Tallis restored Origin passion: Fittler - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tallis restored Origin passion: Fittler

By Darren Walton 30/09/2003 07:38:39 PM Comments (0)

Former rugby league Test captain Brad Fittler credited Gorden Tallis with restoring intense rivalry between Queensland and NSW in State of Origin football.

Fittler, who retired from representative football in 2001 to play only with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL, said he was surprised Tallis pulled the pin before Australia's end-of-season tours of New Zealand, England and France.

But he understood the Queensland captain's decision and was full of praise for his long-time national teammate and Origin foe.

"It's most probably the smart thing to do," Fittler said after Roosters' grand final training at Aussie Stadium.

"I did it the other way around and I seemed to dump a stack of pressure on myself, so once again I was stupid and Gorden was smart."

Fittler led the 2001 Kangaroo after announcing it would be his last representative outing.

Fittler said Tallis should be remembered as a State of Origin icon.

"He's been massive for the game," Fittler said.

"He's really kept that hatred thing in State of Origin going. After Wally Lewis, it sort of died off.

"Everyone loves Alfie (Langer) and Gorden sort of brought that back in, so rep footy's going to miss him for sure."

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