In a shock move, NSW coach Laurie Daley has sacked blues captain Robbie Farah just days before State of Origin game 1 for not having the requisite number of tattoos required to play in the NSW Blues squad.
Daley spoke to the media today at the blues training camp in Coffs Harbor: “We have spoken to Robbie a number of times about his lack of ink, but as Robbie thinks he should be judged on his playing ability rather his tattoo count, the situation become untenable.
“Robbie signed a contract at the beginning of the year agreeing to the NRL’s new tattoo rules, he knows what was required of him and unfortunately not only has he let his team down, but the whole of NSW as well.”
NRL CEO David Smith also released a statement about the Blues decision, saying: “What kind of message does it send to the young kids watching either at the ground or on TV when the captain doesn’t have any decent tattoos to speak of?”
Farrah left the Blues camp in a hurry yesterday, only saying that he had asked if he could get a tramp stamp with his wife’s name but this was rejected by the NRL who insisted on getting major arm work done, so as to appear more aggressive to the QLD side. Blues backrower Luke Lewis is also believed to be unavailable for selection for failing to meet the tattoo quota.
Paul Gallen is assumed to be coming back as captain of the Blues after spending the week at Hollywood Ink to get his first full sleeve. The move is part of the NRL’s plan to make sure all players have visible tattoos at all times. This is seen as a way to make NRL players seem tougher and more attractive to bogan chicks and families, who studies have shown have started following the AFL instead.
Gus W. Templeton