In 2016 the Maroons team bus will be adorned with a livery that reflects the rich heritage of Queensland’s favourite team.
Queensland State of Origin teams spanning three decades will be honoured in this year’s series, not only at the official series launch taking place on Tuesday, but also each time the current crop of Maroons hit the road – with their images to adorn the team bus.
Members of the 1986, 1996 and 2006 Maroons teams (some who are still playing today), have been put on display on the bus – to remind players and fans of the journey this team has taken.
QRL Graphic Designer Callan Jones was handed the mammoth task of condensing this narrative into a picture story, but as a fan well-versed in the folklore of the game, he said the hardest part was actually sourcing all the photos of players required from each era.
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The team logos from each year have also been incorporated onto the design to show the transformation of Origin over this 30-year period.
The original idea for the design came straight from the top – with new Maroons coach Kevin Walters keen to continue Mal Meninga’s tradition of acknowledging those who came before who helped pave the way forward.
“Kevie requested players that he’d like to see on the bus and we tried to include as many of those as possible, but we were obviously limited to what images we had access to, and what photos were actually clear enough to use,” Mr Jones explained when asked about how the decision was made to include certain players over others in the design.
One player who all fans would agree more than deserves his spot is captain Cameron Smith. The Maroons stalwart is set to become Origin’s most capped player in this year’s series opening game, going past Darren Lockyer’s previous record of 36 games.
“Cameron Smith features prominently on the left side (door side) of the bus, bursting through the words ‘Maroon Pride’,” Mr Jones said.
“Cameron will achieve a milestone in Game I this series and we took this into account when creating the design.
“We wanted him to feature prominently both as the current Queensland captain and to celebrate his milestone.”
The bus will be taking the team to various events including training sessions and special fan appearances – so keep an eye out on the road from Tuesday.
Maroon Zone is back on Channel 9 in 2016 and also filmed a special segment to find out more about this year’s theme and how the bus design all came together. Be sure to tune in!