Pearson when he lived in Dubbo.
He’s also played the game at the top level and overseas and has been located in Queensland for some years.
From 1993 to 2004 he played more than 136 NRL games with Canberra Raiders, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Wests Magpies and Sydney Roosters before heading to Britain and also represented USA in an international match.
He also found his home at Souths Logan in Brisbane where he played and has coached.