Dummies guide to State of Origin 2012: The players
Not a big NRL fan? Don’t know your Greg Bird from your Larry Bird, or think David Carney plays for the Cronulla Sharks? Here’s an alternate player guide to rugby league’s showpiece event, State of Origin.
1. Brett ‘Gallop’ Stewart. Manly fullback also known as David Gallop’s arch-nemesis. Often can be found stroking a white cat in a lair thinking up evil plots and incisive backline plays. Likes giving media interviews as much as Wayne Bennett.
2. Jarryd ‘Planes, trains and automobiles’ Hayne. Parramatta fullback winger-cum-fullback-cum-five eighth who sometimes turns up for the Eels. Often classified missing in action and regularly goes from villain to hero – in the past he has bitten a woman in a nightclub and saved a tourist from drowning. Somehow always turns up for NSW.
3. Michael ‘Two jabs’ Jennings. Looks nothing like former British deputy prime minister John Prescott but does throw a handy punch. Known to travel long distances to get involved in a stink. Had more reprimands than Peter Slipper. Enjoys a quiet tipple when injured.
4. Josh ‘Clone’ Morris. Sired by ‘Slippery” Morris, plays for the Dragons/Bulldogs. Known to be able to be in two places at the same time. Lighting fast, so fast in fact that he seems able to be play for two clubs at once. Also goes by the name Brett.
5. Akuila ‘Isn’t he Fijian?’ Uate. Knights flyer who has taken the mantle from Wendell Sailor and Andrew Johns as having the biggest arse in rugby league. This Fijian flyer is the most famous thing to come out of the Central Coast since Natalia Imbruglia and Grahame Park.
6. Mitchell ‘Junior Junior’ Pearce. Roosters half and son of NSW legend Wayne ‘Junior’ Pearce. Drinking buddy of Blues five-eighth Todd Carney. Rumoured to be planning to name his future child ‘Junior III’.
7. Todd ‘Inkfest’ Carney. Also goes by the alias David Carney in Victoria. Favourite son of Goulburn, especially when he’s behind the wheel. Going for the record of the world’s most tattooed man.
8. Tim ‘Ulysses’ Grant. Teammate of Michael Jennings and Luke Lewis. Penrith Panthers prop. Twenty-four years old. Mute.
9. Robbie ‘Ambush’ Farah. Flamboyant Tigers hooker who in the past has starred for the legendary Lebanese national rugby league side. Has a great relationship with Benji Marshall, not that he has ever been asked about it, and enjoys roaring fires and rooming with Blocker Roach.
10. James ‘Slice of Heaven’ Tamou. Fierce patriot and lover of all things green and gold. The Cowboys prop is a very proud Aussie, so much so that he spent the first 13 years of his life living away from this country to gain an understanding of how good Australia is. Best thing to come out of Palmerston North since John Clarke.
11. Glenn ‘Present’ Stewart. Aspiring pugilist and brother to Brett Stewart. Also part of the anti-Gallop gang. Enjoys punching Adam Blair.
12. Greg ‘Big’ Bird. Former West Maitland/Maitland/Newcastle/Cronulla/Catalans player, now dropping knees and batting away glasses on the Gold Coast. Enjoys picking pumpkins, being arrested and fighting Matt Scott. No relation to NBA legend Larry.
13. Paul ‘Gimli’ Gallen. Reformed bad boy, now NRL poster boy. Forget the on-field racial abuse or the time he tried to pull out the stitches of an opponent. Looks remarkably like a modern day version of a Lord of the Rings dwarf, slaying bigger foes in a game of giants.
14. Trent ‘Barrett’ Merrin. Dragons prop who idolises former St George forward Luke Bailey. Is believed to carry of vial of Bailey’s blood with him everywhere. No relation to the priest from The Exorcist.
15. Luke ‘Wally’ Lewis. Former Penrith captain and mountain man. Great mates with Ivan Cleary. No relation to famous Queenslanders Wally and Hayley, American comedian Richard or explorer Meriwether.
16. Ben ‘Cream Puff’ Creagh. Dragons forward known for his silky skills and love of the tough stuff. Known to turn green and grow into an Incredible Hulk-like figure when labelled ‘soft’. Scared of Justin Hodges.
17. Anthony ‘What now?’ Watmough. Manly back-rower famous for his soup kitchen work and spousal run-ins. Long-time Sea Eagle and Andrew Johns drinking partner. Enjoys reading Proust and reciting Keats.
1. Billy ‘Waterhouse’ Slater: Storm fullback tipped by many as a future Immortal. Also is remarkably one of the few NRL players who has a high-pitched voiced, unlike the throaty yelps of former Maroons Darren Lockyer and Gary Larson. Obviously a throwback to his jockey days.
2. Darius ‘Crybaby’ Boyd: Notoriously temperamental Knights fullback. Also known as Wayne Bennett’s loyal dog. Maybe upset at not getting picked at fullback, Boyd is remembered for giving the worse NRL press conference since his master, Wayne Bennett, during his time at the Dragons.
3. Greg ‘I’m not big on Geography’ Inglis. Also know as ‘GI Joe’ and ‘I’m not big on handshakes’. Former Storm centre and now Souths star who apparently has tried to erase his past like Mad Men’s Don Draper. Lives in a parallel universe where Bowraville is in Queensland.
4. Justin ‘Old Man Knees’ Hodges. Long-Broncos injury-prone centre with paper-thin knees. A kind of veteran for Queensland – having played 13 Origin games out of a possible 35 since 2002. Expect him to be injured at some point in the Origin series.
5. Brent ‘Iron Jaw’ Tate. Cowboys winger with a jaw reminiscent of Mr Incredible and Roger Ramjet. Also carries a skateboard around his neck during games, either to support his neck from a long-term injury or for transport home after matches Tony Hawk-style, it’s unclear which.
6. Jonathan ‘Thirsty’ Thurston. Cowboys star with a penchant for long hair, head gear and tattoos depicting himself as an angel. Versatile player with prominent eyebrows and a laugh that has been known to cure sick children. Starts his kicks for goal on a right angle with ability to bend like a soft-voiced English soccer player.
7. Cooper ‘Big Three’ Cronk. Storm halfback who hates the term the Big Three, despite Inglis’ departure from Melbourne elevating him from his status as the Storm’s equivalent of Ringo Starr. Quiet achieving number 7 with two surnames.
8. Matt ‘Beam me up’ Scott. Not to be confused with the Scottish rugby union player, the American wheelchair basketball player, the fictional character in Stargate, the former English cricketer, the Arizona Wildcats quarterback or the famous agriculturalist with the same name. North Queensland prop who enjoys long walks on the beach and throwing balls at Greg Bird’s head.
9. Cameron ‘Chewbacca’ Smith. Queensland and Storm captain, also known as the hairiest man in league. Has a perpetual five-day shadow despite shaving every five minutes. Suspected to be part-Wookie, and angry.
10. Petero ‘Nickname’ Civoniceva. The man with more nicknames than any other. Also known as the oldest man to play Origin. Will celebrate his 83rd birthday next week.
11. Nate ‘Dumpgate’ Myles. Titans forward with a love of the drink and romping around hotels naked. Enjoys: defacating in stairwells, rugby league and nights out with Todd Carney.
12. Corey ‘Peter’ Parker. Broncos captain and best mates with Michael Ennis. Enjoys getting tattoos, missing goal-kicks and locking scrums. Renowned photographer.
13. Ashley ‘George’ Harrison. Gold Coast forward and ex-Bronco/Rooster/Rabbitoh. Likes moving clubs and doubling his pay packet.
14. Matt ‘The best a man can get’ Gillett. Not a paid brand ambassador for the global razor company. Adamant that his surname is pronounced ‘Gillett’, like ‘fillet’, although Gillette sounds cooler.
15. Dave ‘Gloin’ Taylor. Queensland version of Paul Gallen. Known for his dwarf-like appearance and physical frame that is four foot high and six feet wide. Believed to be possessed by former Maroon Alfie Langer, explained his halfback playing tendencies.
16. Ben ‘Joseph Smith Jnr’ Hannant. Broncos prop and Aryan posterboy. Enjoys procreation and hit-ups.
17. David ‘Bad Nickname’ Shillington. Raiders prop and renowned Canberra big man, the man they call Shillo stands at 194cm and 114kg. Forms part of the Raiders’ giant props group, along with Dane Tilse and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, who can lay claim to be the biggest and most uninfluential forward grouping in rugby league history.