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'The history of the jersey is really, really important'

Every player who dons the Queensland Maroons jersey knows it is steeped in history.

Every player who has had the privilege to wear the Maroons jersey was inspired by Arthur Beetson, Wally Lewis’ brilliance, the 1995 State of Origin series and Brett Dallas flying down the field, the ‘Queenslander’ chant, Allan Langer, Cameron Smith.

The 2022 captain’s run jersey, worn by players for training the day before each game, pays homage to all of those players who have worn the jersey – the privileged 221 who have gone to battle against New South Wales.

As Johnathan Thurston puts it, “if you’re lucky enough to be part of it, you know it’s about doing your duty for Queensland and pride in the jersey”.

“I’m a proud Queenslander… it’s all about the people, it’s understanding that when I was in that jersey, I knew who I was playing for,” Thurston, who pulled the jersey on 37 times, said.

“I knew when I was a kid, if Queensland won I would be going to school the happiest kid alive because I loved the Maroons. And when you’re playing in that Maroons jersey, you know the effect you have on the state. That’s why you do it.

“There’s a lot of history in the Maroons jersey. We’ve had some incredible leaders over the years who have played and set the foundations.

“Now every player who puts that jersey on has a duty to the Queensland jersey… that’s on and off the field, to carry those high standards.”

Brent Tate, who pulled on the jersey 23 times, said players did not own the jersey, instead, they passed through it and it was up to them to add to the history.

“The history of the jersey is really, really important,” Tate said.

“Mal Meninga taught us the history of what it meant to play for Queensland. Our jersey is built on all the guys who have gone before us and what they’ve done.

So, when you talk about the jersey, you don’t ever own it, you’re passing through it. It’s up to you to add your little piece of history to that story.

Brent Tate FOG #134

“I think that’s really important for Queensland – it’s always been about our history... recognising it, understanding it and respecting it.”

Current captain Daly Cherry-Evans, inspired by Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Smith and Billy Slater, said as a child, he always aspired to play in the Maroons jersey.

“As a kid, you think ‘maybe one day, that could be me’,” Cherry-Evans said.

“For me, the feeling of running out, wearing that Maroons jersey, never gets old. Just that simple moment of leading out a team is really such a special moment… to have done that for Queensland, in front of a Suncorp Stadium crowd, is dead set a moment I put right next to my debut for Queensland. What an honour.

“It’s an honour for any player to get any game for Queensland. Every time you play for Queensland, whether the first game or the last game, it’s still a State of Origin game and to the Queensland supporter base, it matters. Every game matters.”

Released in conjunction with major partner PUMA, the 2022 Queensland Maroons captain’s run jersey is now available at Maroons Shop.

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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