Gorden Tallis calls out Blues jersey uproar amid $2 million drama

The controversy surrounding the alternate Blues jersey has erupted again.

Nicho Hynes in the State of Origin jersey and Gorden Tallis.
Maroons great Gorden Tallis (pictured right) has weighed-in on the Blues jersey backlash and said he would prefer to wear a jersey his heroes wore in the State of Origin arena. (Images: Getty Images/Fox Sports)

The Blues' decision to keep the controversial dark blue strip for State of Origin Game I has continued to cause uproar with NRL reporter Phil Rothfield and Maroons great Gorden Tallis blasting the decision. New South Wales will run out in a dark blue jersey on Wednesday in Adelaide, which is different to the usual sky blue jumper.

Last week, backlash erupted when it was confirmed a similar dark blue strip to the one worn in 2019 would be used again. Blues selector, and SEN Radio host, Greg Alexander defended the decision ahead of the opening game.

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“The jersey we wore in Perth in 2019 has been one of the most popular jerseys we have worn with fans and this one is very similar,” Alexander said. “It’s not an issue with me and I’m sure it’s not an issue with any of the players and the fans that like the blue jersey back in 2019. I’m sure they will like it again.”

However, Rothfield has taken aim at the jersey after a poll he conducted showed less than 10 per cent of people were happy with the move away from tradition. He argued that kids won't resonate with the jersey, which their heroes wore before them.

“Outrageously stupid, no one likes it. Every kid in that side grew up wanting to wear the same jersey as Joey, Freddy, Bradley Clyde, Laurie Daley,” Rothfield said on NRL 360. “Could you imagine Queensland changing Maroon to pink?”

Maroons icon Tallis weighed-in on the debate and questioned whether it would inspire the same confidence in the players when pulling it on. "All I know, as a player, I wanted to wear the jersey that Wally Lewis and Arthur Beetson wore," he added.

"Bradly Clyde, Glen Lazarazus, Andrew Johns, Danny Buderus they wore that jersey. I get selected for New South Wales, I want to wear the jersey my heroes wore before me."

James Tedesco (pictured) posing for a photo.
James Tedesco wearing the dark blue State of Origin jersey that has sparked backlash for the New South Wales camp. (Getty Images)

Reporter David Riccio claimed the jersey had done "$2 million worth of sales", but it only fired Rothfield up more who claimed "tradition over commercialisation".

Former Blues player Braith Anasta remained coy, but admitted the sky blue jersey is what he resonates with when thinking State of Origin. “I’m the sky blue. You grow up as a kid, you want to wear the jersey that the legends before you have worn,” Anasta added.

Blues jersey debacle for State of Origin

Last week when the controversy erupted, NRL commentator Andrew Voss took a cheeky dig at the situation.

“I reckon it’s time to protest. Wear the sky blue in defiance in the treacherous move to wear a Victorian jersey in Adelaide,” Voss said on SEN Radio. Co-host, and Australian swimming champ James Magnussen, booed the jersey change.

The Blues' 2022 jumper was a simple light blue strip. While Alexander defended the decision of a darker blue jersey in 2023, it didn't go down well with all Blues supporters. One suggested it was an example of how New South Wales don't get the importance of the jersey.

And the move hasn't delighted all fans. NRL commentator Andrew Voss took a tongue-and-cheek dig at the jersey and labelled the move away from tradition as a 'disgrace'.

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