I don’t agree with Bob Katter on much. I don’t agree with his stance on marriage equality. I don’t agree with his stance on Islam. I don’t agree with his stance on gun control. Clearly, we don’t see eye to eye on a few of the big issues. I do, however, have to passionately agree with him on his latest crusade: a war against Queensland Rugby League for ditching Billy Slater from the Queensland Origin side.
Slater is a stellar fullback who has played a huge role in over a decade of Origin, playing in every series since 2004 (except last year, when he took a coaching role on the side due to a shoulder injury).
Katter, the leader of Katter’s Australian Party, released a very lengthy statement today saying that he’s bloody furious about the decision:
“I’m fuming in response to Queensland’s decision to leave Billy Slater out of the State of Origin team. Darius Boyd wouldn’t know what a line break was, if he fell over it on a dark night.“Some of the greatest try saving tackles recorded in rugby league history, belong to Billy Slater. Few would question that he can make a break out of nothing.“We do not deny Darius Boyd he is a solid rock on which you can build an NRL team; however that is not needed at State of Origin level when you have arguably all-time great players such as Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.”
Katter says he respects QRL’s club loyalty but, also, that it’s bullshit:
“The QLD selectors and coach clearly are in the pocket of the Broncos. And we the rugby league family, respect them for their club loyalty.“But when that loyalty overrides the aspirations of the rugby league family of QLD to win the State of Origin, there would not be 1% of Rugby League followers who would say that Darius Boyd – a good stock NRL player, should be picked ahead of an “inform” without a doubt – one of the 3 greatest fullbacks in Rugby League history.“It disheartens and disillusions people when cronyism prevails over fairness and talent.“I will be making an official complaint to the board of the Rugby League of QLD.”
There’s probably about zero chance this will actually do anything but, Bob, mate, I feel you.
You can read the full statement below:
Photo: Getty Images / Mark Kolbe.