State of Origin series

Last updated

State of Origin
Current season or competition:
Rugby football current event.svg 2020 State of Origin series
Sport Rugby league
Instituted 1982
Inaugural season 1980
Number of teams2
Country Australia (ARLC)
Shield Holders New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales (2019)
Website NRL website
Broadcast partner Nine Network
Related competitions City vs Country Origin
Super League Tri-series

The State of Origin series is an annual best-of-three rugby league matches between two Australian state representative sides, the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. [1]


Referred to as Australian sport's greatest rivalry, [2] [3] [4] [5] the State of Origin series is one of Australia's premier sporting events, attracting huge television audiences and usually selling out the stadia in which the games are played. [6] It is regularly described as being the pinnacle of rugby league, even in comparison with international competitions. [7] [8] [9] [10]

Players are selected to represent the Australian state in which they played their first senior rugby league game. Before 1980 players were only selected for interstate matches based on where they were playing their club football at the time. In both 1980 and 1981, there were two interstate matches under the old selection rules and one experimental "State of Origin" match. From 1982 onwards a best-of-three match series has been played around the middle of the rugby league season for the State of Origin shield. During the early years the overall series results remained relatively even, however, Queensland surged ahead between 2006-2019, winning every series apart from 2014, 2018 and 2019.


Since the 1908 establishment of rugby league in Australia, the sport's two major states, New South Wales and Queensland, have played representative matches against each other which have continued into the "state of origin" era which began in the 1980s. The two states' teams are frequently referred to as the Blues and Maroons, reflecting the respective colors of their jerseys. These were the colors of the Australia national rugby league team's jersey until the adoption of the green and gold. The Blues team is administered by the New South Wales Rugby League and the Maroons by the Queensland Rugby League. The New South Wales team are sometimes referred to by the nickname "Cockroaches" and the Queensland team as "Cane Toads", due to names given to them by Barry Muir and Johnny Raper respectively. It was reinforced by a marketing campaign used in the 1980s where the respective teams were caricatured as such.

Whilst other Australian states also have representative rugby league teams, they have not competed in the State of Origin.


Interstate Rugby League prior to 1980

The first calls for a state of origin selection policy in interstate rugby football came before the schism between the union and league codes eventuated in Australia. In 1900 a journalist known as 'The Cynic' wrote in The Referee that star rugby player and recent immigrant to Queensland, Stephen Spragg, should be able to play for his home state of New South Wales.

Since the beginning of Australian rugby league in 1908, an interstate competition between New South Wales and Queensland has been conducted from time to time. Until 1982 each team drew its players from the clubs based in that state. No consideration was given to the origins of the players themselves.

The first of these interstate games was played at Sydney's Agricultural Ground on 11 July 1908, before Queensland had even commenced its club competition. New South Wales easily accounted for Queensland in a 43–0 victory. The local media were unimpressed.

There can be no doubt the NSW men are improving a good deal... They cannot be blamed for the farce, for it was nothing else. If the Australian team depends on Queenslanders to strengthen it, one is afraid it will be found wanting. They are quite the weakest lot of footballers I have even seen come down from Queensland. The play needs no detailed description as it was simply a practice match for NSW, and certainly did not advantageously advertise the new game.
-The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 July 1908

The interstate series was dominated by New South Wales, apart from a golden period for Queensland in the 1920s. From 1922 to 1925 Queensland defeated New South Wales 11 times in 12 matches. At the end of the 1925 season, a Kangaroo team was to be picked for touring Great Britain. Instead of announcing an Australian team dominated by Queenslanders, the Australian Rugby League Board of Control informed the media that the Rugby Football League had decided that the Kiwis would provide stronger opposition and that there would be no Australian tour. The period spanning 1922 to 1929 saw no Australian team play in Great Britain, the only such hiatus outside the two World Wars.

The New South Wales dominance of interstate football increased after 1956 when gaming machines were legalized for all registered clubs in New South Wales. This provided New South Wales football clubs with a revenue source unmatched by Queensland clubs. From this time on an increasing number of Queensland, players moved to the much stronger Sydney competition, becoming ineligible for Queensland state selection. Paul Hogan famously told a Queensland Rugby League gathering in 1977 that "every time Queensland produces a good footballer, he finishes up being processed through a New South Wales poker machine."

Before 1956, NSW had won 75% and Qld only 25% of series played. From 1956–1981, NSW dominance soared even higher and Qld wins dwindled to only 3.8% with only 1 series win, in 1959.

Conception of State of Origin football

By the 1970s the prestige of interstate matches had been seriously downgraded. Matches were played mid-week, so as not to interfere with the Sydney club competition, and the small crowds in New South Wales were hosted at suburban grounds. [11] Interstate football reached its nadir in 1977 when the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) declined to host the Queensland team, and both interstate games were played in Queensland.

Former Queensland captain and Australian vice-captain Jack Reardon, who had later become a journalist, was the first to suggest that Sydney-based Queenslanders should be available for selection to represent their state. [12]

Brisbane Courier-Mail reporter Hugh Lunn, Barry Maranta (the future co-founder of the Brisbane Broncos) and Maranta's business partner Wayne Reid played a part in persuading QRL chairman Ron McAullife that the concept could be used in rugby league. Lunn told McAullife that "you can take the Queenslander out of Queensland, Ron, but you can't take the Queensland out of the Queenslander." McAuliffe was initially skeptical. "What if we recall our boys from Sydney to play, and we are beaten. Where would we go from there?" Reid spoke to NSWRFL president Kevin Humphreys and suggested that a one-off state of origin match could be used as a Test Match selection trial.

New South Wales clubs were reticent in their support of the concept and set two conditions:

Three Sydney clubs remained opposed to the plan: St. George Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Eastern Suburbs Roosters. As these clubs were refusing to release players, Humphreys threatened to make the game an official Australian Rugby League trial, which would make release mandatory. The clubs backed down.


After Queensland lost the first two interstate matches in 1980 (35–3 and 17–7, the second game in front of only 1,638 Sydneysiders) it was announced that a 'state of origin' match would take place on 8 July at Lang Park in Brisbane. The New South Wales media gave both the event and Queensland's chance of winning it, little credence, calling the game a "three-day wonder". Australia's 1978 captain Bob Fulton called the match "the non-event of the century". Ron MacAullife however, was now committed to the concept and vigorously promoted the match. Thousands of tickets were sold before the game had been officially sanctioned. Although interstate matches in Brisbane had still been well attended (24,653 had attended the opening match of the 1979 series), few expected the sell-out crowd of 33,210 Queensland rugby league fans, delighted to see their heroes in the likes of Arthur Beetson representing their home state for the first time. Queensland convincingly beat New South Wales 20–10.

I was strongly against such a match, but last night's gripping clash showed that such a fixture would be a welcome addition to the League program. [13]

Alan Clarkson, journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald , 6 October 1980

In 1981 the first two interstate matches were again played under the old selection rules. As New South Wales won the first two matches in the series, state of origin selection rules were used once more in the third match. Although New South Wales ran out to an early 15–0 lead in the game, Queensland rallied to win 22–15.


The first State of Origin shield, depicting Queensland's Wally Lewis and New South Wales' Brett Kenny. First State of Origin Shield.jpg
The first State of Origin shield, depicting Queensland's Wally Lewis and New South Wales' Brett Kenny.

The interest generated by the experimental state of origin matches of 1980 and 1981 and the potential for financial rewards were enough to convince the authorities to play all three games under the state of origin rules the following year.

The State of Origin format is the only possible way to allow the interstate series to survive.

Frank Hyde (2 June 1982) [14]

Despite the Maroons' success so far in the State of Origin experiments, the New South Wales media dismissed the seriousness of the Queensland threat to the Blues' long-held dominance in series wins. Queensland however, under the leadership of immortal captain Wally Lewis, was inspired by this, and for the first three State of Origin series, Queensland won 2 matches to 1.

However, in 1985, under the leadership of captain Steve Mortimer, New South Wales won the deciding match in front of 29,068 spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground, claiming the series for the first time. The following year the Blues were able to go one better and complete the first state of origin whitewash, taking the series 3–0.

1987: American controversy

After Queensland had won the 1987 series 2–1, a fourth game was played at Long Beach, California to showcase rugby league to the American public.

In Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980–2002 (2003) Queensland writer Jack Gallaway tells a story:

There was one additional Origin contest played in 1987. The Queenslanders had climbed the mountain and at no point did they take the project seriously in any competitive sense. The State of Origin trophy was safely stowed in the Queensland Rugby League board room at Lang Park, and for the Maroons, the visit to the United States was their end-of-season outing, the game an exhibition... Such was the Blues' disappointment at the loss of the State of Origin series that they would go to any length to restore some vestige of their lost pride. The New South Wales Rugby League hierarchy told their men to prepare for the contest as though it was a deciding test match. The match was played at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California in front of 12,349 fans. The Blues won the game 30–18.

In 1987 the Australian Rugby League (ARL), New South Wales Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League agreed that the match would only count towards the players' statistics. On 15 July 2003 the Australian Rugby League (whose primary members are originally from the New South Wales Rugby League) announced that the fourth 1987 game was to be classified as an official match, and that a win in the state of origin match on 16 July 2003 would take New South Wales into the overall lead.

ARL and NSWRL chief executive Geoff Carr said: "There had been some debate over whether the Origin fixture . . . in 1987 was counted as an official match but a search of ARL records has confirmed the status conferred on that clash by the game's governing body at the time. In announcing the match in Big League in April 1987, Ken Arthurson, the ARL's chief executive in 1987, was quoted as saying 'It's an exciting experiment but the match isn't and won't be billed as an exhibition match'."


After the controversy of the match played in the United States, the Queensland halves pairing of Allan Langer and Wally Lewis led the Maroons in their 3–0 series wins in both 1988 and 1989. The rise of the Canberra Raiders in the then Winfield Cup club competition produced for the Blues the formidable halves combination of Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley who brought New South Wales back from defeat with two wins in the opening games of the 1990 series. It was evident that as the rivalry between the two states grew, the Origin matches had become much more physical forward orientated game than the open running play seen in earlier series.

As the great Queensland players from the 1980s began to retire from the game, the Maroons struggled with a team of fresh faces and considerable inexperience. 1992, 1993 and 1994 series all went to NSW as the talent and experience of Blues players such as Brett Mullins, Daley and Stuart in the backs and Benny Elias and Bradley Clyde in the forwards gave the Blues the edge when the games were on the line. It wasn't until the upheaval of the Super League war in 1995 that the Maroons were able to again clinch a series.

The main cause for concern for Queensland was the fact that the Brisbane Broncos, its players and many other Queenslanders were not aligned with the ARL prohibiting any players signed with the Super League to play for the Maroons. Despite this, the Queenslanders won the 1995 series 3–0 in a shocking white-wash. The 1996 series saw the off-field contract dramas put aside as all players were allowed, regardless of contract, state of origin selection. Having the majority of the Queenslanders back didn't help the Maroons though as the Blues 1996 white-wash with a 3–0 series win of their own.

The Australian game divided in 1997 into two competitions, one run by the ARL and one by the News Limited-owned Super League, and an interstate series was played in each. Under the Super League banner, there was a Tri-Origin series with a New Zealand side added to the competition. The ARL meanwhile stuck to its traditional format. The teams were selected using origin rules, and New South Wales and Queensland met twice. These matches do not count towards the official state of origin record. As with the premiership, players were spread between two representative tournaments as well.

The competitions merged again in 1998 as the current National Rugby League, and the series that year proved to be enthralling as both sides won a game each away from home, setting up a decider at the Sydney Football Stadium where 39,000 fans witnessed the visiting Queenslanders take the series 2–1. The end of the decade saw a dramatic series with each side taking one game each and game three ending in a draw. Queensland was awarded the series as at the time the previous winners retained the interstate honors.


The early to mid-2000s saw New South Wales starting to assert its traditional interstate dominance, causing some critics to question the future of State of Origin. However, this imbalance tipped in the third and deciding game of the 2006 State of Origin series, which is seen as the starting point of Queensland's unprecedented dynasty. Queensland followed by winning the 2007 series, as well as the 2008 series, which made Queensland's streak three series in a row. New South Wales won Game 1 on 21 May 2008, however, Queensland won Game 2 on 11 June 2008, and Game 3 on 2 July 2008. Queensland continued to follow this up by winning the first two games of the 2009 series becoming the first state to win four series in a row.


In 2010, Queensland won its historic, record-breaking, fifth consecutive Origin series with a 23–18 win in the third and final match. This was the first Queensland team to win all three consecutive State of Origin Games in 15 years. Queensland full back Billy Slater won the man of the match in the third game and was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal as Man of the Series in 2010. The 2010 State of Origin series was also the second televised program in Australia to be shot in 3D 1080i DVB-T as well as being simultaneously broadcast in regular 576i and 1080i DVB-T and PAL.

In the first game of the 2011 series, Queensland defeated New South Wales 16–12. In the second game, New South Wales defeated Queensland 18–8. Queensland won the series 34–24 in the 2011 decider in what was Queensland captain Darren Lockyer's 36th and final game. Cameron Smith won the man of the match in both the first and third game and was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal as Man of the Series.

In 2012, then NRL CEO David Gallop introduced the Under-20s State of Origin for Toyota Cup players which saw New South Wales winning. Queensland went on to win a historic 7th series win in 2012, winning the final game by 1 point.

In 2013, New South Wales defeated Queensland 14 to 6 in game 1, Queensland defeated New South Wales 26 to 6 in game 2, while in-game 3 Queensland defeated New South Wales 12 to 10 to take out the overall Origin title for the eighth consecutive time. The 2013 series set a new State of Origin television rating record for a whole series since the 2001 introduction of the rating system. [15]

In 2014, New South Wales defeated Queensland 12-8 in the first game of the series, and 6-4 in the second. [16] In the third game Queensland defeated New South Wales 32-8 after scoring the first try of the game in the 37th minute, with Queensland leading 6-2 in the first half. This gave the Blues the first series win in 8 years.

In 2015, Queensland defeated New South Wales 11-10 in game 1 played in Sydney, New South Wales defeated Queensland 26-18 in game 2 played in Melbourne, Queensland defeated New South Wales 52-6 in game 3 played in Brisbane, winning the series 2-1.

In 2016, Queensland defeated New South Wales 6-4 in game 1 and clinched the series with a 26-16 win in the second match. New South Wales closed off the series with an 18-14 win over Queensland.

In 2017, New South Wales won Game 1, 28-4 sparking the New South Wales media to start proclaiming the beginning of the Blues Dynasty.[ citation needed ] Queensland won Game 2, 18-16 after making changes to the team with the returning Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston, who kicked the winning goal for Queensland. Thurston injured his shoulder in the 30th minute of the match, essentially disabling it as he played out the whole match. Thurston was later ruled out for the rest of the year after scans revealed his shoulder needed a reconstruction, ending his representative career as he announced 2017 would be his last representative year. In Game 3, New South Wales went in with an unchanged lineup for all three games, the first to do so since 1996. Queensland dominated the Blues, winning 22-6, with Queensland winger Dane Gagai winning the Wally Lewis Medal for Best Player in the series. It also had Johnathan Thurston raise the Origin Shield with Queensland Captain Cameron Smith, before being chaired off the ground by his teammates, ending Thurston's representative career on a high note.

In 2018, New South Wales won their first State of Origin series in four years, defeating Queensland 22–12 and 18–14 in the first two games. Queensland scored a consolation victory 18–12 in the final game.

In 2019, Queensland defeated New South Wales in the first match 18-14. New South Wales then defeated Queensland 38-6 in the second and also won the third game 26-20. This was the first time since 2005 which New South Wales won a series decider and a consecutive series win.



VenueCityNo. of GamesHighest CrowdLowest Crowd
Lang Park (Brisbane Stadium/Suncorp Stadium) Brisbane5252,54016,559
Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC Stadium) Brisbane249,44147,989

New South Wales

VenueCityNo. of GamesHighest CrowdLowest Crowd
Stadium Australia (Telstra Stadium/ANZ Stadium) Sydney2588,33655,421
Sydney Football Stadium (Allianz Stadium) Sydney1441,95516,910
Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) Sydney642,04820,242

Interstate & International

VenueCityStateCountryNo. of GamesHighest CrowdLowest Crowd
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) MelbourneVictoriaAustralia491,51325,105
Docklands Stadium MelbourneVictoriaAustralia356,02150,967
Olympic Park Stadium MelbourneVictoriaAustralia125,800
Veterans Memorial Stadium Long BeachCaliforniaUnited States112,439
Optus Stadium PerthWestern AustraliaAustralia159,721-
Adelaide Oval AdelaideSouth AustraliaAustralia1 (2020)TBCTBC


In 2013, each individual game in the series drew a higher Australian television audience than any other sporting event. [17] In recent years the series has gained popularity outside of New South Wales and Queensland, with games played in Melbourne drawing record crowds for rugby league [18] and local television ratings comparable to those of some Victorian AFL matches. [19] Internationally, the series is televised in 91 countries, [20] and is a national obsession in Papua New Guinea, occasionally sparking riots, violence and deaths. [21] [22] It also draws a strong following in neighbouring New Zealand. [23]


Within Australia, Nine Network is the main broadcaster for the series, with replays airing on Fox Sports. The series is also broadcast on radio by ABC Grandstand.

Setanta Sports broadcasts live matches in Asia. In the United States, Fox Soccer televised all matches live using the Nine feed since 2011, with the coverage moving to Fox Sports 2 when Fox Soccer was discontinued in August 2013. [24] [25] Sky Sports broadcasts live coverage of State of Origin in the UK.

Roy and HG's State of Origin commentary was once broadcast on Australian youth radio network Triple J. This broadcast was presented by the characters "Rampaging" Roy Slaven and HG Nelson (played by John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver), who commentated the game with a unique comedic style. Roy and HG's broadcasts began in the late 1980s and continued until 2008. Roy and HG moved from Triple J to radio network Triple M in 2009, at which point the duo ceased their State of Origin commentary.

Selection rules

Under State of Origin rules players were previously selected for the state in which they first played senior (or registered) rugby league. In 2012, the NSWRL, CRL, QRL and ARLC agreed on new criteria in determining Origin eligibility, to encompass other factors, such as place of birth. Players must also be eligible to represent Australia at international level.


From time to time the selection of players under the State of Origin rules creates controversy. Since 1980, Queensland has completed just the 7 series with a team completely made up of players of a Queensland birth, while for New South Wales the total is only 6. [26] However, the place of birth has only been a relevant factor in eligibility since 2012.

An issue of contention has been the selection of players such as Peter Sterling, Ken Nagas, James McManus, Israel Folau and Greg Inglis. Israel Folau was born and raised in New South Wales but is eligible to play for Queensland as he played his first senior rugby league match in Queensland. Ken Nagas was born and raised in Queensland but decided to play for New South Wales, Peter Sterling was born in Toowoomba, Queensland but raised in Wagga Wagga, Newcastle and Sydney, all in New South Wales, while McManus was born in Scotland and was raised in the Northern Territory, but was ruled eligible to play for New South Wales in the 2009 series.

The selection of Greg Inglis by Queensland was disputed. The Queensland Rugby League selected him based on the fact that either Wavell State High School or Brisbane Norths was Inglis' first senior football, making him eligible for both states per the rules at the time. [27] [28] [29] However Inglis had previously played for Hunter Sports High School in Newcastle, New South Wales, in the Arrive Alive Cup; considered to be a senior competition. Hunter Sports High coach Steve Dunn said "there was some talk the other day that he was brought to Queensland before his 16th birthday but I was the coach of the team. He played for us at 16, he's a Blue". [30] The controversy led to the creation of the "That's In Queensland" viral video.

Due to the clarification of selection rules, the Sims brothers are eligible for different States. Tariq and Ashton are eligible for New South Wales while Korbin Sims is eligible for Queensland. [31] Previously father and son combinations, such as Steve and Mat Rogers have represented different states. This duo was especially notable because Mat was born in New South Wales and played for Queensland while Steve was born in Queensland and played for New South Wales. Steve Rogers played his first senior game of rugby league for the Southport Tigers on Queensland's Gold Coast, in an NSW CRL competition.

Foreign-born players have also represented each state. New Zealand has had several players, such as Brad Thorn, Ben Te'o, Craig Smith, Willie Mason, Tonie Carroll, James Tamou and Karmichael Hunt play Origin. Tamou's selection by New South Wales in 2012 was controversial as he was born in Palmerston North and played for the Junior Kiwis, lived in New Zealand until he moved to Sydney when he was 13 and was included in the New Zealand national rugby league team training squad for the 2011 Four Nations. [32] Both Hunt and Tamou played for Australia before being selected for the State of Origin. Other players, such as Sam Kasiano and Jason Taumalolo are also eligible, creating concern in the New Zealand Rugby League. [33] Apart from representing Queensland, Brad Thorn is also a dual rugby international, having played international rugby league for Australia, and international rugby union for the All Blacks.

Papua New Guinea-born Adrian Lam and Fijian-born Lote Tuqiri, Akuila Uate and Petero Civoniceva have also played Origin. Benny Elias was born in Lebanon and has played for and captained NSW. Mario Fenech was born in Malta and has played for NSW. The most recent case of a foreign-born player being selected was the selection of former Samoan international, Ben Te'o, by Queensland in game three of the 2012 season. [34]

A report into eligibility based on a player's birth state showed; "Of the 18 series that QLD has won, it had the greater percentage of non-State [born] players in its side on 14 of those occasions – revealing a 77.8% dependency. Of the 13 series that NSW has won, on five of those occasions, it had a higher percentage of non-State [born] players across the series – revealing a 38.5% dependency." [26]


  1. In 1995 and 1997 Super League players were made ineligible for the ARL State of Origin series selection. This included most of Queensland's usual team, who now plays for the Super League affiliated Brisbane Broncos. The ARL hence decided to relax the rules in those years, allowing Queensland to select Adrian Lam who had previously played for Papua New Guinea. The 1995 Origin series was the scene of the biggest upset in Origin history when the relatively inexperienced Maroon's swept aside NSW, who even without their Super League players could still boast several senior Origin and international players, 3-0.
  2. During the 2000 World Cup several Australian players were granted dispensations to appear for other nations under the grandparent rule. The players affected were David Barnhill (NSW), Kevin Campion (Qld), Tonie Carroll (Qld), Graham Mackay (NSW), Willie Mason (NSW), Luke Ricketson (NSW), Lote Tuqiri (Qld) and Adrian Vowles (Qld),


Year by year

Of the 38 full series played, Queensland has won 21, New South Wales 15, with 2 series drawn (Queensland retained the Shield on both occasions as the previous year's winner). With the addition of three one-off games that were played in 1980, 1981 and 1987, the total number of games played is 108. Queensland have won 58, New South Wales have won 51, with 2 matches being drawn. [35]

The series of 1999 and 2002 are considered drawn series, as both New South Wales and Queensland won a single game of each 3 match series, with the final game concluding in a draw. At that time there was no overtime rule to break the deadlock, and by the same set of rules, Queensland retained the shield as they were the previous holders, but did not win the series. Due to the controversy around the second drawn series, and the rule awarding the series champions to Queensland, the rules were subsequently changed to rule out drawn matches and series. Equal points at the close of full-time are now resolved with the golden point method.

State of Origin series
YearWinnerWinsLossesDrawnShield Holder
1982 Queensland210Queensland
1983 Queensland210Queensland
1984 Queensland210Queensland
1985 New South Wales210New South Wales
1986 New South Wales300New South Wales
1987 Queensland21 0Queensland
1988 Queensland300Queensland
1989 Queensland300Queensland
1990 New South Wales210New South Wales
1991 Queensland210Queensland
1992 New South Wales210New South Wales
1993 New South Wales210New South Wales
1994 New South Wales210New South Wales
1995 Queensland300Queensland
1996 New South Wales300New South Wales
1997 New South Wales210New South Wales
1998 Queensland210Queensland
1999 Draw111Queensland
2000 New South Wales300New South Wales
2001 Queensland210Queensland
2002 Draw111Queensland
2003 New South Wales210New South Wales
2004 New South Wales210New South Wales
2005 New South Wales210New South Wales
2006 Queensland210Queensland
2007 Queensland210Queensland
2008 Queensland210Queensland
2009 Queensland210Queensland
2010 Queensland300Queensland
2011 Queensland210Queensland
2012 Queensland210Queensland
2013 Queensland210Queensland
2014 New South Wales210New South Wales
2015 Queensland210Queensland
2016 Queensland210Queensland
2017 Queensland210Queensland
2018 New South Wales210New South Wales
2019 New South Wales210New South Wales
State of Origin non-series matches
1980 Queensland100
1981 Queensland100
1987 New South Wales100

Wally Lewis Medal

The Wally Lewis Medal was awarded by the Queensland Rugby League for the Queensland player of the series from 1992 to 2003, when The Ron McAuliffe Medal replaced it as the Queensland exclusive award. From 2004 onwards it has been awarded to the player of the series irrespective of state, to the following players:

2004 Craig Fitzgibbon New South Wales Lock Sydney Roosters
2005 Anthony Minichiello New South Wales Fullback Sydney Roosters
2006 Darren Lockyer Queensland Five-eighth Brisbane Broncos
2007 Cameron Smith Queensland Hooker Melbourne Storm
2008 Johnathan Thurston Queensland Halfback, Five-eighth North Queensland Cowboys
2009 Greg Inglis Queensland Centre Melbourne Storm
2010 Billy Slater Queensland Fullback Melbourne Storm
2011 Cameron Smith Queensland Hooker Melbourne Storm
2012 Nate Myles Queensland Second-row Gold Coast Titans
2013 Cameron Smith Queensland Hooker Melbourne Storm
2014 Paul Gallen New South Wales Lock, Prop Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
2015 Corey Parker Queensland Lock Brisbane Broncos
2016 Cameron Smith Queensland Hooker Melbourne Storm
2017 Dane Gagai Queensland Wing Newcastle Knights
2018 Billy Slater Queensland Fullback Melbourne Storm
2019 James Tedesco New South Wales Fullback Sydney Roosters





1. ^ Smith, and Thurston competed in at least one game associated with each series wins.


Other Records

Players still currently active are listed in bold.


Basic Records
VenueGamesNSWDrwQldNSW ptsQLD ptsTotal pts
Lang Park5619136805 (134-137-5)1073 (181-176-8)1878 (315-313-13)
S.C.G630368 (12-10-1)76 (14-11-0)144 (26-21-1)
Long Beach110030 (5-5-0)18 (3-3-0)48 (8-8-0)
S.F.S14608189 (33-28-1)199 (34-31-1)388 (77-59-2)
Olympic110012 (2-2-0)6 (1-1-0)18 (3-3-0)
M.C.G510189 (15-14-1)64 (11-10-0)153 (26-24-1)
Stadium Australia281819531 (91-81-5)370 (66-55-2)901 (157-136-7)
QEII200232 (5-6-0)66 (13-7-0)98 (18-13-0)
Docklands300342 (8-5-0)62 (11-9-0)104 (19-14-0)
Perth Stadium110038 (6-7-0)6 (1-1-0)44 (7-8-0)
Totals117532621836 (311-295-13)1940 (335-301-11)3776 (646-596-24)
Leading Try Scorers
Try ScorerStateGamesTries (Ave.)
Greg InglisQLD3218 (0.56)
Darius BoydQLD2817(0.61)
Dale ShearerQLD2612 (0.46)
Billy SlaterQLD3112 (0.39)
Dane GagaiQLD1211 (0.92)
Jarryd HayneNSW2311 (0.48)
Michael O'ConnorNSW1911 (0.58)
Allan LangerQLD3410 (0.29)
Darren LockyerQLD369 (0.25)
Valentine HolmesQLD58 (1.60)
Timana TahuNSW128 (0.67)
Tom TrbojevicNSW55 (1.00)
James TedescoNSW105 (.50)
Leading Point Scores
Point ScorersStateGamesTriesGoalsField GoalsPoints Average (%)
Johnathan ThurstonQLD375992220 (5.95)
Mal MeningaQLD326690161 (5.03)
Michael O'ConnorNSW1911421129 (6.79)
Andrew JohnsNSW23438496 (4.17)
Darren LockyerQLD36922282 (2.28)
Ryan GirdlerNSW8727082 (10.25)
Greg InglisQLD32180072 (2.25)
James MaloneyNSW14231070 (5.00)
Darius BoydQLD28170068 (2.43)
Dale ShearerQLD26126066 (2.54)
Rod WishartNSW22522064 (2.91)
Venue Stats
VenueStateGamesTotal AttendanceAverage
Lang ParkQLD562,255,90940,284
Long BeachNeutral112,43912,439
Stadium AustraliaNSW282,109,66375,345
Perth StadiumNeutral159,27159,271
Appearance Stats
Cameron SmithQLD422003-2017
Johnathan ThurstonQLD372005-2017
Darren LockyerQLD361998-2011
Allan LangerQLD341987-2002
Petero CivonicevaQLD332001-2012
Mal MeningaQLD321980-1994
Nate MylesQLD322006-2017
Greg InglisQLD322006-2018
Wally LewisQLD311980-1991
Billy SlaterQLD312004-2018
Brad FittlerNSW311990-2004
Leading Goal Kickers
PlayersStateGamesGoals/Attempts (%)
Nathan ClearyNSW57/7 (100%)
Jamie SowardNSW39/11 (81.82%)
James MaloneyNSW1431/38 (81.58%)
Mat RogersQLD512/15 (80.00%)
Jamie LyonNSW108/10 (80.00%)
Johnathan ThurstonQLD3696/121 (79.34%)
Trent HodkinsonNSW612/16 (75.00%)
Tim BrasherNSW219/12 (75.00%)
Craig FitzgibbonNSW1120/27 (74.07%)
Darren LockyerQLD3622/30 (73.33%)
Ryan GirdlerNSW827/37 (72.97%)
Cameron SmithQLD4216/22 (72.73%)
Most Points Scored In A Games
PlayersStateTriesGoalsField GoalsPointsGame
Ryan GirdlerNSW310032Game 3, 2000
Lote TuqiriQLD33018Game 2, 2002
Johnathan ThurstonQLD09018Game 3, 2015
Michael O'ConnorNSW25018Game 1, 1985
Mal MeningaQLD24016Game 1, 1989
Darren LockyerQLD24016Game 3, 2001
Dale ShearerQLD24016Game 3, 1989
Mal MeningaQLD07014Game 1, 1980
Darren LockyerQLD15014Game 1, 2001
Johnathan ThurstonQLD07014Game 2, 2008
Michael O'ConnorNSW15014Game 4,1987
Series List
YearWinnersGamesCrowd Average
1982 Queensland322,334
1983 Queensland325,705
1984 Queensland326,426
1985 New South Wales330,301
1986 New South Wales331,623
1987 Queensland336,020
1988 Queensland325,056
1989 Queensland335,452
1990 New South Wales332,817
1991 Queensland335,715
1992 New South Wales337,806
1993 New South Wales335,465
1994 New South Wales356,340
1995 Queensland344,122
1996 New South Wales339,480
1997 New South Wales328,856
1998 Queensland338,490
1999 Draw (Queensland retain)355,267
2000 New South Wales353,025
2001 Queensland352,866

Under 20s

The Under 20s State of Origin has only had eight seasons so far (2012 to 2019) [36] with only one game a year, instead of three. New South Wales has won seven of the eight, with Queensland winning their first in 2018. [37] They play for the Darren Lockyer Shield.

2012 New South Wales100
2013 New South Wales100
2014 New South Wales100
2015 New South Wales100
2016 New South Wales100
2017 New South Wales100
2018 Queensland100
2019 New South Wales100

Women's State of Origin

The Women's State of Origin is the Women's rugby league version of the game and has been running since 1999. The players play for the Nellie Doherty Cup. Furthermore, the current record for series won in the competition rests with Queensland, who won every series from 1999-2014, a better straight record than their male counterparts.

1999 Queensland100
2000 Queensland100
2001 Queensland100
2002 Queensland100
2003 Queensland100
2004 Queensland100
2005 Queensland100
2006 Queensland100
2007 Queensland100
2008 Queensland100
2009 Queensland100
2010 Queensland100
2011 Queensland100
2012 Queensland100
2013 Queensland100
2014 Queensland100
2015 Draw001
2016 New South Wales100
2017 New South Wales100
2018 New South Wales100
2019 New South Wales100

All-Team Records

Queensland: 1808 Points

New South Wales: 1842 Points

See also

Related Research Articles

A State of Origin competition is a type of sporting event between players representing their state or territory, popularised by the rugby league State of Origin series. State of Origin began in Australian rules football on 8 October 1977 between Western Australia (WA) and Victoria, at Subiaco Oval in Perth, the initial brainchild of Leon Larkin. The selection criteria for Australian football have varied, but they are generally applied to players who have played most of their juniors games in a particular state or territory, hence the name "State of Origin". In Rugby league the criteria are different, where players are selected for where they either first played senior Rugby league or where they played in the majority of senior competitions. The annual rugby State of Origin series is one of Australia's most popular sporting events. The name is also used in Australia for small sporting events which generally involve domestic representative teams.

Laurie Daley Australian rugby league footballer and coach

Laurie William Daley AM, also known by the nicknames of "Lozza" and "Loz", is an Australian professional rugby league football coach and a former player who played as a centre and five-eighth in the 1980s and 1990s.

New South Wales rugby league team rugby league team

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 2019, the team is coached by Brad Fittler and captained by Boyd Cordner.

Queensland rugby league team Australian rugby league team

The Queensland rugby league team represents the Australian state of Queensland in rugby league football. Nicknamed the "Maroons", after the colour of their jersey, the team plays three times a year against arch-rivals New South Wales in the State of Origin series. Coached by Kevin Walters and captained by Daly Cherry-Evans, the team is administered by the Queensland Rugby League and plays all of its home matches at Brisbane's Lang Park.

The 2007 State of Origin series was the 26th year that the annual best-of-three series of interstate rugby league football matches between the Queensland and New South Wales representative teams was contested entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. Queensland won the series by winning the first two games. New South Wales avoided the whitewash by winning the third match held at Suncorp Stadium. The Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series was awarded to Queensland's hooker, Cameron Smith.

Terence Colin Fearnley was an Australian rugby league footballer and coach.

Billy Moore is a New South Welshman former rugby league footballer who played as a lock or second-row forward in the 1980s and 1990s. He played representative football for both Queensland, and Australia.

The 2005 State of Origin series saw the 24th time that the annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league football teams was contested entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. The three matches drew a total attendance of 187,309 and New South Wales won the series 2-1, their third consecutive series victory, and their last until 2014.

The 1980 State of Origin game was the first game between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues rugby league teams to be played under "state of origin" selection rules. It was the third match of 1980's annual interstate series between the Blues and the Maroons, and was only allowed to go ahead because the first two matches were already won by New South Wales. It was played on 8 July 1980 under the newly configured rules by which a player would represent his "state of origin", i.e. the state in which he was born or in which he started playing registered first grade rugby league football.

The 1997 State of Origin series was the 16th year that the annual best-of-three series of interstate rugby league football matches between the Queensland and New South Wales representative teams was contested entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. Like the 1995 State of Origin series, players from clubs aligned with Super League were not eligible for selection. Gone were established players Laurie Daley, Allan Langer, Ricky Stuart, Wendell Sailor, Glenn Lazarus, Bradley Clyde, Gorden Tallis and Kevin Walters - all representing their respective states in the newly invented Super League Tri-series.

The 1981 State of Origin game was the second such match between arch rivals Queensland and New South Wales to be played under State of Origin selection rules. Again it was played as the third game of an already-decided 3-game series. New South Wales' victories in the first two games under the "state of residency" selection rules were, however, the last matches of this kind to ever be played as the following year the Origin concept was fully embraced.

The 1996 State of Origin series saw the 15th time that the annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league football teams was contested entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. This series saw the return to representative football of players who had signed with Super League, after a court decision had delayed the beginning of Super League until at least 2000. As a result, both teams were back to full strength, and a new record was set for the highest State of Origin crowd at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The 1995 State of Origin series was the 14th time that the annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league football teams was contested entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. Due to the Australian Rugby League's ongoing conflicts with Super League, they ruled that no Super League-aligned players were eligible for State of Origin selection in 1995. This appeared to hurt Queensland more than New South Wales, eliminating Queensland's mostly Brisbane Broncos star-studded back line, and they were not widely expected to win the 1995 series. However, they won 3–0, their first series win since 1991. Novice Queensland coach Paul Vautin made only one player change to his squad during the three game series. This series once again saw State of Origin football venture to Melbourne, after an enthusiastic Melbourne crowd packed the MCG to watch game two of the 1994 series. Although the crowd in Melbourne was not as high as 1994's then-record origin crowd of 87,161, it was still a runaway success, attracting 52,994 spectators and furthering the case for a first grade team in Melbourne.

The 1987 State of Origin series saw the sixth time the annual three-match series between the New South Wales and Queensland representative rugby league football teams was contested entirely under 'State of Origin' selection rules. It saw the emergence of new faces who would go on to become Origin legends, record crowds for all three matches, and an additional exhibition game played in Long Beach, California.

The 2008 State of Origin series was the 27th year that the annual best-of-three series of interstate rugby league football matches between the Queensland and New South Wales representative teams was contested entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. At its commencement each side had won twelve Origin series with two series drawn.

The 1982 State of Origin series was the first annual three-match series between New South Wales and Queensland to be played entirely under "state of origin" selection rules. After the matches in 1980 and 1981 that trialed the concept, 'Origin' was fully embraced in 1982, with no matches using the previous seventy-four years' residential-based selection rules ever played again.

The 2009 State of Origin series was the 28th time that the annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league football teams was played entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. Queensland won their first two matches to retain the shield and to record 14 series wins, as well as the first time in Origin history that a state had won the series for four consecutive years. Maroon centre Greg Inglis was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal as player of the series.

The 2010 State of Origin series was the 29th annual best-of-three series of interstate rugby league football matches between the Queensland and New South Wales representative teams played entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. For the second year in a row, a Queensland victory set a new record for consecutive State of Origin titles, reaching five. Queensland won all three matches, completing their first series white-wash since 1995.

The 2011 State of Origin series was the 30th annual best-of-three series of interstate rugby league football matches between the Queensland and New South Wales representative teams contested under "State of Origin" selection rules. For the third successive year a Queensland victory set a new record for consecutive State of Origin titles, reaching six. Game I was played in Brisbane, Game II in Sydney and Game III was again played in Brisbane. Game III was also Australia's most watched sports TV programme for the year 2011.

2012 State of Origin series

The 2012 State of Origin series was the 31st time the annual best-of-three series between the Queensland and New South Wales rugby league teams was played entirely under 'state of origin' rules. For the fourth successive year a Queensland victory set a new record for consecutive State of Origin titles, reaching seven. Game I was played at Melbourne's sold out Etihad Stadium and won by Queensland; its television broadcast watched by more than 2.5 million viewers, rating it as the most-watched State of Origin broadcast since the introduction of OzTAM ratings in 1999. New South Wales' series-equalling win in Game II, played at Sydney's sold out ANZ Stadium, set a new TV ratings record for most-watched second game of any series in State of Origin history. The decider, Game III was played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium and was won by Queensland. This game set a new record for the highest television audience in Australia for a rugby league match since the introduction of the OzTam ratings system in 2001.


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  9. Vanessa Battersby; Paul Smitz; Barry Blake (2007). Australian language & culture . Lonely Planet. p.  83. ISBN   9781740590990.
  10. Mackay, Jamie (17 July 2009). "State of Origin in league of its own". The Southland Times . Fairfax New Zealand Limited. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  11. Middleton, David (2008). League of Legends: 100 Years of Rugby League in Australia (PDF). National Museum of Australia. p. 27. ISBN   9781876944643. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2011. Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  16. Roar, The. "2014 State of Origin 1 full-time result" . Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  17. Lallo, Michael (29 October 2013). "The X Factor a winner in the ratings, as Ten slumps". The Age . Retrieved 29 October 2013.
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  1. ^ Fagan, Sean (2005). The Rugby Rebellion. RL1908. ISBN   0-9757563-0-3.
  2. "State of Origin 30 Years: 1980 – 2009" by Liam Hauser, Rockpool Publishing, ISBN   9781921295386
  3. "NSW v Queensland: 1908 – 1980" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  4. ^ "The First State of Origin" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  5. ^ "State of Origin History 1981–2004" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  6. ^ "The Origin of State of Origin" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  7. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2001). The Brisbane Broncos: The Team To Beat. University of Queensland Press. ISBN   0702233420.
  8. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980–2002. University of Queensland Press. ISBN   0-7022-3383-8.
  9. ^ McGregor, Adrian (2004). Wally Lewis: Forever the King. University of Queensland Press. ISBN   0-7022-3434-6.
  10. ^ "Overseas Players and State of Origin" by Jeff Wall, Crikey 12 April 2005, Retrieved 18 November 2005
  11. ^ "The Origins of State of Origin" by Jeff Wall, Crikey 23 May 2005, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  12. ^ "We Still Want Hunt" [ dead link ] National Rugby League, 21 March 2005, Retrieved 18 November 2005
  13. ^ "How it all began", no date, retrieved 8 May 2007

General records and statistics

  1. "State of Origin 30 Years: 1980 – 2009" by Liam Hauser, Rockpool Publishing, ISBN   9781921295386
  2. ^ Fagan, Sean (2005) "State of Origin Results 1980–2005" RL1908, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  3. ^ "History: State of Origin Results 1980–2003" by the Australian Rugby League, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  4. ^ "History" by The Roar, Retrieved 8 July 2016
  5. ^ "State of Origin Records" by the Queensland Rugby League, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  6. ^ "State of Origin Statistics" by World of Rugby League, Retrieved 15 November 2005
  7. ^ Official State of Origin website, Retrieved 15 November 2006

Sources disputing the 1987 Los Angeles match

  1. ^ Colman, Mike (26 November 2005) "Assigning History by asterisks" The Courier-Mail (page 61)
  2. ^ Dick, Barry (16 July 2003) "Origin Battle Rages On and Off the Field" The Courier-Mail (page 1)

Player lists

  1. ^ State of Origin website

Further reading