AAP Rugby

Maroons’ Arrow spurred by Origin doubters

By AAP Newswire

Jai Arrow may just have proved that even when it comes to State of Origin front rowers, bigger doesn't always mean better.

The 22-year-old became Queensland's youngest starting prop in Wednesday night's 18-12 State of Origin victory in Brisbane.

And at just 101kg he could also have been the Maroons' nimblest.

The No.8 was 15kg lighter than his opposite number David Klemmer, but finished with 100 running metres, 17 tackles, a tackle bust and two offloads.

Soaking up his maiden Origin victory, the Gold Coast workhorse was happy to send a message to all those who ever questioned him because of his size.

"I was (a bit smaller) growing up; I had people telling me I was too small and would never make it," he told AAP.

"It's satisfying seeing those people sitting on their couches at home watching me play.

"I'm someone who likes to prove people wrong and I definitely get a buzz out of that to be here in the Queensland Maroons team, it's so surreal."

Arrow rarely emerges from a game unscathed and a blood-stained eyeball on Wednesday night proved Origin III was no exception.

"I'm a pretty stubborn sort of bloke - don't like to let my teammates down - it kills me if I'm on the sidelines not playing," he said.

Arrow could barely get a start for Brisbane this time last year, which forced his move down the highway to the Titans.

In a flash he has shot up the Maroons' depth charts, with coach Kevin Walters mentioning him first when asked after Wednesday night's game about what looked good about the future.

"It's something I never thought would happen, but something I want to do for years to come," Arrow said.

"I just love the game and love Queensland, love this winning feeling and I definitely want more of this."