Blues and Hall of Famers Share Stage
The past, present and future Blues will share centre stage at the True Blues Dinner at The Star Sydney on Monday week (22 May) with the first inductees to the NSWRL Hall of Fame revealed alongside the 2017 NSW VB Blues for State of Origin I.
NSW coach Laurie Daley will also announce the player to be given the honour of Blues captain on a night that will culminate in the induction of some of the greatest ever players to represent their state to the inaugural NSWRL Hall of Fame, backed by The Star.
The Star Sydney, a long-term partner of NSWRL, has further extended their current commitment to NSWRL and support of Rugby League, the NSW Blues and the Blatchys Blues, by joining with NSWRL to establish the Hall of Fame. The Star has also cemented the world-class facility as the Home of the Blues with the NSW team to stay on-site for Game Two in Sydney.
Daley’s Blues for the 2017 Holden State of Origin series opener at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on 31 May will be announced at the start of the annual True Blue dinner, a gala black-tie occasion for almost 400 guests to celebrate the past, present and future of New South Wales Rugby League.
Guests will also have the opportunity to pay tribute to the hundreds of players who have represented NSW since 1908 through the formation of the NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame.
NSWRL Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM and a member of the NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame selection committee said: “Our organisation is very proud to have established such a fitting tribute for our past players who represented New South Wales with honour, pride and passion.”
The seven Immortals who have represented NSW - Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier, John Raper, Bob Fulton, Graeme Langlands, Arthur Beetson and Andrew Johns – will be automatic inductions, along with pre-War (1908-45) NSW representatives, including Dally Messenger, who fit the eligibility criteria.
The eligibility criteria was determined by a selection committee of Dr Peponis, Australian selectors Bob Fulton and Bob McCarthy and journalists Phil Rothfield and Andrew Webster working in conjunction with Rugby League statistician David Middleton.
Six additional inductees will be announced at the dinner, which will become a feature of the annual True Blues event.
The qualification for the Hall of Fame is:
(a) The player must have played 10 games or more for New South Wales; or, alternatively, the player must have captained New South Wales; AND
(b) The player must also have played for Australia; AND
(c) The player must also have been retired for at least five seasons.