27 June, 2016 11:30
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Outside of the undeniable talent that is Blake Ferguson, Desperate Blues coach Laurie Daley has now been forced to steer away from the usual NSW Origin formula by selecting “a couple more” players that are of Aboriginal descent, ahead of the third match of the Queensland dominated series.
After ten series losses in eleven years, Daley has proposed the radical the idea of following Queensland’s lead and attempting to match players to positions that might suit them, instead of running a team full of ageing club captains.
With skipper Paul Gallen set to retire at the end of the series and NSW desperately trying to avoid a series whitewash, there has been great conjecture over the immediate future of the Blues’ senior players, which includes the most capped Indigenous Blues player in modern history, Greg Bird.
Speaking to the media today, Daley has said he is hoping the NSWRL back his “unusual” decision to select “a few more” non-Anglo-Saxon footballers.
ABOVE: Over the last decade, majority of the QLD Maroons’ star players have been Aboriginal
“As an Indigenous person myself, I recognise the importance of making sure our side isn’t solely based around tattooed club favourites from the Western Suburbs. We need a bit more pepper,”
“It’s only worked well for Queensland. I mean at least let me have both Fifitas.”
The calls for a bit more “Black Magic” come after former Blues star and popular Australian boxer, Anthony Mundine addressed the embarrassing second-match series loss on his Facebook page.
Daley believes he wouldn’t have to look far to find a few eligible blackfellas.
“Mate just look at the family trees!” he said
“James Roberts is related to Amos Roberts, Tyrone Roberts, Albert Kelly and Mundine. Mate, he’s even cousins with one of the Queensland players (Greg Inglis)”
“I seriously doubt I would have even got a run if people knew I was a blackfella in the 80’s”
However, the NSWRL has defended their age-old selection process, with spokesman Rhyll Whyte suggesting that other factors need to be considered.
“While we recognise the talent of James Roberts, Tyrone Peachey, Jack Wighton, Corey Norman, Alex Johnston, Nathan Peats, Jamie Soward and Ryan James… We need to remember that some of our non-Indigenous players also come from very important dynasties that we need to show respect for,”
“James Maloney’s dad (Brian Maloney) was a lock forward and captain coach of the Orange CYMS,”
“We also need to keep a diversity amongst NRL clubs and choose players from the heartlands. We can’t just fill our side with the Kempsey mob,”
“The last thing we want is a bunch of similar-minded players, who understand each other’s style of play, keeping their heads low,”
“It’s about selecting a superstar team of superstars,”