WARWICK BORN: Queensland State of Origin debutant Justin O'Neill passes at Maroons training.
WARWICK BORN: Queensland State of Origin debutant Justin O'Neill passes at Maroons training. DAVE HUNT

Father nervous before debut of Warwick-born centre

RUGBY LEAGUE: Sean O’Neill is never nervous when son Justin is playing in the NRL but admits he will be nervous tomorrow night in State of Origin 1.

Justin was born in Warwick when his father Sean was merchandise manager at Dalgety’s at a time the family lived on the property Upway at Tannymorel.

After moving from Warwick in 1991, the O’Neills settled at Hughenden in North Queensland where Sean continued to work in rural merchandise. He is now in his fifth term as a councillor on Flinders Shire Council and second as deputy mayor

Sean and wife Nicole will arrive in Sydney early tomorrow afternoon for the game where they will be joined by Justin’s wife Chantelle, her parents and some friends.

“I normally don’t get nervous but I am nervous this time,” Sean said.

“It is an exciting time for the family, I feel Justin plays better in the centres than on the wing.”

Justin was a winger when he was at the Melbourne Storm but has gone back to his old position at centre since moving to the North Queensland Cowboys.

Regardless or whether Cooper Cronk (who is in doubt) or Michael Morgan is in the halves, Sean said his son wouldn’t have a problem with combination.

“He played juniors with Michael Morgan at Brothers in Townsville from the age of 14 and played with Cooper Cronk in Melbourne.”



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