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Queensland Origin heavyweights vie for Deadly Maroons honours

Queensland Rugby League, in conjunction with Deadly Choices, will nominate a Deadly Maroons Indigenous State of Origin team of the first 40 years to acknowledge the valued contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players across the past four decades.

From Queensland’s first Origin captain - the late, great ‘Artie’ Beetson, early flyers Colin Scott and Steve Renouf, the might and aggression of Gorden Tallis, coupled with the outstanding flare of Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis and Willie Tonga... through to modern day warriors Dane Gagai and David Fifita, there’s a veritable smorgasbord of talent lining up for selection.    

Best of all, Queensland fans have the opportunity to nominate their own Deadly Maroons outfit from 32 assembled players, and the chance to win tickets to the third State of Origin game, plus a framed, limited edition Deadly Maroons 40-year jersey to commemorate the occasion.

“It’s always difficult to compare footballing talent across different eras and given the exceptional abilities of this star-studded group of players, we’re assured numerous Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin combinations that could easily hold their own against any opposition,” QRL managing director Rob Moore said.    

“The Deadly Maroons Origin team of the first 40 years is a fitting celebration and acknowledgement of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including the vital contributions made on and off the field by players, their families and fans alike.

“Aligned under our partnership arrangement with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s Deadly Choices program, the Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin Team initiative complements other positive health promotional programs being instigated across Queensland.”

Steve Renouf in action for Queensland Maroons. Photo: NRL
Steve Renouf in action for Queensland Maroons. Photo: NRL

Deadly Choices aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to take control of their health – to stop smoking, to eat healthier and exercise more.

“Top level rugby league partnership programs have long provided Deadly Choices a strong medium to better engage communities,” IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said.

“The spectacle of State of Origin, and particularly the Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin team concept ensures we have an even stronger voice across Queensland which is invaluable as we continue to service the health needs of communities during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“By partnering with leading and popular sporting teams and bringing our collective brands together goes a long way towards Closing the Gap in Indigenous health outcomes, by empowering individuals, families and entire communities to take control of their health.

“The solutions that Deadly Choices are coming up with to improve health outcomes in our communities are actually solutions that benefit the whole country, so we are extremely excited about this partnership with the QRL, as a fitting 10-year celebration of our commitment to all communities.” 

Matt Sing was a fan favourite for the Maroons. Photo: NRL
Matt Sing was a fan favourite for the Maroons. Photo: NRL

A major directive of the Deadly Maroons campaign is to promote healthy lifestyle choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Queensland, including maintaining regular health checks at participating Community Controlled Health Services across the State to receive a Deadly Maroons shirt.

Deadly Choices shirts have played a key role in driving demand for preventative health care, contributing to an incredible 4000 per cent increase in health checks in South East Queensland over the past 10 years, and leading to the expansion of Deadly Choices right across Queensland.

Deadly Maroons Origin Team of the First 40 Years nominees

  1. Arthur Beetson
  2. Will Chambers
  3. Matt Bowen
  4. Tony Currie
  5. David Fifita
  6. Dane Gagai
  7. Shannon Hegarty
  8. Justin Hodges
  9. Greg Inglis
  10. Colin Scott
  11. Dale Shearer
  12. Joe Kilroy
  13. Terry Butler
  14. Sam Backo
  15. Steve Renouf
  16. Gorden Tallis
  17. Matt Sing
  18. Robbie O’Davis
  19. Wendell Sailor
  20. Carl Webb
  21. PJ Marsh
  22. Scott Prince
  23. Rhys Wesser
  24. Willie Tonga
  25. Ty Williams
  26. Johnathan Thurston
  27. Sam Thaiday
  28. Dane Nielsen
  29. Jharal Yow Yeh
  30. John Doyle
  31. Daniel Wagon
  32. John Buttigieg
  33. Les Kiss

Click here to assemble your Deadly Maroons dream team.