• Owen Craigie gives a reviews the past week in rugby (NITV)Source: NITV
There’s a changing of the guard in representative rugby league and with so many Aboriginal players picked to play in this year’s State of Origin series, it’s something you just can’t miss, says premiership-winning player and Over the Black Dot co-host Owen Craigie.
By
Owen Craigie

29 May 2018 - 3:15 PM  UPDATED 29 May 2018 - 3:15 PM

They’ve seen the light. After 25 years the NSW selectors have finally seen the light! And I’m not saying that because of the Indigenous boys that they’ve picked —But if you want to win an Origin, you need to score points. None better than picking a few Indigenous boys who excel to win you some games.

Look at the NSW side that was named last night: James Roberts is a star. Latrell Mitchell is a star. Josh Addo-Carr is another who can win you the game with his speed and skill.

Indigenous Blues Emerge

I’ve been saying it for a while now that the speed and creativity has been lacking. They’ve got it spot on now. They’ll win the series 3-0.

For the first time in 20 years, I’ll be barracking hard for NSW. They’ll win it 3-0 because they’ve got attack, they’ve got flare and they’ve got a great forward pack.

For the first time in 20 years, I’ll be barracking hard for NSW. They’ll win it 3-0 because they’ve got attack, they’ve got flare and they’ve got a great forward pack.

They’re actually picking people on performance, not on reputation.

Origin is a different level and there are certain types of players who can shine on the biggest of stages.

Josh Addo-Carr is worth four-to-eight points no matter what team he’s playing in, so imagine what he’s going to be worth playing Origin. He could score a hat-trick on debut.

The only confusing thing so far is what they were made to wear at the team announcement. I didn’t know what that was. They looked like male midwives. It was different... But play on.

 

Expect big things this Origin

For people who haven’t seen much State of Origin, you can be expecting one of the best atmospheres and you’re going to see world-class players. You’re going to see fresh new faces that are absolutely tearing up the competition, playing against each other in the ultimate game of rugby league.

You can look forward to speed, look forward to tries, entertainment; Latrell Mitchell, Cameron Munster —all these fresh new faces, young guys coming on the scene. They’re gonna absolutely tear it up.

Game one is at the MCG and it’s gonna be a sell-out, there are going to be record numbers. These players who are new to it though, they’ll find a whole new challenge. They’ll need to lift their game and almost become half as good again.

Over the last couple of years, Queensland have picked all the Indigenous guys. It’s like there’s this big swing now. NSW have got four in the team now. It’s probably the most Indigenous boys we’ve ever had in the history of Origin.

It’s another great development and should open the door even further for young Aboriginal people to have access to great role models.

Over the last couple of years, people have been fed up with Queensland winning again because NSW picked all the wrong players.

It’s a credit to Freddy Fittler and Danny Buderus and the coaching staff and Greg Alexander and all these people. It’s a credit to them for picking these Indigenous boys and giving them an opportunity and something they’ve never had before.

 

Greg Inglis to Captain the Queensland Maroons

Queensland though have made a great choice in their new captain. Greg Inglis is an immortal in waiting.

It’s quite scary to think he’s going to be captain because he just grows another leg, GI.

But players around him, players playing against him, they all respect him and they can all learn from him and I think it’s well deserved and a credit to Greg that he’s captain of Queensland.

He’s changed so much in the game and it’s a change in the guard when it comes to Indigenous rugby league players.

We’ve got four in the NSW team and now we’ve got an Indigenous boy captaining Queensland, an Indigenous lad. It’s a changing of the guard. It’s special.

Four Indigenous boys in the NSW team and an Indigenous lad captaining Queensland.

The Queensland side is still strong. It’s going to be a great game but I just think NSW will be too dynamic. You can never write Queensland off but I’m just so stoked and over the moon that those young Aboriginal boys got a start.

We’ll talk a lot more about game one in next week’s column, but tonight on Over the Black Dot, we’ll chat all things Origin teams, we’ve got a great special guest and we’ll talk about Greg Inglis being captain of the Queensland team and all of the Indigenous boys being picked for NSW.

A change of the guard is coming.

 

For more Owen Craigie and Rugby League hot topics, tune into Over the Black Dot, live tonight at 8pm on NITV (Ch. 34). Join the conversation #OverTheBlackDot