A star-studded line-up of rugby league talent, representing nearly 300 State of Origin appearances for Queensland, will be named in the Deadly Maroons Indigenous 40-Year Origin team at the Redcliffe Leagues Club.
The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) in conjunction with Deadly Choices have finalised selections for the prestigious Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outfit, where selections were based on the individual impact each player had had over the last four decades within the Origin arena.
From Queensland’s first Origin Captain, the late, great ‘Artie’ Beetson; early flyers Dale Shearer and Steve Renouf; the might and aggression of Gorden Tallis and Sam Thaiday; coupled with the outstanding flair of Johnathon Thurston, Greg Inglis, Willie Tonga and Dane Gagai; there’s a veritable smorgasbord of Indigenous talent represented.
Each inductee will be presented commemorative shirts by Queensland Minister for Sport, Stirling Hinchliffe MP, during the official presentation lunch.
Joining the party will be Deadly Choices Ambassador, fellow Queensland Rugby League great and Redcliffe local, Petero Civoniceva, while officials from the Arthur Beetson Foundation, including Arthur’s son, Brad and Chair Steven Johnson will also be in attendance.
“I suspected the finalised Deadly Maroons 40-Year Origin team would be something special and you only need to look at those players who missed out among the 33 eligible nominees to appreciate just how intense the competition for spots were,” said QRL Managing Director, Rob Moore.
“It’s difficult to compare footballing talent across different eras and given the exceptional abilities of this star-studded group of players, they could easily hold their own against any opposition.
“The Deadly Maroons 40-Year Origin Team 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 (IUIH) Deadly Choices program, the Deadly Maroons 40-year Origin Team initiative complements other positive health promotional programs which have been instigated across Queensland for the past two years and will continue through 2021.”
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,” confirmed IUIH CEO Adrian Carson.
“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.”
A major directive of the Deadly Maroons campaign was 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% 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 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
Deadly Maroons Official Team: