Queensland teams spread across three decades will come together this Tuesday evening (May 24) to rally behind the current Maroons in their quest to lift the Holden State of Origin shield.
With the 1986, 1996 and 2006 Maroons invited to attend the official XXXX Queensland Maroons Series Launch at the Brisbane Showgrounds, the glittering event will stoke the fire as Kevin Walters’s charges prepare for Game I in Sydney.
Don’t forget to check out the QRL website for the first interviews from inside Camp Maroon.
In the '86 series, Queensland suffered three close losses (all by six points or less) to be whitewashed by the Blues.
But the pain of that defeat was the catalyst for a Queensland revival, with the Wally Lewis-captained Maroons going to win the 1987 series 2-1 before clean-sweeping both the ’88 and ’89 series in a golden period for the state.
NSW dominated the ’96 series 3-0, but once again the Maroons were able to rise from that heartbreak with the likes of Steve Renouf, Wendell Sailor, Allan Langer and Billy Moore instrumental in future triumphs.
In 2006, the most dominant era in Origin history was born when Mal Meninga’s team clinched a come-from-behind win in the final match in Melbourne.
For new coach Walters, the opportunity for the current Maroons to rub shoulders with the Former Origin Greats looms as a perfect springboard into the 2016 series.
“Origin is built on passion, so it’s vitally important that we celebrate our rich history and recognise the excellent contribution these players have made to rugby league in Queensland over many decades,” he said.
“It’s going to be a wonderful occasion to see so many great players in the one room sharing stories. The big positive for us is that I know this year’s squad will get a massive lift from the experience, which is crucial going into such an important game.”
QRL Chairman Peter Betros will officially announce the Game 1 team at the May 24 Maroons launch.
Fans will be able to view this live from approximately 7pm on this site.
Following the series launch, the Maroons will head to the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort to begin preparations.
Walters and the new Maroons support staff will oversee a series of field and gym sessions before the team departs for enemy territory on Monday, May 30.
Meet your team at this year’s annual regional Fan Day in Gladstone on June 14.