This is not Lewis, Lange, Lockyer or Meninga. So, who is Gorden Tallis who said “every time he wears the Maroons jersey, he is one of the top three players”. Vote now for your favorite Queensland player!
Choosing the top 10 of my favorite players of Queensland origin of all time was one of the most difficult tasks I have ever received.
I can list the top 50, but still ignore some of the game masters I admire very much.
In Origin’s 40-year history, many players have brought special performances to Queensland.
Some people played more than 30 Origins. The others only played once or twice for the Maroons.
But what makes Queensland players so special over the years is that few people will be accused of not paying everything for the Malones jersey when they play.
Having said that, here are my 10 favorite Queenslanders.
Who is your favorite maroon? Scroll through the Gordie list below and vote for your list. If they are not on the list, please let us know and post their names in the comment section.
In 1980, at the age of 35, “Big Artie” led Queensland out of the first game in Lang Park, which set the tone for the State of Origin. Beetson was a man who spent most of his career in New South Wales playing the first game that made Origin what it is today. He inspired the next generation of Queenslanders and continues to drive Maroons today. This effect occurred after just one game, and it was all about Arthur.
Lewis took the torch from Beetson and in a way became Queensland’s next Arthur. Wally created an incredible eight best player performances. There have been so many great players since then, but no one can do what the “King” did for Queensland. If you put them all in a bag and shake it, Wally will still be among the best.
Meninga’s influence on Maroons is unique because he has made a lot of contributions to the Queensland team as a player and coach. Marr played 32 games for Queensland and was one of the great Marlon players before coaching 10 series, winning 9 of them, including the famous eight-game winning streak. After a difficult period in Queensland, Marr taught the fabric knowledge of the jersey.
The division of the game in 1995 was not the player’s fault, and the effort of “The Axe” to push that side out of his bed is the epitome of Queensland. Folklore says that the doctor warned him that if he played, he might die. Chris “Choppy” Close and Dick “Tosser” Tosser told him, “There is no better place to die than Lang Park wearing a Queensland jersey”. He unplugged the bit, led Queensland to a famous victory, and went straight back to the hospital.
You can’t play a record 42 Origin games, and you can’t be considered a great Queensland player. Smith’s record goes without saying, he played a huge role in Queensland’s ten-year dominance. Even among those great teams and those great players who play with him, Smith is the glue that keeps them together. He has never played a bad game for Queensland.
Gagai is my personal favorite. You will never question his efforts for Queensland. Almost every time he wears that Maroons jersey, he is the top three of the Queensland team. This is not about your position in the game, but about what you did for Queensland. He has played for that jersey as much as possible.
Inglis has had many great Origin moments in his 32-game career, but one impressed me. Feeling that his team needs to be promoted in the first game of MCG’s 2018 series, “GI” flew out of the line and made a painful tackle against Tom Terbojevic. They said he was offside, but his willingness to do so proved the significance of the Queensland jersey to him. Inglis played the vice main game for so many years, putting aside his conceit, but became the main game that night.
Few people realize Billy’s true strength and the perseverance he did at critical moments. Billy is a true team player, but also has the ability to come up with a game to win. His chips and chase in 2004 was one of the great Origin attempts and marked the beginning of Maroons’ great career. He fought back from a severe shoulder injury and played 31 games for Queensland.
“Alfie” has too many unforgettable Origin moments. He won the game by scoring goals and even returned to the home state from England to inspire Queensland to win the famous series. They are no more special than Allan Langer.
After Darren Lockyer suffered a knee injury in the last game in 2011, I can still see “JT” being pushed onto a wheelchair at Suncorp Stadium. Every Queensland player goes to help him play. No one left that night, they wanted to see JT come back. He ended his Origin career with an unforgettable second victory in Sydney, saving the 2017 series. This is the proper way for JT to exit the Origin stage.