GROWING up half the world away in the United States, it’s unlikely that Corey Faulkner knew too much about State of Origin, let alone rugby league.
But since coming over to the country two years ago – he’s come to enjoy the spectacle provided by what many dub Australian sport’s greatest rivalry – Queensland v NSW at Origin time.
Having watched the 2012 and 2013 series on television, earlier this year Mr Faulkner and his friend Todd Harding (also from the US) leapt at the chance to be a Suncorp Stadium for Game I of the State of Origin series this year – buying a Maroon Membership to secure himself the best possible seat to watch the action.
“It was fantastic – I came to Australia in February of 2012 from the US and I watched the first series remotely from Groote Eylandt (in the Gulf of Carpentaria) which was a good experience as there were people from NSW and Queensland working there,” Mr Faulkner said.
“It was pretty wild … and it got me into it. In 2013 I was in Moranbah … so there were a lot of Queensland supporters.
“This year, I was finally out of the bush … and I came to Brisbane right before the game so the timing was right.”
By purchasing a Maroon Membership to Game I at Suncorp Stadium, Mr Faulkner automatically went into the draw to win a dressing room tour before the match. In Game 3, John Lynch from Western Australia is the lucky winner of the dressing room tour.
“It was a really great experience – we also won a pass to go through the locker room before the game,” Mr Faulkner said.
“The game was great – but the result was not so great, I was going for Queensland.”
An avid sport fans who comes from Eddyville, Kentucky; Mr Faulkner supports Baltimore in football, St Louis in baseball and the University of Kentucky basketball side – but said when travelling he enjoyed seeing the best sport on offer.
“In the US, the big sports are basketball, baseball and gridiron and comparatively, Origin stand up really well,” he said.
For Game III, Mr Faulkner is going to soak up a little bit more of the Australian culture – and is planning to watch the game tomorrow night at the pub.
Watch the game live – tickets to Game III are still available via Ticketek here.