This weekend is the local derby. A Queensland rivalry. A sunshine state stoush. For this weekend, the state is divided. It’s the Titans in the south against the Cowboys in the north.
Whether you’ve supported Prince or Thurston, Campbell or Bowen, Arrow or Taumalolo – this weekend is the next chapter in the history between the two proud clubs.
Titans forward and Queensland Origin player Jarrod Wallace says there is something special about playing in front of Queenslanders.
He has penned a candid letter that describes how much players enjoy playing both for and in front of Queensland supporters.
He says it starts with you club and grows into the passion and pride that comes with wearing the maroon Queensland jersey.
Being a Queenslander is probably one of biggest honours and greatest feelings in the world. Obviously, getting to put that Queensland jersey on and represent past players who have been there and built the history… it’s such a good feeling.
My dad, my uncles, they all played football. I think four days after I was born, mum took me down and I was sitting on the sideline while dad was playing footy.
I was always the young kid that was that little bit bigger than everyone else, so I was playing a year up probably until under 13s, 14s. I’d go and train at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and then dad was coaching or captain, so I was always around footy. I’d go down and train with them and I was always the fullback for the other team, where they’d kick the ball down and I’d get it and run back into them.
I just lived and breathed footy. There was nothing else that was good enough for me. I just loved footy. And always wanted to be part of it.
I started at Runaway Bay Seagulls on the Gold Coast when I was four and played there until I was about 13, 14. And now I am still playing.
I think when Origin was on, it was the only night of the week we were allowed to stay up past school bed time because Queensland was playing. Great memories.
Pulling on the jersey for the first time was something else. Every little boy wants to put that jersey on but as soon as I got that opportunity, to put in on and remember the guys who had worn that jersey before me, the emotion running through me was something else.
I remember running out at ANZ, standing on the field, standing there for the national anthem just crying. The emotion running through my body, looking up at my family in the grandstand when the Australian anthem was on, was just something else.
The passion Queenslanders have is something else. And to run out to them and represent Queensland, and the fans of Queensland…. nothing will ever beat that. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it. It’s just unbelievable.
Like I said, Queenslanders - you are something else. You all love and breathe Queensland. That Maroons jersey.
Queenslanders, thank you for the diehard support. For always being there for the Queenslanders and having that spirit. For having maroon blood running through your veins. Because when it’s getting tough out there on the field, and you hear Queensland supporters absolutely raring and bringing that atmosphere…. sometimes that’s the little bit players need to make that tackle or make that hard run. It’s gets the players home. It’s the best. It makes us players want to wear that jersey and play hard every time we put in on.