ACT Brumbies

State of unOriginal

State of unOriginal

Proud to be a QLDer!

Ok ok. It’s that time of the year when the talk turns to Origin again. Nah, I don’t mean the Slater, Inglis, Lockyer, Hayne, Kimmorley and co. Sure that State of Origin series is on, but it just happens to coincide with the call for a State of Origin in Rugby Union as well!

Look, Big Kev is into it here . Let’s be honest. The chat started in rugby the same way it started in league. Because QLD were sick of being smashed by teams in which their own players were doing the smashing. Back in the 1970s the NSWRL dominated rugby league and the interstate games were selected on residential grounds. So guys as QLD as XXXX beer, like Artie Beetson, Chris Close and Kerry Boustead, were pulling on the sky blue of NSW and just giving it to the QLD team.

Likewise, in recent years, the likes of Nathan Sharpe, Drew Mitchell, Mark Chisholm, Brendan Cannon and even Wendell Sailor were doing the same to the Reds. The Queensland Reds couldn’t take a trick and were meanwhile seeing our young stars move interstate, flourish and return home as the visiting (and usually victorious) team.

So talk of a rugby state of origin usually began and ended with bitter QLD rugby diehards looking to recapture the glory of the late 70s and 80s.

But let’s humour them all shall we? What if we did have a State of Origin this year. Call it a Wallabies trial (without those pesky Canberrians!)  But what are the eligibility rules? Shees, that’s hard enough in league where it is ‘where you played your first senior football match’, I think.

So I am going to take the liberty of suggesting, for this case, it is where the player played their senior school footy. What? You want justification for that? Well I have none. Other than to suggest that school footy has, in contemporary times, been the main development path for our rugby teams, rather than club footy.  As such, and without further delay, my Queensland and New South Wales State of Origin Rugby Teams.


Name Born High School Team
15 Peter Hynes Brisbane, QLD Brisbane State High School Reds
14 Drew Mitchell Brisbane, QLD St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe Force
13 Will Chambers Nhulunbuy, NT St Josephs Nudgee College Reds
12 Berrick Barnes Brisbane, QLD Ipswich Grammar School Waratahs
11 Digby Ioane Wellington, NZ St Josephs Gregory Terrace Reds
10 Quade Cooper Tokoroa, NZ Anglican Church Grammar School Reds
9 Will Genia PNG Brisbane Boys College Reds
8 Richard Brown Townsville, QLD St Josephs Nudgee College Force
7 David Pocock Zimbabwe Anglican Church Grammar School Force
6 Rocky Elsom Melbourne, VIC St Josephs Nudgee College Brumbies
5 Nathan Sharpe Wagga Wagga, NSW The Southport School Force
4 James Horwill Brisbane, QLD Brisbane Boys College Reds
3 Greg Holmes Warwick, QLD Downlands College Reds
2 Stephen Moore Khamas, Saudi Arabia Brisbane Grammar School Brumbies
1 Ben Daley Sydney, NSW All Saints Anglican School Reds
16 Sean Hardman Brisbane, QLD St Josephs Nudgee College Reds
17 James Slipper Gold Coast, QLD The Southport School Reds
18 Rob Simmons Theodore, QLD The Southport School Reds
19 Scott Higginbotham Subiaco, WA The Southport School Reds
20 Ben Lucas Ipswich, QLD St Josephs Gregory Terrace Reds
21 Matt Toomua Melbourne, VIC Brisbane State High School Brumbies
22 James O’Connor Gold Coast, QLD St Josephs Nudgee College Force


Name Born High School Team
15 Cameron Shepherd Windsor, UK Barker College Force
14 Lachlan Turner Sydney, NSW Newington College Waratahs
13 Stirling Mortlock Sydney, NSW The Kings School Brumbies
12 Rob Horne Sydney, NSW Georges River College Waratahs
11 Adam Ashley-Cooper Sydney, NSW Berkleyvale High School Brumbies
10 Kurtley Beale Sydney, NSW St Josephs College, Hunters Hill Waratahs
9 Luke Burgess Newcastle, NSW St Josephs College, Hunters Hill Waratahs
8 Wycliff Palu Sydney, NSW Balgowlah Boys High School Waratahs
7 Phil Waugh Sydney, NSW Sydney Church of England Grammar School Waratahs
6 Matt Hodgson Sydney, NSW St Edwards College Force
5 Dean Mumm Auckland, NZ The Kings School Waratahs
4 Kane Douglas Maclean, NSW Maclean High School Waratahs
3 Ben Alexander Sydney, NSW Knox Grammar Brumbies
2 Tatafu Polota-Nau Sydney, NSW Granville High School Waratahs
1 Benn Robinson Sydney, NSW The Kings School Waratahs
16 Adam Freier Sydney, NSW Waverley College Waratahs
17 Laurie Weeks Sydney, NSW St Josephs College, Hunters Hill Reds
18 David Dennis Sydney, NSW Richmond High School Waratahs
19 Stephen Hoiles Sydney, NSW Waverley College Brumbies
20 Brett Sheehan Geraldton, WA St Josephs College, Hunters Hill Force
21 Ryan Cross Sydney, NSW Waverley College Force
22 Morgan Turinui Sydney, NSW Waverley College Reds

So what do you think? I was actually pleasantly surprised by the quality of that QLD team. But what about some of those match-ups? The back three of Hynes, Mitchell & Ioane v Shepherd, Turner and Ashley-Cooper! Chambers and Berrick taking on Stirling and Robbie Horne. Quade and Will together again v Beale and Burgess. I tell you what, I’d back the Queenslanders in each of those contests.

But what about the forwards? Just look at the backrows! Rocky, Pocock and Richard Brown up against Cliffy, Phil Waugh and Matty Hodgson. Wow! I’d be calling a slight edge to QLD at lock with Big Kev and Sharpie too good for Mummy and the raw Kane Douglas. Up front though it is all NSW with that awesome front row of a couple of Ben(n)s and Taf against Holmes and Daley propping next to the Wallaby hooker Moore.

The benches are fairly equal though, perhaps a lean towards QLD in the backs particularly with Rabbit O’Connor and young Matty Toomua.

But what do you think? Firstly, did I get the teams right? If so, who’d you back? QLD or the boys in blue?

In the end, I reckon it’s all moot. If the players pull the pin on a Probables v Possibles selection trial, as they did last year, are they really want to play this one? And what do we do with those boys from our nation’s capital? You know. Giteau, the Faingaas, Jack Kennedy! Just a RDO for them?

And what relevance is there for someone like Berrick Barnes who is contracted to the NEW SOUTH WALES Waratahs only to play for Queensland in a one off? I couldn’t see it pulling the passion that first Origin did all the way back in 1980.

Let’s face it, even Origin has lost its passion. It is still the show piece event, no doubt. But more because it pits the best 26 players in the NRL (in which there are a lot of very average players) together for three nights of battle. In the end, the Super 14 (and 15 next year) captures all our best players, playing week in and week out already. What’s the origin concept really going to add to it all?If they do bring it back though. I have some stipulations.

Note the bare jerseys!

* No sponsor names on the jerseys unless it’s a full strength beer or a cigarette company.

* Teams to stay on the field at half time for their oranges (and oranges only!)

* Game to be played either Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

* One coach per team.

* Teams gather one week prior to the game.

* Game to be played at either Ballymore, Concord Oval or the SCG.

* Moustaches compulsory (and hair product banned).

* No citing officer.

* The game is between QUEENSLAND and NEW SOUTH WALES. Not the QR Reds or HSBC Waratahs.

* The crowd is allowed on the field at full time (or even before it on occasions).

Oh, and one more thing, no match payments. This one would be for nothing but good old fasioned braggin’ rights!

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