Civoniceva says Grant will handle Origin

Wayne Heming, NZ Newswire June 3, 2012, 11:27 pm

NSW Origin bolter Tim Grant has already made a big impact on Queensland's most capped forward, with Petero Civoniceva saying Grant could be a future Penrith captain.

It was no shock to Civoniceva, a 31-game Maroons veteran, that NSW coach Ricky Stuart picked Grant to make his Origin debut given the Panthers prop's potential to be a long-term representative player.

"For a young man, he's got a very mature head on his shoulders," said Civoniceva, who grew his high opinion of Grant during a four-year stint at the Panthers.

"For me, he's someone I could see being the captain of Penrith in the future."

It's a fair compliment from the well-respected Civoniceva - one of the modern game's finest front-rowers and a former Panthers captain himself.

Civoniceva, certain to be named in an unchanged 17-man Queensland squad on Tuesday, said he was looking forward to locking horns with the 194cm, 112kg Grant in the second Origin game in Sydney on Wednesday week.

"I'm really happy for him being a former teammate," he said.

"I always said to him he was destined for State of Origin."

Civoniceva said Queensland's forwards would have their hands full against the size of North Queensland's New Zealand-born enforcer James Tamou and Grant.

"(Grant will) give the Blues some go forward," Civoniceva said.

"He's got tremendous leg speed for a big man and he'll chew the yards up."

Civoniceva said he'd send Grant a text congratulating him on his selection.

"It's something he's earned, it's not something that's been given to him," said the Queensland warhorse.

"He's had to work really hard for this moment.

"I'll send him a text to congratulate him, then that will be it."

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