Union rivals share common Origin ground - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Union rivals share common Origin ground

Chris Barclay 05/07/2011 04:05:50 PM Comments (0)

For one night only, James Horwill and Brad Thorn will be on the same side at Suncorp Stadium.

Cornerstones of the Wallabies and All Black forward packs respectively, the second row rivals will unite behind the Queensland cause in Wednesday's rugby league State of Origin decider against NSW.

The locks resume hostilities on the same turf on Saturday night when the Crusaders and Reds meet in the Super Rugby competition final. They will likely go head-to-head at the venue again in the final Bledisloe Cup clash on August 27 - the last trans-Tasman encounter before the Rugby World Cup.

But for game three of the most hyped Origin series of the new millennium, they occupy common ground.

Darren Lockyer's final match for the Maroons will be a particularly poignant moment for 36-year-old Thorn who played alongside the legendary five-eighth at NRL, Origin and Test level.

The Crusaders arrived in Brisbane to find Origin hysteria in full swing as Queensland strive to send Lockyer out in style with a sixth successive series win.

Crusaders' management put their liaison man on the case to source tickets but his attempts were unsuccessful, such is the interest in the game generated by a newly-competitive NSW.

Thorn played 11 matches for the Maroons and his status as a Former Origin Great guarantees his admission to the 52,000-seat cauldron.

Reds' captain Horwill, head coach Ewen McKenzie and the Faingaa twins, Saia and Anthony, also secured invites.

A Queenslander born and bred, Horwill doesn't quite have the same affinity with league's interstate rivalry as Thorn - Wednesday's epic will be his first Origin experience.

"It'll be exciting. The atmosphere will be great and you get to take your mind off our game a bit," he said.

"You watch a different bunch of guys get stuck in. It'll be good."

Meanwhile, the Reds were reminded how tense the build up to an Origin match can be when NSW used their training base at Ballymore after they had trained.

News helicopters buzzed the ground to film the closed training session while photographers with long lenses also hid in trees to try to capture images of the Blues' final workout.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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