State Of Origin, the criteria for selection is literally the name of the game. Since it’s inception however, there has been a lot of blurred lines on player eligibility on both sides of the border.
Who could forget the massive tantrum that Blues Coach Brad Fittler threw in 2021 over New Zealand born winger Ronaldo Mulitalo’s eligibility status? Or Toowoomba born Peter Sterling leading the Blues around the park in the 80s.
Your State of origin doesn’t necessarily always equal what State Of Origin team you represent and it can often be a very sensitive topic one way or another.
We all know New South Wales fans love to whinge so I’ve put together a Queensland 13 that consists solely of players born outside of the great state to give them even more to sook about.
Here is my Not-From-Queensland Maroons Side.
1. Karmichael Hunt
Origin: Auckland, New Zealand
Starting at Fullback is the cross code international, Karmichael Hunt. Hunt played 10 games for Queensland between 2006 & 2009 but was born across the ditch and didn’t move to Australia till he was 11.
Despite not ever scoring a try for Queensland, Karmichael was an incredibly talented Fullback for the Brisbane Broncos and is only the second ever person in Australia to play three different football codes at an elite level.
2. Israel Folau
Origin: Minto, New South Wales
The man that chose Instagram over professional sport and arguably the greatest high ball specialist of all time gets a wing spot in my Not-From-Queensland side.
Born in Minto, a southern suburb of Sydney. Izzy didn’t actually move to Queensland until he was 15 where he got his first rep call up to the Queensland Schoolboys while playing for Marsden State High.
Folau only played 8 games for the Maroons before moving to Rugby Union but dominated in the State Of Origin arena, scoring some iconic high flying tries on the Wing for the Maroons. If he’d stuck with league (and stayed off social media) he could’ve very easily gone down as QLD’s highest try scorer of all time.
3. Greg Inglis (Captain)
Origin: Kempsey, New South Wales
The greatest centre of all time could’ve very easily have been a Blue. Born in Kempsey, played for Bowraville and lived in Macksville. GI was New South Wales through and through, he played his first senior game at 16 for Hunter Sports High School but then moved up to Brisbane and finished school at Wavell State High School. GI signed with the Norths Devils who were the Melbourne Storm feeder club at the time and you know what happened after that.
Inglis played 32 games for Queensland, scored 18 tries and broke at least 30 Blues Player’s sternums with the strongest fend in Rugby League history. Greg gets the captains armband in my 13 purely because of how upset NSW Fans get over the fact he chose to play for the superior state.
4. Willie Tonga
Origin: Canberra, ACT
In my second centre spot I have Willie Tonga. Tonga was born in the Capital but played his junior rugby league primarily for Cootamundra. Tonga and his family moved to Cherbourg when he was a teen before making his NRL debut for Parramatta in 2002.
Tonga played 8 games for Queensland between 2004-2011 and was a huge part of the Bulldogs premiership win in 2004, even being named in their team of the century in 2015. I want Willie, and I want him in the centres.
5. Lote Tuqiri
Origin: Korolevu, Fiji
Rounding out my backline is another cross-code legend, big Lote Tuqiri. Born in Fiji, Lote did not move to Brisbane until the age of 15 where he played juniors for Souths Sunnybank and attending Sunnybank State High.
Tuqiri played all 6 games in the 2001 & 2002 series for Queensland and scored 5 tries out wide before moving to Rugby Union in 2003 and playing 67 games for The Wallabies.
6. Mat Rogers
Origin: Sydney, New South Wales
I’ve forgotten if I’m putting together a Not-From-Queensland team of a dual code team. Another Wallabies & Maroons legend. Mat Rogers was born in Caringbah, New South Wales and his father Steve Rogers played 21 games for the Blues.
At the age of 9, Mat moved to the Gold Coast where he played Rugby Union for The Southport School (TSS) and Rugby League for the Nerang Roosters.
Rogers had the option of choosing which side of the border he wanted to represent because his father played for the Blues and he met enough criteria to play for Queensland as well and that is who he chose in the end.
Matty played in the 1999 and 2000 series where he scored 3 tries and kicked 12 goals and a field goal before swapping codes and playing for the Waratahs & Wallabies in 2002.
7. Adrian Lam
Origin: Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
At halfback I’m taking Adrian Lam. Born in PNG, Lam’s family moved to Brisbane when he was 7. Lam played 14 games for the Maroons including a Man-Of-The-Match nod in game three of the 1995 series.
Lam played 146 Games in the halves for the Roosters and won a premiership with the tri-colours in 2000.
Lam is the only player ever to Captain QLD and a national team that isn’t Australia and his leadership is exactly what I want in my Not-From-Queensland 13.
8. Petero Civoniceva
Origin: Suva, Fiji
One of the greatest props the game has ever seen. Petero is the man I want coming off the back fence in my 13. Petero was born in Suva but moved to Redcliffe before his first birthday.
Civoniceva was a workhorse for Queensland in the 2000s, he played 33 Origins between 2001 & 2012 as well was 309 NRL games for the Broncos & Panthers (235 & 74)
9. Wayne Bartrim
Origin: Hat Head, New South Wales
Rounding out my spine I have Wayne Bartrim, Born in Hat-Head, a town 326 people on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Bartrim grew up playing Junior Footy in Kempsey.
He made his NRL debut for the Gold Coast Seagulls in 1991 and debuted for Queensland in 1995 where he played 9 Origins and 4 tests for the Kangaroos.
10. Josh Papalii
Origin: Auckland, New Zealand
Big Papa is my choice to pack in opposite Petero. Born in Auckland Papalii moved to Woodridge when he was 5 and grew up playing junior footy for Logan Brothers where he caught the eye of Canberra Raiders scouts and has since played 251 games for the milk.
Papa is has been Queensland’s first choice at Prop almost since his debut in 2013. Since 2013 he has played 21 games for the Maroons and is a fan favourite despite technically being a Kiwi. (If you’re reading this Josh I’m sorry, I’ve seen you box and I don’t want any of the smoke).
11. Sam Thaiday
Origin: Sydney, New South Wales
Slamming Sammy Thaiday, 304 games for the Broncs, 29 games for the Maroons & one of Queensland’s cult figures was actually born behind enemy lines.
The forward was born in Sydney before moving to Townsville at the age of 4, Thaiday played footy for Townsville Brothers as well as the Kirwan State High Rugby League program.
I’m not going to hold those first four years against him, Thaiday was huge whenever he put the Maroon on and his hard work in the middle was integral to Queensland’s 8 in a row (I got 11 entries in before mentioning it).
12. Tonie Carroll
Origin: Christchurch, New Zealand
Another cult figure for the Broncos and Queensland, I have Tunza as my other backrower. Carroll was born in Christchurch before moving to Beenleigh when he was 6 years of age.
Carroll’s no-nonsense defence and ball running prowess is exactly what I want in this 13. Playing 18 Origins between 1998-2007. Fans remember Carroll for his engine and never taking his foot off the brakes.
13. Billy Moore
Origin: Tenterfield, New South Wales
Mr Queenslander himself, all though apparently he’s not saying it anymore. Was actually born just south of the border in Tenterfield.
Billy was raised in Wallangarra, Queensland but was rushed to Tenterfield Hospital instead of Stanthorpe because it was closer. Billy, who is famous for being one of the most patriotic Queenslanders of all time was quoted saying “My Mum assures me I was rushed back to the Channel Country before the oxygen had time to affect my lungs.” When he was quizzed about being born in New South Wales.
Moore played 17 Origins for the Maroons and is remembered for that famous line in 1995 that sparked a very famous Origin Brawl.