Ben Ikin caught in embarrassing development after Queensland victory in State of Origin I

The Queensland Rugby League boss doesn't get to go anywhere he pleases - especially in NSW.

Wally Lewis' son has lifted the lid on the moment Queensland Rugby League boss Ben Ikin was refused entry into the Maroons' sheds after Origin I because he didn't have his accreditation. Ikin played 17 State of Origin games for the Maroons after becoming the youngest player to represent Queensland in 1995.

He played 150 NRL games across stints with the Gold Coast Seagulls, North Sydney Bears and Brisbane Broncos. In retirement he forged a successful career in the media and last year was appointed to the prestigious job of chief executive of Queensland Rugby League.

But that doesn't mean everyone knows who he is. Mitch Lewis, the son of Queensland legend Wally Lewis, revealed on radio on Thursday how Ikin was denied access into the Maroons rooms after their win on Wednesday night because he didn't have his pass.

Ben Ikin and Billy Slater.
Ben Ikin was denied access to the Queensland rooms after State of Origin I. Image: Getty

Speaking on the 'Ash, Luttsy & Susie O'Neill' show on Nova in Brisbane, Mitch said: "I was showing my card to get past one closed-off door and then you can head downstairs towards the media area and Ben Ikin is there. And I’m like, 'I’m just going to ride his coat-tails'.

“Even if I don’t make the press conference, if I can get into the Queensland sheds behind the CEO of Queensland Rugby League … so Benny said hello and we shook hands and walked down and then the seccy (security guard) pulled us up. Ben goes ‘sorry mate I haven’t got my pass’ and the security goes ‘upstairs you go’.

“So I said ‘he’s the boss of Queensland Rugby League’ and Brett Kimmorley comes along and says ‘mate he’s fine’ and the guys goes ‘and I’m security, he doesn’t have a pass, he goes upstairs’. So Ben being Ben Ikin says ‘yeah that’s fair enough, he’s doing his job’ and he stood there in his Queensland tracksuit without an accreditation. And I said ‘well mate if you’re not getting in, I guess nobody is’."

Lewis revealed that Ikin eventually got access after getting his hands on an accreditation pass. “I got into the media section, the press conference - not the Queensland section - and I didn’t see Ben for another 40 minutes I don’t think," he said. "He eventually got a pass, someone came out and let him in.”

Queensland and NSW players in State of Origin I.
Queensland were too good for NSW in State of Origin I.


Ikin has overseen the past two years of success for the Maroons under coach Billy Slater. Queensland won the Origin series in 2022 and 2023, and took a 1-0 lead on Wednesday night with a 38-10 victory over a 12-man NSW side. Hopefully Ikin remembers his accreditation for Game II at the MCG on June 26.

Despite the resounding victory in Game I, the Queenslanders aren't getting ahead of themselves and know the job isn't done. "I thought we were so far off with our footy. That's all to come," Slater said on Wednesday night. "I don't think we played the way we prepared. There is so much more for this footy team. That's exciting."

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans, who had a blinder in Game I, wasn't content with that either. "There is more work to go and more improvement in us," he said. "I don't know if it counts for anything if you don't go out there and earn the next two wins. They are not going to give us anything. It is all about us. There is so much work to be done."

with AAP