Today is the day, game one of the fiercest rugby league showdown in the history of the game.

As the State Of Origin highlight reels get a run on YouTube and Channel 9 today, the same question has arisen.

Why do 1990s rugby league icons look like they were already at retiring age during the peak of their career?

Between the 1995 Sing V Hopoate all in punch-on, and the best of Wally Lewis videos, no one actually looks like they are in any way fit, or of an appropriate age to be playing professional contact sport.

Even the players who were actually 20 at the time looked the same as they do now?

Tonight, at around 8:30PM, the fiercest rivalry in Australian sport will enter a bold new era as new-look NSW and Queensland sides engage in this year’s Origin series.

A Blues outfit featuring 11 debutants – and a new coach in Brad Fittler – takes on a Maroons line-up that doesn’t include Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston or Cooper Cronk for the first time since 2003.

However, none of the aforementioned old codgers, most of whom are approaching their last 30s, don’t look like they are too old to be out there.

Maybe it’s the fact that nowadays the players actually like getting haircuts, maybe it’s their youthful tattoos, maybe it’s because none of them were actually that fit back in the day. Or maybe it’s because they all held down jobs as coppers and and high school teachers…. One thing we do know is, Wayne Bennett has looked exactly the same age for the last three decades.


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