Andrew Bryan, NRL.com
Did you know 1
The opening game of the State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium is just 30 days away. The ground will be awash with colour with 18,000 Blued and Maroons wigs and t-shirts. Did you know that on game day over 94 wigs and t-shirts will be handed out every minute leading up until kick-off. Staffers will be busy!
Did you know 2
If you were to sit down and watch every State of Origin match back-to-back it would take you over five days… This column could think of worse ways to spend a week. Anyone keen?
Buy Tickets to Game 1 and 3 here.
It wasn’t long ago that Billy Slater was being talked about as the greatest fullback to ever play the game, now some former Origin stars believe he isn’t even the best fullback in his state! According to three-time Dally M fullback of the year Garry Jack, Greg Inglis has usurped Slater as the premier custodian and should be picked in front of him for game I. You can bet the comment has been taken with a grain of salt by the Maroons. Slater has played on the wing before in Origin, but will the Maroons seriously shuffle Slater to the wing, Inglis to fullback and then look to pick another centre? It seems crazy and… probably is.
Former Wests Tigers half Blake Lazarus has cheekily taken to social media to declare that he would play for free for the rest of the season if the Tigers want him. After the club was hit with a horror injury toll, the nephew of five-time premiership winner Glenn posted a YouTube video of himself declaring: "Hey mick potter check out my footage ill slot back into the tigers nicely, and ill play for free #ifneeded"
Lazarus played two games for the Wests Tigers in 2010 but was let go by the club. He then began making a living as a personal trainer before moving to Queensland to play after being offered a contract following an article written about him on NRL.com.
Paul Gallen gave NSW fans a massive scare, picking up an injury with his very first run for the Sharks on Sunday afternoon. Gallen was taken from the field and didn’t play any further part in his side’s dramatic Golden point win over Newcastle. Former Cronulla Media Manager Reece Carter declared on twitter that there would be absolutely no way the Blues captain wouldn’t be right for the opening game. “Gal's leg would need to be chopped off for him to miss Game 1.” Reports coming in today indicate that not only will Gallen be fit for the Series opener, he wants to play on Friday night against the Wests Tigers! Although it is more likely that he will miss the game. Seems Carter was on the money.
Voting for the Women in League Favourite Son Award is now open. The award recognises the contribution of an NRL player at Premiership level who embodies the values and qualities of a true rugby league ambassador, both on and off the field. The winner will be in esteemed company, joining past winners Hazem El Masri, Nathan Hidmarsh, Petero Civoniceva and Luke Burt.
You can vote for the Favourite Son here.
Follow Andrew Bryan on twitter: @AndrewBryan321