Time to take State of Origin on tour
They might just be footy jerseys but they’re some of the most valuable commodities in Australian sport.
And I think it’s time we take to take the blue and maroon colours of New South Wales and Queensland to the world.
What I propose is a post-season four-team representative competition in a similar format as the current Four Nations, but with a twist.
Instead of throwing a minnow team into the mix such as France, Wales or PNG, we include the all the big boppers of representative footy. A four-tribe contest between NSW, Queensland, New Zealand and England.
Is it just me, or do the post-season Kangaroos tours of England usually fail to capture our collective imagination? I don’t ever recall waking up in the wee-hours for a Kangaroos versus England match.
On the odd occasion I might record the games on my PVR, but I just don’t recall stumbling over myself to watch an international.
When they roll out the blue and maroon jerseys though, it is a completely different story.
I’m sure most of us would move heaven and earth to ensure we were near a television on a wintry State of Origin night.
Who here has made an appointment for dinner, a meeting or picking up a relative from the airport on a Wednesday night, then realised later that it was actually Origin night? Who then has had to make the embarrassing call-back to re-arrange?
I want to feel the same way about the post-season representative matches. I want to sweat on the team announcements after the NRL grand final. I want to select my own team and compare it to the actual team once it is announced. I want to wake up bleary eyed to watch footy early in the morning. I want to live, why won’t you let me live?
I think a NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons tour of England would stir up the little child inside us rugby league fans once again.
I’m not proposing this be an annual fixture or anything excessive like that, and I don’t want to devalue the Kangaroos jersey at all.
Perhaps if the series was held once every four or five years, it would be seen as a really special event – any more frequently could be seen as overkill. Maybe the series could be hosted alternatively in England and Australia during the post-season.
Whatever the finer details, I reckon a Blues and Maroons tour would be really really special.
On a more selfish note, and from the perspective of a Blues supporter, it would be an awesome opportunity to bed down some of those player combinations in preparation for the big show – the regular mid-season State of Origin event.
The Queenslanders have had (and still do) have a mortgage on the main playmaking positions in the Kangaroos team.
An extra chance for the NSW spine to play together can’t hurt, can it?
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