State of unOriginal - Green and Gold Rugby
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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!

  • sammy

    Give Qld the NSW front row and then stick em in green and gold and watch them rip it up!

    This game would be go to qld by 15points at least, even though the qld half-5/8 combo is the only area that qld are far far superior.

    Good pick on cam shepard. I wish that guy could stay fit for more than 3 games. I’d bench mortlock and stick cross at 12 and horne at 13- that combo would be a wall with plenty of ability to break the line- can’t believe someone gave old mortlock a three year contract. Surely NSW has more depth than turinui?

  • Interesting how it seems to be the same schools year after year putting out the class professional players. It’s the same here in NZ. I guess if you want to be a professional rugby player and get exposure to the right people you have to go to those “Big Gun” schools, but it sucks for the little guys. Very cool article. I would love to see that game!

    • sammy

      Alot of them started high school in other schools and then got picked up by the private schools on rugby scholarships. Not always a bad thing as it does create quality schoolboy comps, but when you see how much these schools pride themselves on rugby its a bit of a joke when they basically just ship in ring-ins. That said GPS over CAS anyday!

  • Reddy!

    No point, Reds would win easily.

  • Reddy!

    Haha I said Reds, but I mean Queensland. One and the same.

  • Batmann

    Will never happen, because you are excluding the guys from Canberra and the other States.

    • Conor

      Three way Origin?
      QLD v NSW v Combined?

      Wont happen, as i reckon JON might have to much pride to seem like he’s ripping off league.

      • Mista Mista

        Great article Noddy. I like the line “But let’s humour them all shall we?”
        Origin should be kept well clear of Rugby. Its League’s greatest asset but also its curse. It cements Leagues place as a Qld and NSW game, those in others states may enjoy the series but they not represented. If Origin does expand beyond those two states it will lose its impact and League loses its prize asset.

        Union is fortunate with the ‘franchise’ system. No one really cares where the players have come from, they just support their State (NSW, QLD, ACT, WA and now VIC). It’ll take the Rebels less than year to set up and the Victorians will have a team to support. In League, an origin set up will take generations before a competitive non NSW/QLD will emerge (if ever).
        Origin is Leagues expansion curse

  • robbo

    can’t be giving kurtley b a run at 10, we’ve all seen how badly that ends up (he had to defend on the blind side wing ffs) put him in the back 3 if anything (not that he’d get a look in with that NSW fliers)…QLD better as you say in every dept apart from the front row. I’d say it could end up being an absolute lesson for the NSwelshmen.

    • if he is left at 5/8 he is actually a really good player that led nsw to within a whisker of a title a few years back.

      his defence is about 40 times better than it was a couple of years ago, and playing fullback will give him a better understanding of the game so when he comes back into the line he is killing it.

  • Scotty

    Interesting to see how many are born outside of Qld, and move there during or before school, while most of the NSW guys have been born and bred there. Not sure if there is anything to read into that, or if it is just a fluke.

    • Noddy

      yeah good call Scotty. I have a few theories on this:

      1) the natural immigration (both domestic and foreign) to QLD
      2) the GPS in schools in Brisbane I BELIEVE are a lot more prominant in terms of offering scholarships.
      3) the dominance of league in this state has required schools to look elsewhere for talent.

    • D

      it’s because it’s such an awesome place to live, rather than the shit holes they are born in

      • Alex

        spot on D

  • Refabit

    WAVERLEY College has an “e” in it.
    I’ll still give you a 9/10.

  • Neil

    I think Birthplace is sorted here !
    Make is simple as it should be, none of this school boys, club rugby shit.
    Where they were born. Simple.
    Anyone who was born outside of the country, they can play Super 14 and internationals, but State of Origin implies what “State” you “Originated” from. NSW or QLD.
    Doesnt get any simpler than this !!

    • Neil

      But in saying this, it will never work.

      SANZAR Super 14’s is NRL State of Origin on steroids !

    • Noddy

      I raised the issue of place of birth over here

      I’m not sure its relevant.

      Peter Sterling would’ve played for QLD if it was.

      • +1 I don’t think people who were born in NSW but raised and bred in QLD could give a shit about playing for NSW and vice versa. It’s all about what state you were raised in, which state you have allegiance.

  • Goochmeister

    Great idea Noddy. It would be a great game I reckon, might even be a stink or two on.
    I think a couple of those stipulations you have should be incorporated into the Super 15, namely: No sponsors on jerseys (can’t happen I know), staying on the field at half time (we have to do it on a weekend, why can’t they?) and compulsory moustaches (just gives a feeling of the good old days when you could actually ruck).

  • JJJ

    It’d be interesting, but there’s not much point. League needs SoO because Australia is the only country who’s much good at it, which means intra-nation matches are the only way to emulate the kind of step-up union players get every time they play international tests.

    There’s also the injury front. It’s ironic that Horwill should be the one endorsing an extra Qld vs NSW derby when his s14 season was ended by one almost before it began. If they have to get injured I’d rather it happen against a meaningful foe.

    • Noddy

      Horwill was injured against the Crusaders.

  • Pedro

    This is like a test between union and leaguies, great idea but it will never happen.

    Anyway edmunds would be backup hooker over that frier guy.

  • Geeves

    Damn the old games when it was QLD v NSW to select the wallabies used to be classic. Back then most of the players were state based.

    I still remember seeing, Merrick (halfback) rip the QLD side apart. Hell he was a talented player even if he was on the wrong side.

    Should be easy enough to have NSW, QLD & combined

  • Seb V

    Theres only one club team in both NSW and QLD so whats the point. Bringing a couple of players back and excluding all the other states seems pointless. In league the rivalry is great but it wouldnt be the same in union it will simply just be reds fans vs tahs fan as always. The possibles vs probables match is a better idea. Maybe something like city vs country. Or something completely new. The NSW vs QLD vs Combined doesnt sound too bad but i still cant see a great following.

    • Pete

      mate they HAVE to do a possibles v probables…. i think it would be fantastic

      except at the moment they call it ‘Australia’ V ‘Australian Barbarians”. that doesn’t mean anything

      probables v possibles suggests that the incumbents need to prove they should stay and the possibles need to be there!

  • Seb V

    Oh how about a private school vs public?

    • The only real problem with that is for those who go to private in years 11 or 12 on a scholarship.

  • #1 Tah

    AAC to fullback. Shepard to wing. Carter to 12.

  • armatt

    For Quados and Pocock, it’s the “Anglican Church Grammar School” – hasn’t been CEGS since the 1980s.

    That aside, the QLDers would rip up.

  • Brumby Jack

    Other conditions: leather ball, sand for place kicking, all lineouts done Mark McBain style and the ‘magic sponge’ for all blood injuries

    • Red and Ready

      don’t forget….
      1. black leather boots with screw-ins
      2. headgear limited to tape around the head
      3. mouth guard if you feel it is really required
      4. full stregth beer in cans
      5. no TMO ref just makes a call

    • Red and Ready

      don’t foget
      1. black leather screw in boots 18 at the front 21 at the back
      2. rucking allowed
      3. full strength can bar
      4. no headgear or mouth guard
      4. no TMO refs call

  • Langthorne

    I can’t see it happening, but I’d love to see it.

    They are real fantasy teams though as there are loads of current/regularly injured lining up.

    That NSW pack would mash the QLDers (that NSW front row depth is amazing).

    QLD would have to dip into their reserves pretty early too when Palu, TPN, Horne and Mortlock start putting the big hits on.

    Beale would do fine at 10, but his form at 15 this season has been great. Maybe Halangahu at 10 with Beale at 15 as it would reinforce the NSW midfield defence.

  • flower power

    The Great Qld myth has been exposed.Every year Reds fans carp on how all their players are playing for other teams. The facts are… This year on a regular basis only 2 BORN and bred boys from the run on Reds side were Queenslanders. (Hynes, Simmons) Tah’s on the other hand fielded 10!
    Not to mention only 3 Qld boys are on the playing books for the Tah’s . Vice versa the number is 5.
    The Red’s no doubt are great team and fun to watch but to call it a true Queensland team is a bit much. The rest of the team made up of Kiwi’s and ex Brumbies.
    Hardly the hotbed of Australian rugby!

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