To some, they’re just two plain-coloured jerseys.
But to rugby league tragics, they’re a part of the secret sauce that helps make Origin all that it is.
With now over 40 years of Origin history, the evolution of State Of Origin jerseys has taken plenty of twists and turns; from baggy, collared assortments to slim-fitting, slick designs. From traditional colours (which, by the way, should be compulsory), to radical, alternative strips.
But no matter what, the spirit and inspiration of each of the rival states is the focus. But the colours create a visual to one of sport’s great rivalries. And the various jersey designs have been etched in memories, as some of the sport’s great moments were born.
It can be the smallest of details that can make or break a State Of Origin jersey; most supporters prefer simpler modifications instead of mass changes, such as New South Wales’ navy blue designs that has upset fans.
Either way, Origin means a lot to millions of people every year and so too do the kits associated. So we’ve assembled our 10 favourite State Of Origin jerseys from over the years, which was certainly no simple task.
Top 10 greatest State Of Origin jerseys of all-time
10. Queensland Maroons 1983-1989
Arguably one of the most iconic State Of Origin jerseys in the more than 40 year history of the spectacle. This basic yet classic 80s design saw Queensland win five shields in its seven year life span.
9. New South Wales 2014
With this jersey, it’s more about how significant it is and what it represents, more than how it looks. Although it was strangely only used in one series, it was a momentous one with NSW breaking Queensland’s eight series wins in a row.
8. New South Wales 1980-1983
This was the Blues’ first State Of Origin jersey and remembering that back then it was always about being simple and straight to the point. It’s iconic in its foundations and simplicity.
7. Queensland Maroons 2012-2013
This jersey is right up there as one of the most chaotic designs in the history of the bitter rival yet it just works. The gold lining worked well with the sponsorships and the white stripes up on the shoulders was a strange but great look.
6. Queensland Maroons 1991-1994
Coming into the 90s, State Of Origin jerseys began to diverge away from just a solitary colour to bigger additions of white for Queensland and navy blue for the Blues. This four stripe look across the chest with the semi-circle logo is one very familiar to Origin fans.
5. New South Wales 2009-2010
Although this was midway through the darkest period in New South Wales Origin history, this jersey was a shinning light with dark navy blue shoulders being memorable still to this day.
4. New South Wales 2004-2006
2004 was the first year that State Of Origin jerseys had sponsors in the middle of the design and the Blues nailed it, with the white logo not creating something that was up in your face. It also holds significance because of Andrew Johns’s immortalised performances in the 2005 series.
3. Queensland Maroons 2007-2009
One of the last designed jersey in Origin history that represented the old game, this one was undoubtably a top three pick with Queensland going 3-0 in the series they wore them.
2. New South Wales 2021
In Puma’s first year making both states’ jerseys, they knocked it out of the park with New South Wales’ look. A sharp ‘V’ design took focus and pushed the sponsor lower. It was a complete contrast from the 80s and 90s looks, but a sign of the times.
1. Queensland Maroons 2004-2006
Coming in at the number one spot in Only Sport’s top ten State Of Origin jerseys of all time is the classic Maroons jersey that started it all; eight series wins in a row. For that reason, it’s Queensland fans’ favourite look to this day.
It saw some of the most iconic Origin plays, including Billy Slater’s chip and chase try and the Darren Lockyer four-pointer that started the decade of dominance.