Freeman-Quay relishing chance to face Origin star

For a club rugby league player coming up against Queensland State of Origin star Josh Papalii could be an ominous task, but it's one Tori Freeman-Quay is relishing.

The West Belconnen Warriors back rower was named 2017 Country player of the year and he will play for the Country 23s against the Toa Samoa World Cup squad in Wagga Wagga on Friday.

He's been in camp all week as they prepare to take on a host of NRL stars including Canberra Raiders second-rower Papalii.

"I'm pretty keen to play against Josh Papalii. I think I'm even marking up against him so that will be a good experience, he's a tough footballer. I'm pretty keen for the battle," Freeman-Quay said

Papalii joins fellow Raiders Joey Leilua and Joseph Paulo in the Samoan team, while the Country under-23s squad boasts 10 players from the Canberra Raiders Cup after Monaro were victorious in the under-23s championship final earlier in the year.

"It's good we have boys from my home team in terms of combinations, but it also helps to meet new guys and work with some good football players from other regional areas," Freeman-Quay said

"It was a very surreal feeling to win both, but to take out the championship was good and to get that recognition and take out Country player of the year, it was a really big privilege and I was very stoked."

While he was relishing the chance, the 23-year old was expecting it to be a lot quicker than he normally experiences for West Belconnen.

"They will obviously be very tough, they are a big side, a lot of experience. I am just expecting a fast paced game," he said.

The back rower hasn't given up hope of taking his career further on the back of this game.

While he was calm in the build-up to the game at McDonalds Park, he was expecting the nerves to kick in closer the 7pm kick-off.

"I would love to have a career in rugby league and getting this opportunity to play against the Samoan World Cup side gives me the chance to put myself out there for some recognition," Freeman-Quay said.

"I'd say I'll get more nervous closer to the game but at this point I'm pretty calm and enjoying camp."

Monaro will also be represented earlier in the day when the under-17s side take on Riverena at 3pm.

This story Freeman-Quay relishing chance to face Origin star first appeared on Brisbane Times.