New South Wales rugby league team
|Governing body||New South Wales Rugby League|
|Head coach||Laurie Daley|
|Most caps||Brad Fittler (31)|
|Top try-scorer||Michael O'Connor (11)|
|Top point-scorer||Michael O'Connor (129)|
|Home stadium||ANZ Stadium (84,000)|
| New South Wales 8–12 New Zealand
(Royal Agricultural Society Ground, Sydney; 1907)
|First State of Origin game|
| Queensland 20–10 New South Wales
(Lang Park, Brisbane; 8 July 1980)
| New South Wales 69-5Queensland
(Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney; 4 June 1957)
| Queensland 38–0 New South Wales
(Brisbane Exhibition Ground; 3 July 1926)
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 team, the Queensland rugby league team. This annual event is a series of three games competing for the State of Origin shield. In 2013 & 2014 the Blues were captained by Paul Gallen and coached by Laurie Daley.
Prior to 1980 when the "state-of-origin" selection criteria was 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 Stadium Australia, New South Wales' largest stadium, since it was built in 1999.
- 1 History
- 2 Colours and badge
- 3 Players
- 4 Coaches
- 5 Selectors
- 6 Notes
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Pre-Origin era (1907–1980)
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 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. This year 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.
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 victory in 2014, their first since 2005 and over his coaching rival and long time Canberra & Australian team mate 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
Colours and badge
The primary club colour of New South Wales Blues is sky blue, which represents the state colour of New South Wales. The secondary club colour is navy blue, with additional contrasting colour of white.
Shirt sponsors and manufacturers
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Major Sponsor||Minor Sponsor||Shorts Sponsor|
|2012–||Classic Sportswear||Victoria Bitter||nib||GIO|
Most recent squad
|Position||Game 1||Game 2||Game 3|
|Wing||Brett Morris||Will Hopoate||James McManus|
|Centre||Josh Morris||Josh Dugan|
|Centre||Michael Jennings||Josh Morris|
|Prop||Aaron Woods||Paul Gallen (c)|
|Prop||James Tamou||Aaron Woods|
|Second row||Beau Scott|
|Second row||Ryan Hoffman|
|Lock||Paul Gallen (c)||Greg Bird|
|Interchange||Trent Merrin||James Tamou|
|Interchange||Anthony Watmough||Boyd Cordner|
|Interchange||Luke Lewis||Trent Merrin|
|Interchange||Tony Williams||Luke Lewis|
|18th Man||Josh Jackson||Tony Williams|
|19th Man||Will Hopoate||Jarrod Croker|
Team of the Century (1908–2007)
As part of the 25-year celebrations in 2005, New South Wales named 25 legends for each year before that.
|Player||Occasions||Game(s) as Captain|
|Max Krilich||5||1982, Games 1 & 3 1983|
|Ray Price||3||Game 2 1983, Games 1 & 2 1984|
|Steve Mortimer||3||Game 3 1984, Games 1 & 2 1985|
|Wayne Pearce||10||Game 3 1985, 1986–1988|
|Peter Sterling||1||Game 4 1987|
|Ben Elias||6||1990, 1991|
|Laurie Daley||10||1992, 1993, 1998, Game 3 1999|
|Brad Fittler||17||1994–1996, Games 1 & 2 1999, 2000, 2001|
|Andrew Johns||6||2002, 2003|
|Kurt Gidley||5||2009, Game 1 & 2 2010|
|Trent Barrett||1||Game 3 2010|
|Robbie Farah||1||Game 3 2013|
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.
|Ted Glossop||1980–1981, 1983||5||1||20%|
|Frank Stanton||1982, 1984||6||2||33%|
|Phil Gould||1992–1996; 2002–2004||24||14||58%|
|Ricky Stuart||2005; 2011–2012||9||4||44%|
The current New South Wales State of Origin side's selection panel consists of Bob Fulton, Bob McCarthy and Geoff Gerard. During the Blues five series loss from 2006 to 2010 they came in for criticism. The selectors have come under increasing amounts of criticism as NSW also lost the series in 2011, 2012 and 2013 making it a record 8 series losses in a row for the Blues.
- a. ^ Young switched places with Ennis to play in the starting side after being initially selected for the bench.
- Baker, Andrew (1995-08-20). "100 years of rugby league: From the great divide to the Super era". Independent, The (independent.co.uk). Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- ARL (2008). "Australian Rugby Football League 2008 Annual Report" (pdf). Australian Rugby Football League Limited. p. 30. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- "League names Origin greats". Retrieved 2007-05-12.[dead link]
- Swanton, Will (2010-05-22). "Selectors are wrong, wrong, wrong, unless they're right, of course". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia: Fairfax). Retrieved 2010-05-21.