New South Wales rugby league team

Last updated

New South Wales
NSW Blues.png
Team information
NicknameThe Blues
Governing body New South Wales Rugby League
Head coach Brad Fittler
Captain James Tedesco
Most caps Wally Prigg (34)
Top try-scorer Ken Irvine (30)
Top point-scorer Mick Cronin (183)
Home stadium Stadium Australia (84,000)
Uniforms
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Kit right arm navyborder.png
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Kit shorts lightblue stripes.png
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Kit socks 2 navy stripes.png
Kit socks long.svg
First colours
Kit left arm skyblueborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body lightblue large.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm skyblueborder.png
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Second colours
Team results
First game
New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales 8–12 New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg
(Royal Agricultural Society Ground, Sydney; 1907)
First State of Origin game
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 20–10 New South Wales New South Wales colours.svg
(Lang Park, Brisbane; 8 July 1980)
Biggest win
New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales 69–5 Queensland Queensland colours.svg
(Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney; 4 June 1957)
Biggest defeat
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 52–6 New South Wales New South Wales colours.svg
(Suncorp Stadium; 8 July 2015)

The New South Wales rugby league team has represented the Australian state of New South Wales in rugby league football since the sport's beginnings there in 1907. Also known as the Blues due to their sky blue jerseys, the team competes in the annual State of Origin series against neighbouring state, the Queensland rugby league team. This annual event is a series of three games competing for the State of Origin shield. As of 2018, the team is coached by Brad Fittler and captained by James Tedesco.

Contents

Prior to 1980 when the "state-of-origin" selection criteria were introduced, the New South Wales team, in addition to playing annually against Queensland, played matches against foreign touring sides and occasionally toured overseas themselves. They have played all their home matches at ANZ stadium in Sydney, New South Wales in the largest stadium in the state, since it was built in 1999 for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The New South Wales team retain the 2019 Holden State of Origin shield after beating Queensland 2-1 after being down 1-0.

History

Pre-Origin era (1907–1980)

The inaugural 'All Blues' squad of 1907. Allblues07.jpg
The inaugural 'All Blues' squad of 1907.
The first New South Wales team to go to Queensland in 1910. StateLibQld 1 135567 New South Wales Rugby League team, first to come north, 1910.jpg
The first New South Wales team to go to Queensland in 1910.

The New South Wales rugby league team pre-dates the Australian national team, playing their inaugural match against a rebel New Zealand rugby team on the 1907–08 New Zealand rugby tour of Australia and Great Britain under existing rugby union rules. That inaugural "All Blues" side, the first football team assembled by the newly formed NSWRFL was:

Backs: Charles Hedley · Johnno Stuntz · Ed Fry · Dally Messenger · Frank Cheadle · Albert Rosenfeld · Lou D'Alpuget
Forwards: Harry Hamill · Arthur Hennessy · Bob Mable · Peter Moir · Sid Pearce · Billy Cann · Robert Graves · Herb Brackenreg

Two further matches were played against New Zealand before their tour took them to the Northern Hemisphere, with Jim Devereaux also featuring for the Blues. The visiting All Golds won all three games. However, on the return leg of their tour, almost a year later, with the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership established, the Blues won the first two matches they ever played under 13-a-side rules against New Zealand. Later in 1908 the Queensland team, whose first taste of rugby league football was also against the visiting Kiwis, traveled to Sydney for the first series of games between the two states. New South Wales won all three matches, setting a precedent for interstate dominance that would continue throughout most of the 20th century.

In 1910 New South Wales defeated the touring England team in two of their three games. After that they became the first Blues side to travel to Queensland for the annual interstate series.

In 1912 the New South Wales team first toured New Zealand. They also visited New Zealand in 1913. During the 1913 New Zealand rugby league tour of Australia New South Wales played four matches against the Kiwis, winning three of them.

The New South Wales team lost its first game against Queensland in 1922. In 2019 the Blues also toured New Zealand.

During the 1951 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand New South Wales played one match against the successful France national rugby league team, a 14-all draw.

In a 1954 tour match between Great Britain and New South Wales the referee left the field in disgust at the players' persistent fighting after 56 minutes so the match was abandoned. [1]

State of Origin era (1980 – present)

New South Wales' dominance over Queensland came to an end with the introduction of 'state of origin' selection rules in the early 1980s.

During the Super League war, in 1997 New South Wales was represented by two teams: one made up of players from clubs that remained loyal to the Australian Rugby League, which competed in the 1997 State of Origin series; another made up of players from clubs that joined the rebel Super League which competed in the one-off Super League Tri-series.

Ricky Stuart, who had previously coached New South Wales in 2005, was announced as the first full-time Blues coach in November 2010. Following the 2012 series, the Blues' seventh consecutive loss, Stuart resigned the role. Stuart took a role as the Parramatta Eels head coach in 2013, citing family reasons for his move. Although the Blues continued their losing streak during Stuart's tenure, he is credited with restoring passion and pride to the NSW jersey and closing the gap between the two states. He was replaced by former Canberra, NSW and Australia teammate Laurie Daley. Daley's appointment as NSW State of Origin coach was announced in August 2012 and effective from season 2013. Daley got job over candidates including Trent Barrett, Brad Fittler and Daniel Anderson. Daley coached the Blues to a series win in 2014, their first since 2005 and over his coaching rival and long time Canberra & Australian teammate Mal Meninga. Daley ended Meninga's and Queensland's run of eight series wins with victories in Game I and Game II of the 2014 series. In 2015, New South Wales suffered its biggest origin loss losing 52–6 against Queensland in the decider. In 2016, New South Wales lost the series 2–1 but managed to win the third and final dead rubber game. In 2017, New South Wales were widely tipped to win the series as Queensland had a number of key players injured. In Game 1, New South Wales beat Queensland in convincing fashion 28–4 and in Game 2 were leading the maroons 16–6 at halftime before Queensland won the game in the final two minutes to win 18–16. In Game 3, New South Wales lost the series losing 22–6 in Brisbane. In August 2017, Daley was terminated as coach of New South Wales. [2]

In 2018, Brad Fittler was appointed as the new coach and left out established players such as Aaron Woods, Josh Jackson, Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan. The Blues went on to win the series 2–1. [3] In 2019, the Blues were widely tipped to win the series owing to the retirement from representative football of Queensland Origin greats Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith. However, Queensland had an upset win 18-14 over the Blues in Game 1 forcing Fittler to make seven changes to the Blues starting line-up. Though he was roundly criticised for the move, [4] the Blues went on to win the series 2-1, easily defeating Queensland 38-6 in Game 2 in Optus Stadium in Perth Western Australia, the greatest winning margin of a Blues squad since Game 3, 2000. [5] Finally, in a thrilling Game 3 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, winger Blake Ferguson and fullback James Tedesco combined to score the winning try with just 32 seconds to go in the game to secure the series, off the back of play started from recalled halfback Mitchell Pearce. [6]

Colours and badge

The primary colour of New South Wales Blues is sky blue, which represents the state colour of New South Wales. The secondary colour is navy blue, with additional contrasting colour of white.

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers

Period Kit manufacturerMajor SponsorMinor SponsorShorts Sponsor
1980-1983WestmontNo major sponsorNo minor sponsorNo shorts sponsor
1983-1990 Classic Sportswear No major sponsor*No minor sponsorNo shorts sponsor
1991-1996 Classic Sportswear Tooheys Blue Tooheys Blue Tooheys Blue
1997 Canterbury Tooheys Tooheys Tooheys
1998-2004 Canterbury Wizard Home Loans Wizard Home Loans Wizard Home Loans
2005-2007 Canterbury Wizard Home Loans PlayStation 2 Wizard Home Loans
2008 Canterbury Wizard Home Loans nib Wizard Home Loans
2009-2010 Classic Sportswear Aussie Home Loans nib Aussie Home Loans
2011–2017 Classic Sportswear Victoria Bitter nib GIO
2018–2020 Canterbury Brydens Lawyers nib Tooheys
2021– Puma Brydens Lawyers nib Tooheys

* HFC Finance sponsored the NSW Origin team for the one off exhibition game in Los Angeles in 1987

Supporters

The official New South Wales rugby league team supporter group is known as "Blatchy's Blues". [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

Players

Current squad

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsPtsClub
Wing Josh Addo-Carr 28 July 1995 (age 26)932 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Halfback Nathan Cleary 14 November 1997 (age 23)832 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Hooker Damien Cook 23 June 1991 (age 30)98 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
Centre Campbell Graham 2 June 1999 (age 22)00 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
Prop Payne Haas 12 February 1999 (age 22)40 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos
Hooker Apisai Koroisau 7 November 1992 (age 28)00 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Five-eighth Jarome Luai 16 January 1997 (age 24)00 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Second-row Liam Martin 5 March 1997 (age 24)00 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Fullback Latrell Mitchell 16 June 1997 (age 24)48 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
Fullback Cameron Murray 16 January 1998 (age 23)40 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
Prop Junior Paulo 20 November 1993 (age 27)30 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Prop Daniel Saifiti 1 May 1996 (age 25)50 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Second-row Tariq Sims 9 February 1990 (age 31)20 St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons
Fullback James Tedesco (c)8 January 1993 (age 28)1328 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters
Wing Brian To'o 18 August 1998 (age 22)00 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Lock Jake Trbojevic 18 February 1994 (age 27)124 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Fullback Tom Trbojevic 2 October 1996 (age 24)520 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Five-eighth Jack Wighton 4 February 1993 (age 28)64 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
Lock Isaah Yeo 6 November 1994 (age 26)20 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers

Team of the Century (1908–2007)

Before Game I of the 2008 State of Origin series, to celebrate the game's centenary that year, New South Wales named their team of the century: [14]

No.PositionPlayer
Flag of Australia (converted).svg FB Clive Churchill
Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Ken Irvine
Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Reg Gasnier
Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Graeme Langlands
Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Dally Messenger
Flag of Australia (converted).svg FE Bob Fulton
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HB Andrew Johns
Flag of Australia (converted).svg PR Frank Burge
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HK Sandy Pearce
No.PositionPlayer
Flag of Australia (converted).svg PR Glenn Lazarus
Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Ron Coote
Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Norm Provan
Flag of Australia (converted).svg LK Johnny Raper
Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Wally Prigg
Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Dave Brown
Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Steve Rogers
Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Roy Bull

Hall of Fame

Ahead of the 2017 State of Origin series, NSW named the inaugural inductees to the NSWRL Hall of Fame, joining automatic inductees Dally Messenger and the seven Immortals who represented NSW. [15]

ImmortalYear InductedClub/s
Dally Messenger Automatic Selection Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs
Clive Churchill Automatic Selection South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney
Bob Fulton Automatic Selection Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs
Reg Gasnier Automatic Selection St. George colours.svg St. George
Johnny Raper Automatic Selection Newtown colours.svg Newtown
St. George colours.svg St. George
Graeme Langlands Automatic Selection St. George colours.svg St. George
Arthur Beetson Automatic Selection Balmain colours.svg Balmain
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs
Andrew Johns Automatic Selection Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle
Bradley Clyde 2017 Canberra colours.svg Canberra
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown
Ron Coote 2017 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs
Laurie Daley 2017 Canberra colours.svg Canberra
Brad Fittler 2017 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney City
Bob McCarthy 2017 South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown
Norm Provan 2017 St. George colours.svg St. George
Keith Holman 2018 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs
Ken Irvine 2018 North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah
Steve Rogers 2018 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland
St. George colours.svg St. George
Steve Mortimer 2019 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown
Tommy Raudonikis 2019 Western Suburbs colours.svg Western Suburbs
Newtown colours.svg Newtown
Billy Smith 2021 St. George colours.svg St. George
Brett Kenny 2021 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta
Glenn Lazarus 2021 Canberra colours.svg Canberra
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane
Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne

Origin Greats

As part of the 25-year celebrations in 2005, New South Wales named 25 legends for each year before that. [16]

No.PositionPlayer
Flag of Australia (converted).svg FB Tim Brasher
Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Noel Cleal
Flag of Australia (converted).svg LK Bradley Clyde
Flag of Australia (converted).svg FE Laurie Daley
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HK Benny Elias
Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Andrew Ettingshausen
Flag of Australia (converted).svg FE Brad Fittler
Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Eric Grothe Sr.
Flag of Australia (converted).svg PR Paul Harragon
Flag of Australia (converted).svg FB Garry Jack
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HB Andrew Johns
Flag of Australia (converted).svg FE Brett Kenny
No.PositionPlayer
Flag of Australia (converted).svg PR Glenn Lazarus
Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Paul McGregor
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HB Steve Mortimer
Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Michael O'Connor
Flag of Australia (converted).svg LK Wayne Pearce
Flag of Australia (converted).svg LK Ray Price
Flag of Australia (converted).svg PR Steve Roach
Flag of Australia (converted).svg PR Ian Roberts
Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Paul Sironen
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HB Peter Sterling
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HB Ricky Stuart
Flag of Australia (converted).svg HB Geoff Toovey
Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Rod Wishart

Captains

PlayerOccasionsGame(s) as Captain
Tommy Raudonikis 11980
Steve Rogers 11981
Max Krilich 51982, Games 1 & 3 1983
Ray Price 3Game 2 1983, Games 1 & 2 1984
Steve Mortimer 3Game 3 1984, Games 1 & 2 1985
Wayne Pearce 10Game 3 1985, 1986–1988
Peter Sterling 11987 Exhibition Match
Gavin Miller 31989
Ben Elias 61990, 1991
Laurie Daley 101992, 1993, 1998, Game 3 1999
Brad Fittler 171994–1996, Games 1 & 2 1999, 2000, 2001
Geoff Toovey 31997
Andrew Johns 62002, 2003
Danny Buderus 152004–2008
Kurt Gidley 52009, Games 1 & 2 2010
Trent Barrett 1Game 3 2010
Paul Gallen 162011, 2012, Games 1 & 2 2013, 2014, Games 2 & 3 2015, 2016
Robbie Farah 2Game 3 2013, Game 1 2015
Boyd Cordner 102017–2019, Game 1 2020
James Tedesco 4Games 2 & 3 2020, 2021

Coaches

New South Wales have had a total of thirteen different coaches at State of Origin level, eight of which have previously played for the Blues. The list also includes the known coaches from the pre-Origin era and only counts games against Queensland. Games against touring teams from New Zealand, Great Britain and France are not included. Ted Glossop, Frank Stanton and Terry Fearnley are the only coaches to have coached NSW in both State of Residence and State of Origin formats.

NSWRL Hall of Fame inductee and Immortal Brad Fittler is the incumbent coach for the NSW Blues. [17] In his first match in charge, he chose 11 players to debut. [18]

CoachEraGamesWinsSuccess %
Dick Dunn 19614250%
Harry Bath 1962, 1968–1972111091%
Eddie Burns 1963–196422100%
Ian Walsh 196511100%
Paul Quinn 196511100%
Noel Kelly 196633100%
Reg Gasnier 19672150%
Ron Saddler 196711100%
Graeme Langlands 1973–197612975%
Ted Glossop 1980–1981, 19839555%
Frank Stanton 1978–1979, 1982, 198411764%
Terry Fearnley 19855480%
Ron Willey 1986–19877571%
John Peard 1988300%
Jack Gibson 1989–19906233%
Tim Sheens 19913133%
Phil Gould 1992–1996; 2002–2004241458%
Tommy Raudonikis 1997–19986350%
Wayne Pearce 1999–20019556%
Ricky Stuart 2005; 2011–20129444%
Graham Murray 2006–20076233%
Craig Bellamy 2008–20109222%
Laurie Daley 2013–201715640%
Brad Fittler 2018-11764%

Selectors

As of 2018 the current New South Wales State of Origin side's selection panel consists of Danny Buderus, Andrew Johns and Greg Alexander.

Records

New South Wales Residents rugby league team

New South Wales Women's rugby league team

See also

Related Research Articles

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