- Blues captain Boyd Cordner will lead his team through an exclusive tunnel that links the NSWRL Centre of Excellence to the Stadium Australia field on Origin night;
- They will be met by a guard of honour formed by their most passionate Blatchys Blues fans;
- It is the first time the tunnel has been used by athletes since the 2000 Sydney Olympics;
- It will be a moment to remember forever as this team of 17 Blues will be the first players to create their own slice of Origin history.
By NSWRL Media
THE Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues will take fans to places they have never been before, with captain Boyd Cordner and his team emerging on to Stadium Australia from a tunnel that has not been used for sporting events since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, to kick-off the Holden State of Origin Series decider on Wednesday 10 July.
In an innovative and unique approach for an Origin team since the concept started in 1980, the Blues will warm-up on a playing field across the road from Stadium Australia, receive their final instructions in dressing rooms at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence, walk past a wall that lists every NSW player and down a corridor that honours the players in the NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame.
The highlight of the experience will come when the team passes through a tunnel linking the Centre of Excellence to Stadium Australia, with Cordner leading the players directly on to the field and through a guard of honour formed by our most passionate fans, Blatchys Blues backed by The Star.
It is the first time the tunnel has been used by a sports team, and the first time it has been used by an athlete since former champion basketballer Andrew Gaze led the Australian team out for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Fans inside Stadium Australia, and also tuning in across Australia and the world, will get to experience all of the unique build-up for an Origin decider that is already being billed as one of the biggest since the interstate concept started in 1980.
It continues the NSWRL’s vision to be at the cutting edge of game-day experiences and puts it on par with other sports from across the globe.
“The NSWRL Centre of Excellence provides us with a wonderful opportunity to create a new legacy for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.
“The 17 players who run out on to Stadium Australia on Wednesday July 10 will remember the moment forever as they will be the first players to create their own slice of history.
“They will be the inaugural team, and also the first athletes for that matter, to use the tunnel linking the Centre of Excellence to Stadium Australia since the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It will be a tremendous thrill for the players to hear the roar of NSW fans as they pass through the tunnel and the NSWRL is grateful to Stadium Australia for helping to make this joint initiative happen.
“The players will emerge and walk through a guard of honour from our most devoted and passionate fans, Blatchys Blues backed by The Star, before facing them for the national anthem.
“It will be an historic night for players and fans as NSW aims to defend the Shield it won last year.
“The addition of the Centre of Excellence and tunnel access to Stadium Australia has made our house an even more formidable force to tackle Queensland.”
Stadium Australia Chief Executive Daryl Kerry said: “The connection between the Brydens Lawyers Blues and their home stadium has never been stronger, with the NSWRL Centre of Excellence now well established next to Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park.
“It is only fitting that the tunnel that once provided exclusive access to the Stadium for the athletes of the 2000 Sydney Olympics will now be walked by the players who will represent NSW in one of the biggest State of Origin games in history.
“It will be an iconic sporting moment when the Blues make their way from their home base in to Stadium Australia.
“The NSW Blues have a proud record at Stadium Australia (17 wins, 9 losses, 1 draw) since 1999 with their passionate home fans making the difference, and while we welcome Queensland visitors with open arms, we unashamedly will turn Stadium Australia and its surrounds into a sea of blue on Wednesday 10 July.”