"Blast from the past" entertainment set for Browne Park
RUGBY league stars will step back in time to provide Rockhampton fans "blast from the past" entertainment on Saturday night as the annual International Legends of League match gets under way at Browne Park.
In the third of five games to be played, the encounter will see a range of former great Queensland Maroons and NSW Blues players take to the field in a rendition of their glory days.
Former Newcastle Knight, Queensland Maroon and Australian representative Robbie O'Davis is one player who will don the cane toad jersey once again for the charity event.
O'Davis represented Queensland at fullback for 12 matches from 1995-2002 and joked that his side would be seeking vengeance for the present Queensland series loss.
"It's great that the event can be held this time of year obviously around State of Origin time," O'Davis said.
"We'll have to make up for the No.1 Queensland side's unsuccessful bid this year.
"But what's most important is that we are playing for charity.
"And it's always a good chance to catch up with old mates."
O'Davis and his Queensland teammates are in for a big task however, as New South Wales have taken the previous two matches.
Despite the uphill climb, the former Newcastle star said the matches were more about the players enjoying themselves and getting the local town involved.
Off the field, O'Davis will run a bootcamp at Ambitionz gym in Rockhampton tonight, as well as signing autographs Saturday morning before the match.
In terms of actually playing, he said the crowd should take in the amusement of the game.
"I think the crowd remembers most of the players when they were in their prime. So when the first hit-up takes place at three-quarter pace and both of the players fall down in a fit the crowd (is surprised).
"But from there it's all fun," O'Davis said.
"I remember about five years ago I sort of put the foot down, stepped around a defender and scored a try.
"Afterwards I was warned that if I ever did that again I wouldn't be invited back to the event."
O'Davis wasn't the only one looking forward to Origin III.
Returning to Brisbane, the Maroons will look to avoid a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of the recently rejuvenated Blues.
O'Davis expected his home state to come out in a flourish without the pressure and expectation of having to win their ninth series in a row.
"I think the boys will go out and show why they were chosen to represent Queensland," he said.
"If they can handle the early onslaught of NSW, they'll be in good shape.
"Even with the Blues winning, it gives more interest to the games. State of Origin is in good hands and will continue to grow and thrive," he said.