Player poll: Origin heroes and villains
Depending on which side of the border you reside there are Origin heroes and villains that make the games such compulsive viewing. These are the players the current stars loved and those they loved to hate.
Darius Boyd (Broncos)
Gordie Tallis was my Origin hero, and in particular that one play where he rag-dolled Hodgson. You never forget that, it's probably one of those things that you'll never see again. The way he was in the face of the Blues or getting sent off, you just loved having him as part of the team that you supported. When I was growing up the Blues had Johns, Fittler, Daley... they couldn't fit them all into one team. They had a long list of great halves coming through all at the same time so I hated all of them because we had a couple of years there where we used to go to school filthy because NSW had got the win.
Dane Gagai (Knights)
My Origin hero was Matty Bowen. I loved old Mango, he was my favourite player coming through. As for a villain, all of them. Anyone who chucks on a blue jersey. Micky Ennis used to get under my skin a little bit but I think he gets under everyone's skin. I actually had a chat to Mick and he's a good fella away from the field but once that blue jersey goes on they're all enemies.
Daniel Alvaro (Eels)
Nathan Hindmarsh was probably my favourite. He was from down my way and was just a hard worker in the NSW side. The player I probably hated in the Queensland side the most was Justin Hodges.
David Nofoaluma (Wests Tigers)
I used to love Andrew Johns pulling on a Blues jersey. I remember when I was in Harold Matthews I took a photo with him when he was working for Manly and I've still got it. I was young but I remember just being like, "Wow!" I don't hate much on the players for Queensland, I think it's more of a jealousy thing. But one thing I do hate is people that are born in NSW but go for the Maroons. It's like going for America in the Olympics when you're Australian.
Aidan Guerra (Roosters)
In terms of heroes it would be hard to go past players like Gorden Tallis, Darren Lockyer, those tried and tested ones. Gary Larson was another and then coming from Townsville Matty Bowen was coming in when I was 15 or so and he was just that local fella that did well. I don't really have one New South Wales player I hated; anyone who was wearing a blue jersey I wanted to see them get beat.
Josh McGuire (Broncos)
My Origin hero was Petero [Civoniceva]. My favourite players for Queensland were always Petero, Nate Myles and Mick Crocker. As for a Blues villain, Andrew Johns is obviously one of the greatest players to ever play the game so whenever he was in the team you knew they were going to be a very competitive team and it was going to go down to the wire. He was always a tough one to watch beat you.
Kane Evans (Roosters)
Even though I'm a New South Welshman, I used to love watching Petero Civoniceva. He was probably my hero growing up because of the Fijian connection and the fact he was a prop. On the flip side, I'd have to say Carl Webb because I always remember the aggression he'd bring in Origin and you have to respect that.
Luke Keary (Roosters)
I used to hate 'Kingy' (Matt King). I grew up in Queensland and I remember he got in a fight with Justin Hodges one game and I think he bagged a hat-trick as well. He's an assistant coach at the Roosters now and I've told him a few times how much I loved to hate him when I was growing up. I used to love watching Dallas Johnson and Michael Crocker. 'Crock' was a madman who just went crazy on the field and I still remember Dallas getting knocked out cold and then returning later to play on. I just love those tough dudes.
Corey Oates (Broncos)
I was always a massive fan of Darren Lockyer when I was a kid. He was always my idol when I was growing up. There are a lot of Blues I hated. I'd have to go Mark Gasnier. He was a great player and he always played really well for the Blues. He changed a lot of games. You loved him in the NRL and had to hate him when he was playing for the Blues.
Justin O'Neill (Cowboys)
The player I loved was Darren Lockyer. The player I loved to hate had to be Michael Ennis. He always used to niggle the players and tick people off.
Nate Myles (Sea Eagles)
I loved a few Queensland players. Julian O'Neill, Willie Carne and Michael Hancock. I was always envious of the guys that were really fast. The dudes that had the high energy. I didn't have any NSW player I disliked. It was probably more just the whole team.
Will Chambers (Storm)
I loved Darren Lockyer. I thought he was special. He's a special footballer that always used to rise to the occasion. Andrew Johns was the NSW player I hated. Not that I don't like him, but he was one that I always got nervous watching when he had the ball. He was such a talented footballer that made it hard for Queensland every time he played. He was a guy that you would always want to take out of the game, but he always rose up and produced something special.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Warriors)
Mitchell Pearce was a guy I looked up to and loved to watch. I am so stoked to see him get another shot. The guy I loved to hate was definitely Greg Inglis, he's got to be everyone's answer from New South Wales. He was a damaging ball runner, so dangerous when he was carrying.
Albert Vete (Warriors)
I watched it a lot and I loved all of the Tongans playing in the New South Wales team. I liked Michael Jennings when he played for New South Wales, but I am a Kiwi, so I don't really pay too much attention to that competition!