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Joel Gould

Langer hails 'great' DCE as Origin No.7 record looms

Daly Cherry-Evans (l) will play a record 16th Origin game in a row as a starting halfback. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Allan Langer has hailed Daly Cherry-Evans as a "great player and leader" as the Queensland captain prepares to break one of Langer's all-time State of Origin records.

On Wednesday night in Sydney against NSW, the 34-year-old Cherry-Evans will play a 16th Origin game in a row as a starting No.7.

The previous record of 15 on the trot was held by Langer for 29 years and is now shared by the Manly skipper.

It will without doubt be a case of "sweet 16" for Cherry-Evans who spent three years in the Origin wilderness before returning to the Maroons side in game three of 2018.

He has not missed an Origin game since and has captained the Maroons to three series wins along the way.

Langer, who played 34 times for Queensland and is regarded as one of the greatest halfbacks of all time, was effusive in his praise of Cherry-Evans breaking his record.

"He deserves it. To play 16 Origins in a row as a half shows Daly is a great player and how well he prepares as well," Langer told AAP.

"Daly is a wonderful competitor who has come through tough times to get where he is now.

"He was in and out of the side but kept turning up and playing great footy. He forced his way back in.

"I think his captaincy has been second to none. We have a lot of young guys coming through and Daly has turned into a truly great leader and captain for Queensland.

"Once he puts the Maroons jersey on he lifts and brings all the boys with him."

Langer's own Origin career was interrupted on several occasions. He'd played nine Origin games in a row at half before breaking his ankle in Queensland's famous 16-12 win at the SCG in 1989. He returned to the side in 1990 and went on a 15-game streak before the Super League war prevented him playing in the 1995 Origin series.

He retired from Origin football in 2002 after leaving an indelible mark on the arena on and off the field.

Langer is a Maroons assistant coach these days and has a close up view of Cherry-Evans in action.

The Manly captain is on the cusp of leading the Maroons to a series clean sweep in Sydney.

Langer said the Queensland No.7 was playing some of the "best footy of his career" and, like all the elite players in the game, had a small margin between his worst and best games in the Origin arena.

"That's exactly what he's done in club footy at Manly where his consistency has been a highlight for him," Langer said.

"Daly knows how to have a good time but he is just a professional at looking after his body.

"For Queensland to succeed in State of Origin we need people like Daly. He is just great for the team."

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