It's been a long time coming, but we're back!

In this post, we share our tips for the Blues and Maroons teams for Game 1 of State of Origin 2018:

Our tips for the NSW team are:

Positions        Tish                                      Dr T

Fullback           James Tedesco                   James Tedesco

Winger             Tom Trbojevich                   Tom Trbojevich

Centre             Josh Dugan                         Latrell Mitchell

Centre             Euan Aitken                         James Roberts

Winger             James Roberts                    Josh Dugan

Five-eighth      James Maloney (c)               James Maloney

Halfback          Nathan Cleary                     Nathan Cleary

Lock                Jack De Belin                      Tyson Frizell

Second Row   Boyd Cordner                     Boyd Cordner (c)

Second Row   Tyson Frizell                        Jake Trbojevich

Front Row       Reagan Campbell-Gillard    Reagan Campbell-Gillard

Front Row       James Tamou                     David Klemmer

Hooker            Luke Keary                          Cameron McInnes

Int 1                 Paul Vaughan                      Damien Cook

Int 2                 Jake  Trbojevic                    Paul Vaughan

Int 3                 David Klemmer                   Jack De Belin

Int 4                 Damien Cook                      Josh Addo-Carr


Our tips for the Queensland team are:

Positions        Tish                          Dr T

Fullback           Billy Slater               Billy Slater

Winger             Valentine Holmes    Valentine Holmes

Centre             Greg Inglis (c)          Greg Inglis (c)

Centre             Will Chambers         Will Chambers

Winger             Corey Oates            Dane Gagai

Five-eighth      Cameron Munster   Cameron Munster

Halfback          Michael Morgan      Ben Hunt

Lock                Coen Hess               Josh McGuire

Second Row   Felise Kaufusi          Felise Kaufusi

Second Row   Matt Gillett               Gavin Cooper

Front Row       Matt Scott                Matt Scott

Front Row       Dylan Napa             Dylan Napa

Hooker            Jake Granville         Andrew McCullough

Int 1                 Ben Hunt                 Michael Morgan

Int 2                 Kalyn Ponga            Kalyn Ponga

Int 3                 Tim Glasby              Coen Hess

Int 4                 Jarrod Wallace        Jarrod Wallace



Let us know what you think.



Tish and Dr T




We need to talk about the Eels

By now you would have heard the news. 

The Eels were found by the NRL to have breached the salary cap to the tune of over $3 million since 2013. The NRL has handed down a strong punishment: 
- immediate loss of 12 competition points
- $1 million fine
- cannot compete for points this year until they are under the salary cap, which means they will need to shed $570,000 of talent
- immediate de-registration of the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, CEO, Director and Head of Football. The latest news is that an injunction has been sought and granted with the Supreme Court. (Just what the club needs, more legal dramas)

There have been countless articles, comments, tweets and Facebook posts expressing outrage and disgust at the people responsible for this situation.
To their credit, the players and coach, who are seemingly innocent in all of this, have vowed to do everything they can to make the finals this year once the team is under the cap. A Twitter hashtag #12-15 has even been trending today, indicating that the Eels need to win at least 12 of their remaining 15 games to make the finals.

Despite the admirable push to 'fight back' (on the field, that is. I wouldn't call the legal injunctions admirable), it seems to me that what has been lost in the discourse is the effect this is having on you all, the fans.

As a long suffering Eels fan, I can attest to how heartbreaking it is to see the club that was wronged by salary cap cheats not so long ago (have we all forgotten about the Storm in 2009?), act in the very same cheating manner that we have for so long despised. 

The Eels don't cheat. We may acquire Wooden Spoons and be an embarrassment sometimes on the field, but we DO NOT CHEAT. Ever.

That kind of integrity and pride about the true spirit of our club is something that has been destroyed by the actions of a few incompetent and egotistical administrators. 

The Eels club has lost its innocence today. We now join the infamous ranks of the Bulldogs and Storm as 'cheating scum' (no doubt something we will hear levelled at our club, players and fans in years to come, and who can blame those that say it?).

Spare a thought for the fans. Like my good friend, a passionate fan of the Eels, ticketed member, always there for every home game, was even there for the shambolic AGM last night. Someone who lives and breathes the Eels and is always willing to chat about the Eels' performances, how good is our defence, can we succeed without Jarryd, and how about that Semi? Today when I spoke to her (yes, 'her'), she spoke so passionately about how the boys could definitely fight back and make the 8. Always looking on the bright side. And then the tears started to well in her eyes. And she almost broke. Almost.

I reckon I know why she almost broke down: those were not tears of disappointment. They were tears of anger. Anger that this club has been such a shambles for such a long time, and the fans, like my friend, deserve much better. Anger that as a fan you can pour countless hours and dollars into the club, buying tickets, merchandise and memberships, maybe even volunteering, only to be treated like fools by the very people entrusted to steer the ship.

Two steps forward, 12 steps back. This is the story of the Eels.

But there is hope. I see this as a turning point in the Eels' history. A chance for true reform in the administration and governance of the club.
Make no mistake: The Parramatta Eels club has had its 'ICAC moment'. The only thing left to do is to clean out the club and get some integrity and pride back into it. And maybe one day the stigma of being salary cap cheats will disappear.

Let's make the Parramatta Eels great again.

Listen to the Rugby League Republic podcast this week for more on the Eels' salary cap saga.
Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and leave a review.

Blue and Gold forever,
Dr T.

Celebrating women in the rugby league community

Welcome, fellow rugby league fans and citizens of the Rugby League Republic, to my first ever blog post. Today, March 8, marks International Women's Day, so I thought we should all take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate the increasingly visible role of women in rugby league. I couldn’t think of a more fitting theme for the first ever blog post here on the Rugby League Republic website.


One of our biggest bugbears here at the Rugby League Republic is that the mainstream rugby league community, at least that which is portrayed in the media, is dominated by ex-players and journalists, most of whom are male and not at all representative of the diverse types of people who enjoy The Greatest Game of All. This is why we've started this podcast, website, and, dare I say it, movement, to give a voice to those who are not represented in the mainstream rugby league community (and to have a bit of fun along the way).


And while the NRL has done well to promote events such as Mother's Day games (take your mum to the footy for free on Mother's Day etc), these initiatives are only ever occasional, and are drowned out by the constant barrage of <insert wacky nickname here> on the various footy shows on television that spend less time talking about the game and more time finding ways to humiliate some of the easy targets in the community, including the less-educated and poor. All in the name of 'entertainment' (and, hey, they are rewarded for this with Logies so what would I know, right?).


But all is not lost, as the tide is definitely turning. In the last few months and years we have seen some long awaited fundamental changes to the role of women in rugby league. We have seen the first of hopefully a long line of females involved in officiating at the highest level, including NRL touch judges (Belinda Sleeman and Kasey Badger) and female NRL referees (Belinda Sleeman, debuting in 2014). We have also see a much more concerted effort by the mainstream media to be more inclusive by increasing the contribution of female TV presenters such as Erin Molan or Yvonne Sampson, but also, crucially, to focus on some of the great female players of rugby league, such as Jillaroos player Ruan Sims, who featured in official NRL season launch activities this year. And that's not even to mention the NRL’s increased recognition and focus this year on fans and volunteers, who are made up of so many hard working mothers, wives and girlfriends of (mostly) male players.


We at the Rugby League Republic will do our part by breaking down barriers wherever we can, including promoting women’s rugby league and breaking down the male-dominated stranglehold on discussion and analysis in the world of rugby league.


If you can think of any other ways in which the NRL and the rugby league community in general can recognise the contribution of women on this International Women’s Day, please let us know by dropping us an email at and we will discuss it in our podcast.


Until next time,

Dr T.