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Is Tom Dearden mounting a case to start for Queensland in 2024?


North Queensland Cowboys star Tom Dearden could be putting “serious pressure” on incumbent Queensland Maroons halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster, according to SEN NRL expert Justin Horo.

The star half has had an exceptional start to the 2024 season with the Cowboys, leading his side to a 3-1 start in his maiden campaign as the team’s co-captain.

Dearden had a chip on his shoulder going into this year after coach Todd Payten replaced current club captains Chad Townsend and Jason Taumalolo in favour of Dearden and Reuben Cotter.

The 23-year-old has repaid the faith his coach has shown him and has performed at such level that he could be knocking on the door of a permanent Origin spot in the talented Queensland spine.

“At the start of the season, I was asking questions about who’s up next (for Queensland),” Horo said on SEN 1170 NRL Crunch Time.

“With Daly Cherry-Evans being 35, Ben Hunt getting around the same age, there’s a changing of the guard happening (for) Queensland, it might not happen this year, potentially could happen next year.

“I was asking the question, ‘Is Tommy Dearden up next?’.

“Tommy Dearden, with Munster missing so much footy he could be putting heavy pressure on both Daly Cherry-Evans and Cam Munster this year.”

Dearden’s stellar start to the year was capped off with one of the all-time great try-savers in his side’s clash against the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.

The tackle was reminiscent of Scott Sattler’s effort in the 2003 NRL Grand Final and was immediately placed on a pedestal by the SEN NRL expert.

“It is one of the great plays,” Sattler declared on SEN 1170 NRL Crunch Time. “One of the great moments of not only the year so far, but one of the greatest moments in the modern game.

“To come from the opposite side of the field and be able to make that last ditch effort, it speaks volumes of the young man.”

Dearden will be looking to lead the Cowboys to their fourth win on Sunday afternoon against the winless Gold Coast Titans.

State of Origin North Queensland Cowboys Rugby League

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