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Collins class: Lindsay emerges as Maroons new leader from old habits

“You can call him ‘The Elevator’,” Maroons legend Nate Myles quips as he wanders his way back to the Queensland team huddle after their opposed session this week.

“Because he’s helping lift our standards.”

Although said in jest, it's a fitting tribute to the manner in which Lindsay Collins has quietly become a leader in amongst the squad, with the attention to detail he puts into the small things allowing him to deliver in the big moments on the field.

Collins' defining moment on the Origin stage came in the opening match in Adelaide last year, showing previously unseen skills to pluck the ball from the grasp of James Tedesco to set up Cameron Munster for a match-sealing try.

Game Two saw him clinch the player of the match and Queensland the series.

Lindsay Collins you magician

For Collins, who was awarded the FOGS Peter Jackson Medal for displaying the “spirit of Queensland” during that series, the ability to influence the results of games with those sorts of plays only comes with spending time on the little details.

“I feel like I can only be the player I was last year because of the team around me," Collins said.

“It's a bit cliché, but that's what these guys do for me and my game.

“That's the pride that I have in my game and those are those little one percenters.

“That's what I pride my game on, just working hard for my mates. Not letting them down, doing what I expect others to do for me, I want to do it for them. I enjoy the gritty, hard style of the game and I love doing those little bits and pieces.”

Maroons hooker Harry Grant described Collins, who is set to play in his 10th Origin next Wednesday night, as the one who sets an example for the squad.

“If Lindsay talks everyone listens because you know he is going to do it in the game,” Grant said.

“In the heat of the battle, Lindsay is always turning up for his teammates.

“He creates that in clubland week-in and week-out and that just shines on the biggest stage.

“He has been the unsung hero the last couple of years for Queensland and I think he is really relishing in that starting prop and enforcer role. I think he has just gone from strength-to-strength building on his game year-in and year-out.”

Inside Camp: Reuben Cotter

Reuben Cotter even suggested that 'Big Linds' would be Queensland’s main aggressor in the forward pack, with his humble and unassuming demeanour transforming into controlled aggression when on the field.

Yet it's Myles – as one who played the enforcer role with the Maroons and Roosters before moving on to Billy Slater's coaching staff – who is perhaps best placed to highlight the complete package of "skill and contributions" Collins brings to the table. 

"He's just epitomises everything that we like," the current Queensland team manager said. 

“He's very honest, just hard working. He's wanting to learn and be better all the time.

Jaydn Su'A and Lindsay Collins reunited in Origin camp. Both made their Queensland debuts in the 2020 series.
Jaydn Su'A and Lindsay Collins reunited in Origin camp. Both made their Queensland debuts in the 2020 series. ©Chloe Davis / NRL Images

“We're so fortunate to have him in our team and he's renowned at club level and Origin level for his plays and his ability to be there when he's needed.

“I think he does so many little things well, that they add up to big moments.

"If you don't do the little things well and as consistently as he does it, you don't end up in those positions – position to be there for the high ball or position to be there on a loose ball or the position to be pushing up when someone gets an offload.

“He never misses his opportunity and that's because of his consistency at training and his ability to always want to learn and do more.

Some of Queensland's greatest leaders are more about actions than talk and Lindsay is there.

Nate Myles on Lindsay Collins

“But that doesn't take away from his ability to talk on the field. He's a very constructive person and very simple in regards to how he knows to be good.

“It definitely helps when he just leads by example.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.