The New South Wales team has rejected the NRL‘s last-minute request to change their jersey ahead of the State of Origin series opener against Queensland. The NRL only contacted NSW on Friday, despite being informed about the jersey choice more than a year ago.
NSW officials were informed by the NRL of concerns over their navy blue design which may clash with Queensland’s maroon strip. However, the State of Origin teams do not have to follow the NRL‘s strict jersey protocols.
Team officials argue that it is too late to change jerseys now, especially since they are due to leave for Adelaide on Monday morning. In 2019, NSW wore a similar navy-blue strip in the second game of the series without any issues, and the base colour of this year’s jersey is identical to the 2019 version.
The NRL has the final say on jerseys worn by its 17 clubs, but State of Origin is not included in those protocols. While the NRL‘s head of football Graham Annesley is reported to have raised the jersey clash with NSWRL, he declined to comment on the matter.
Despite the controversy, NSW selector Greg Alexander dismissed the issue as people wanting to be outraged about everything and pointed out that the jersey worn in Perth in 2019 was very popular with fans.
Andrew Voss, a Fox League commentator, expressed his frustration towards the Blues’ decision to wear a navy blue strip and suggested the team should wear the traditional sky blue as a protest.