A star-studded line-up of rugby league talent, representing nearly 300 State of Origin appearances for Queensland, was named in the Deadly Maroons Indigenous 40-year Origin team at Redcliffe Leagues Club last week.
Queensland Rugby League, in conjunction with Deadly Choices, finalised selections for the prestigious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outfit, where selections were based on the individual impact each player had had over the past four decades within the Origin arena.
The team is full of talent and features Queensland’s first Origin captain, the late, great ‘Artie’ Beetson, early flyers Dale Shearer and Steve Renouf, the might and aggression of Gorden Tallis and Sam Thaiday, coupled with the outstanding flair of Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Willie Tonga and Dane Gagai.
Each inductee in attendance at the announcement was presented with commemorative shirts by Queensland Minister for Sport Stirling Hinchliffe, during the official presentation lunch.
Greg Inglis, simply brilliant
“I suspected the finalised Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin team would be something special and you only need to look at those players who missed out among the 33 eligible nominees to appreciate just how intense the competition for spots were,” QRL managing director Rob Moore said.
“It’s difficult to compare footballing talent across different eras and given the exceptional abilities of this star-studded group of players, they could easily hold their own against any opposition.
“The Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin team is a fitting celebration and acknowledgement of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including the vital contributions made, on and off the field by players, their families and fans alike.
“Aligned under our partnership arrangement with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s (IUIH) Deadly Choices program, the Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin team initiative complements other positive health promotional programs which have been instigated across Queensland for the past two years and will continue through 2021.”
Deadly Choices aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to take control of their health – to stop smoking, to eat healthier and exercise more.
“Top level rugby league partnership programs have long provided Deadly Choices a strong medium to better engage communities,” IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said.
“The spectacle of State of Origin, and particularly the Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin team concept ensures we have an even stronger voice across Queensland which is invaluable as we continue to service the health needs of communities during the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
Matt Sing - Saving tries and scoring them
A major directive of the Deadly Maroons campaign was to promote healthy lifestyle choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland, including maintaining regular health checks at participating Community Controlled Health Services across the State to receive a Deadly Maroons shirt.
Last year, the Deadly Maroons campaign helped achieve several key milestones, including:
- 9234 Deadly Maroons health checks completed throughout the campaign
- 1556 Deadly Maroons branded Deadly Choices education program shirts given out to students that completed Deadly Choices education programs throughout the campaign
- 1022 Deadly Maroons hoodies given out as prizes to community members engaging in social media competitions and Deadly Choices programs and events
- 50 Deadly Maroons aprons delivered as prizes in the 2020 Good Quick Tukka programming
- 3643 entries into the Deadly Maroons health check competition with 12 winners selected to attend State of Origin Game III
- 681 entries into the Deadly Maroons 40 Year team competition with two winners selected to attend State of Origin Game III
Deadly Choices shirts have played a key role in driving demand for preventative health care, contributing to an incredible 4000% increase in health checks in South East Queensland over the past 10 years, and leading to the expansion of Deadly Choices right across Queensland.
1 - Artie runs out as a Queenslander
Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin team
- Greg Inglis – 32 games
- Dane Gagai – 16 games
- Steve Renouf – 11 games
- Justin Hodges – 24 games
- Matt Sing – 24 games
- Johnathan Thurston – 37 games
- Scott Prince – five games
- Arthur Beetson – one game
- PJ Marsh – four games
- Sam Backo – seven games
- Gorden Tallis – 17 games
- Carl Webb – 12 games
- Sam Thaiday – 29 games
- Matt Bowen – 10 games
- Willie Tonga – eight games
- Wendell Sailor – 14 games
- Dale Shearer – 26 games
Read about some of the Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin team nominees: