Arthur and McLean named U19 captains

Margie McDonald

CABE NSW Under 19s coach Andrew Ryan has named Parramatta Eels hooker Matt Arthur and Penrith Panthers winger Jesse McLean as co-captains for the 2024 State of Origin match against Queensland Under 19s at Leichhardt Oval tonight.

Ryan made the announcement last night (Wednesday) at the jersey presentation for the NSW team.

“In very different ways they have both shown leadership from the start,” said Ryan, who played 12 Origin matches for the Blues (2001-2007) and was a former captain of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

“Jesse has driven the energy with everything he does – his talk in field, his talk around the group off it.

“From the first minute we all walked into camp, he’s been outstanding.

“Matt Arthur is a different personality – a lot quieter – but he’s also done things his way showing heaps of leadership.

“His chat in our meetings and his getting the forwards on the front foot have all been excellent.

“He does a lot of extras on the training paddock, which also speaks volumes about him.”

Both Arthur and McLean have been regulars in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup this season.

“Both Matt and Jesse had played plenty of NSW Cup this year and Jesse had some NRL experience too,” Ryan said.

“We’ve still got guys like Chevy (Stewart, Canberra Raiders) who has played first grade as well, and Jermaine McEwen (Newcastle Knights) who were both in the U19s squad last year.

“We’ve also got captains from their own clubs as like Mitch Woods (Bulldogs).

“So we’ve got some very intelligent and capable footballers in our team.”

Kick-off for the Under 19s Men’s State of Origin is 7.45pm at Leichhardt Oval. 

NSW has won the Shield every year since 2012, with the exception of Queensland taking it in 2018, and in 2020 and 2021 where the matches were not played due to the Covid pandemic.

The Blues will be after their 10th victory tonight.