Maroons reveal unlikely new Origin sponsor
THE Queensland Maroons will today unveil their new sponsor for the front of their State of Origin jerseys, after signing with the Bundaberg-based Auswide Bank.
After sporting Intrust Super on the front of their jerseys in 2018, the Maroons will feature the Auswide logo for 2019, with the company to also be the naming partners for the Mal Meninga Cup - the competition in which David Fifita starred this year before making his NRL debut with Brisbane in June.
The QRL do not have a final design for their 2019 jersey that they can reveal at this stage, but they will announce their new partnership in Bundaberg today.
It is also understood they are still on the hunt for a naming partner for the Maroons and hope to lock in a sponsor soon for 2020 and beyond.
Intrust Super will remain as a Maroons partner.
MAL DIDN'T INFLUENCE RE-SIGNING
TITANS executive chairman Dennis Watt says coach Garth Brennan's one-year contract extension was not in anyway influenced by the recruitment of Mal Meninga to the club.
The Courier-Mail revealed last week that Brennan had been granted an extension to keep him with the Gold Coast until 2020.
The Titans announced on Wednesday that rugby league Immortal Meninga would be the club's head of performance and culture for the next three years, a move that will see the Australian coach work directly with Brennan.
However, Watt said the Titans did not make the decision to extend Brennan's contract in the knowledge that he would have Meninga's support for the next two years.
While Meninga is expected to help the club on and off the field, Watt said the club believed Brennan needed more time to prove himself, with 2018 his first year in an NRL head coaching role.
"That was a separate consideration," Watt told Blindside.
"(The extension) was done as part of his review. If (2019) is his second year, it's just too short-term in terms of your planning, your thinking, your player recruitment, your player retention.
"You wouldn't run any business like that.
"The reality is, Garth is the right man. As a character, as a man, he's outstanding."
A TOUCH OF CLASS
IT is never State of Origin without a couple of Broncos players and that will be the same story when it comes to the touch football series between Queensland and NSW.
The biennial event will be held today and tomorrow at Redcliffe's Dolphin Oval and the Queensland teams will be well supported by some names from the state's flagship NRL club.
Former Broncos playmaker and current women's assistant coach Scott Prince will be searching for his first Origin touch football win over NSW in the men's 35s team, while NRLW premiership-winning fullback Chelsea Baker will star for the women's 30s.
Even those away from the field are taking part, with Brisbane community programs team leader Bo de la Cruz and the club's general manager of communication Steele Tallon playing as well.
"Having that Broncos connection, it spreads right across," Prince said.
"I'll certainly be kicking back and supporting the others throughout their campaigns. You understand how much time and effort they put into training for this tournament.
"I'd like to think they'll do the same for me."
HAVING A BALL AT NORTHS
THE Norths Devils have this week unearthed a sporting treasure.
The Broncos affiliate club has been home to many famous rugby league names over the years, including Melbourne's former "Big Three" Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.
And this week the club's Intrust Super Cup coach Rohan Smith found a little piece of rugby league history to do with now-Roosters halfback Cronk.
Smith shared to Instagram a picture of an old football, which had "CRONK" written across it in black marker.
"Legacy left in so many ways," he wrote. "What a career."