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Wally Lewis sprays Paul Vautin's face after the 1987 Origin II win in Sydney.

On this day, a Queensland legend is overlooked, the Broncos cause a stir when they unveil a big-name signing and Ben Cummins breaks Bill Harrigan's ref record.


The man who started his first-grade career with North Sydney and ended it with North Queensland, while playing for two other clubs in between, Laurie Spina turns 59 today. He played 172 games in total for the Bears, the Roosters, the Sharks, and the Cowboys. Born in the sugar town of Ingham, Spina returned to the tropics and was named the Cowboys inaugural captain when the club entered the competition in 1995. 


Parramatta coach Brad Arthur turns 48 today. After being an assistant to Craig Bellamy at Storm and then Geoff Toovey at Manly, Arthur took on his first NRL head coach role at the Eels in 2014. In the 2017 season Arthur guided Parramatta to their first finals series since 2009.

Eels coach Brad Arthur
Eels coach Brad Arthur ©NRL Photos


Veteran State of Origin campaigner Paul Vautin is left out of the Queensland side amid several changes for Game II of the series to be played at Olympic Park in  Melbourne - the first time an Origin was played outside Sydney or Brisbane (apart from Long Beach in California in 1987). Vautin had played 22 games for the Maroons. Five years later the cult hero would add to his legacy by coaching the Maroons to a famous 3-0 series victory against all the odds.


The Brisbane Broncos announce the signing of outstanding St George youngster Anthony Mundine. The Broncos come under fire for parading Mundine in a Brisbane jersey while he is still under contract to St George. 'The Man' would play just 11 games in Brisbane in '97 before returning to the Red V in '98 and helping them to the grand final in 1999 in their first season as a joint venture with Illawarra.

Peter Wallace on the move in his debut Origin game in 2008.
Peter Wallace on the move in his debut Origin game in 2008.


NSW claim first-up honours in the State of Origin series when they down Queensland 18-10 at ANZ Stadium. Halfback Peter Wallace stars on debut for the Blues, while second-rower Anthony Laffranchi caps a strong start to his Origin career with a crucial try. But the Maroons won the next two games to claim the series 2-1 - their third Origin campaign in a row.


Canterbury winger Bryson Goodwin is rushed to hospital after suffering a ruptured spleen in a collision with Cronulla fullback Matthew Wright. Goodwin suffers serious blood loss and faces four weeks confined to bed while he recovers.


Former Queensland Origin hooker Andrew McCullough is granted a release from the Broncos to allow him to make an immediate move to Newcastle.


Ben Cummins breaks Bill Harrigan's record for most games controlled by a referee when he takes charge of his 394th first-grade game.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.

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National 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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