After making his Origin debut when Queensland’s dynasty started, Jacob Lillyman is fired up for his first run-on start at its end.
Jacob Lillyman admits he has the biggest boots to fill when he finally makes his maiden run-on State of Origin start for Queensland on Wednesday night.
After seven games off the bench, Lillyman must replace his long-time mate and Test incumbent Matt Scott in the Maroons front-row at Suncorp Stadium.
And with the Maroons opting against bolstering their big man stocks with another prop, the 30-year-old must shoulder the extra load with a host of back-rowers.
“Big Matty is the best front-rower in the world so massive shoes to fill,” Lillyman told AAP.
“Being one of the middle boys there’s a job to do so I’ll just be going out there to fulfil my role.
“It’s a massive task there and I’m really looking forward to it.”
While he made his Origin debut when the Queensland dynasty started in 2006, the 30-year-old admitted he never saw a recall coming at its end.
His last appearance had been in 2011, but gained the nod for a bench spot in game two when Corey Parker and Josh Papalii were ruled out with injuries.
Lillyman’s effort after replacing Scott (cheekbone) midway through the first half saw him retained ahead of in-form Broncos prop Josh McGuire, who is 18th man.
Coach Mal Meninga has backed the likes of Parker and Sam Thaiday to also play in the middle and provide support Lillyman and Nate Myles.
Plugging away in Auckland for the New Zealand Warriors, the former Cowboys forward had thought he was “out of sight, out of mind” at the start of the season.
But consistency and toughness has him primed for the intense early exchanges against the Blues pack.
“Starting is not something I expected,” Lillyman said.
“You’re just happy to be anywhere in the team. It’s a massive honour.
“I’ll be going out there to do it justice.”