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History of Interstate Matches

Between 1908 and 1981, Queensland played New South Wales on 221 occasions. Click here for the list of results.

Queensland Team of The Century

1. Darren LOCKYER
2. Cecil AYNSLEY
6. Wally LEWIS ©
7. Allan LANGER
8. Mick MADSEN
9. Noel KELLY
10. Duncan HALL
11. Brian DAVIES
12. Arthur BEETSON
14. Jim CRAIG
15. Duncan THOMPSON
16. Gene MILES

Coach: Wayne BENNETT


Following the success of the Centenary Year, the Queensland Rugby League established a History Committee in an effort to harness the considerable wealth of untapped knowledge, documentation and items associated with our great game.

QRL History Committee Members

Kevin Brasch (Chairman) - Long-serving League Administrator and Educator

Greg Shannon - Historian

John McCoy - Sports Broadcaster

Steve Ricketts - Sports Journalist

Paul Hayes - Archivist and Rugby League Collector

Greg Adermann - Suncorp Stadium Communications Manager and BRL tragic

* Two members of the inaugural History Committee have now passed - Ross Livermore and Professor Max Howell - but their contribution willl never be forgotten.

If you have a query for the History Committee, please email the QRL on  

Ross Livermore Lecture (formerly Harry Sunderland Lecture)

The QRL History Committee held two major events on April 10, 2010 at Suncorp Stadium.

The inaugural Harry Sunderland Lecture was delivered by Professor Max Howell AO. This will become an annual feature on the rugby league calendar.

The other was the installation of a Time Capsule at the Stadium to commemorate the League’s Centenary and to recognise various rugby league bodies. This will have an opening date of April 10, 2033.

Recent lectures include Rugby League and the War, Rugby League and the Brisbane Ekka and Rugby League and the French connection. 


By Mike Higgison - Rugby League Historian


It has become part of rugby league folklore in Queensland that the game was established in this state from a borrowed investment of five pence.

A group of Brisbane rugby union footballers, who met daily at the old “Courier Mail corner” in Brisbane’s Queen Street to talk about football, decided that the time was right to establish the “Northern Rules” game in Queensland.

Upon returning to work one afternoon in February 1908, one of the group Sinan ‘Siney’ Boland, borrowed five pence from a workmate, so he could mail letters to six football colleagues – E.L. ‘Buck’ Buchanan, ‘Mickey’ J. Dore, John ‘Jack’ A. O’Connor, George W. Watson, Alf Faulkner, and Jack A. Fihelly.

He invited them to attend a meeting to form a new football body, the Queensland Rugby Association (later to become the Qld Amateur Rugby League on 8th March 1909), on 28th February 1908, at the Railway Hotel in Roma Street, Brisbane.

The first Executive Committee saw the election of Alf Faulkner as Chairman/Treasurer, with Siney Boland the secretary.

Within a month, news of the new code spread through the press in a well-orchestrated plan to generate publicity.

All hell then broke loose between the rugby union and Northern Rules factions, with the rugby union issuing bans on many of its former players and officials, for being involved.

Much of the factional fighting surrounded the criticism of rugby union with its lack of pace and open attack, and the ugly side of rucks, whereas the promotion of the new game focussed on the spectacular attack, and overall speed of the game. Some would say those principals have always remained …..

It was during these early meetings that the new Q.R.A. body chose to wear maroon jerseys and white shorts as its official playing strip, with a white “Q” to be emblazoned on the left breast alongside a kangaroo.

It’s interesting to note that had the Q.R.A.’s approach to the NSWRFL to use the kangaroo emblem, that an emu was the second choice.

With a new club competition about to start in Sydney, Fihelly, a former rugby union international, contacted various members of New Zealand’s 1905 touring rugby union side, and arranged a rebel tour of footballers under the rules of the new rugby code.

Without a formalised competition in Queensland, the new association arranged a series of secret trial games played under the new rules, for a number of eager rugby union stars from Brisbane and regional centres, combined with numerous other athletic types keen to experience the new game.

The New Zealand “All Golds” tour, led by legendary cricketer Victor Trumper and Albert Baskerville, commenced in Brisbane in June, playing a series of games against a Queensland invitational side.

The fast, open and attacking nature of play was a revelation, and crowds flocked to see the new game. Although only 2,500 saw Queensland well beaten 34-12 in the very first match, the local players remained positive in the knowledge that a number of stars did not play, and many players were in fact playing out of position. The full side for that historic first match, was R.Allingham, D.J.McLean, G.Watson (capt), A.O’Brien, W.Evans, W.Abrahams, M.Dore, J.Horan, R.Tubman, W.Hardcastle, V.Anderson, J.Cartmill, and J.A.Fihelly, with reserves being A.Baird and A.Moxley.

A number of these players were subsequently given life bans by the rugby union authority for playing the new ‘professional’ game.

Following the success of the ‘All Golds’ tour, the Queensland side went on to play three games against New South Wales at the Sydney Agricultural Ground.

Although remaining winless, thrashed 43-0 and 37-8 in the first two games, the tight 12-3 result in the third match gave Queensland its first-ever rugby league stars, with Mick Bolewski, Bill Hardcastle, Bill Heidke and Jack Fihelly all being selected for the first-ever Kangaroo tour to England.

A shortened junior competition was also staged late in the season, with the Toombul junior club taking the honours.

Des Morris

To read more of Mike Higgison's excellent articles detailing the history of the QRL, click on the links below.

QRL History 1909-1913

QRL History 1914-1919

QRL History 1920s

QRL History 1930s

QRL History 1940s Part 1

QRL History 1940s Part 2

QRL History 1940s Part 3

QRL History 1950s Part 1

QRL History 1950s Part 2

QRL History 1950s Part 3

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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