New South Wales rugby league team
|Governing body||New South Wales Rugby League|
|Head coach||Laurie Daley|
|Most caps||Clive Churchill (37)|
|Top try-scorer||Michael O'Connor (11)|
|Top point-scorer||Michael O'Connor (129)|
|Home stadium||ANZ Stadium (capacity 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 3 games to battle for the State of Origin plaque. The Blues are captained by Paul Gallen and coached by Laurie Daley as of 2013.
Previously the New South Wales team, in addition to playing annually against Queensland, played matches against foreign touring sides and toured overseas themselves. They have played all their home matches at Stadium Australia, New South Wales' largest stadium, since it was built in 1999.
Pre-Origin era (1907–1980)
The New South Wales rugby league team pre-dates the Australian national team, playing their first ever match against a rebel New Zealand rugby team on their first ever tour in 1907 under existing rugby union rules. That inaugural "All Blues" side, the first football team assembled by the newly formed NSWRFL was:
- Charles Hedley · Johnno Stuntz · Ed Fry · Dally Messenger · Frank Cheadle · Albert Rosenfeld · Lou D'Alpuget · Harry Hammill · Arthur Hennessy · Bob Mable · Peter Moir · Sid Pearce · Billy Cann · Robert Graves · Herb Brackenreg
The following year the Queensland rugby league team 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 toured New Zealand in 1922.
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 abrupt end with the introduction of 'state of origin' selection rules in the early 1980s.
Due to 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, and 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 made the decision to step down from his role, despite continual pleas from the NSWRL to stay. Stuart took the job as the Parramatta Eels head coach in 2013, citing family reasons for his move. Despite the fact that the Blues continued their losing streak during Stuart's tenure, he is commonly 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.
Laurie Daley, on 21 August 2012, was reported that he would be the NSW State of Origin coach from 2013, taking over from former Canberra team mate Ricky Stuart. Daley got the job in preference to other candidates including Trent Barrett, Brad Fittler and Daniel Anderson. Daley is looking to lead the Blues to their first series win since 2005, and comes up against long time Canberra and Australian team mate Mal Meninga who has coached the Maroons to those seven straight series wins. New South Wales' record for consecutive series losses extended to eight. Unfortunately, he came up short.
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
|Wing||James McManus||Injured - Jarryd Hayne|
|Prop||Aaron Woods||Injured - Paul Gallen|
|Hooker||Robbie Farah (c)|
|2nd Row||Ryan Hoffman|
|2nd Row||Luke Lewis|
|Interchange||Boyd Cordner (d)|
|18th Man||Josh Reynolds|
* (c) - Captain | (vc) - Vice Captain | (d) - Debut Game .
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.
- 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.
- website "NSW VB Blues team announcement - Game One". 3 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- 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.