It is remarkable to think that once upon a time Queensland Rugby was the poor cousin of New South Wales, with NSW beating QLD 2-0 when they first played in 1882.

It was players wearing the sky blue who defected in 1907 to essentially give birth to league in Australia, while it was the 1921 and 1927/28 Waratahs who toured New Zealand and Europe/North America respectively as ‘Australia’ to lay the blueprint for the modern game in Australia.

The Queensland Rugby Union was re-formed in 1928 after nine years of non-existence and it would not be for many decades that they would truly carve out their place in history – beginning in 1980 with a historic win over the All Blacks, followed by a 41-7 win over New South Wales when the two unions played their centenary match.

The Reds are one of the longest partners operating alongside BLK, commencing their relationship in 2008. The apparel company and Queensland earlier this year announced a new five-season deal, which will see the arrangement continue until at least 2021.

Queensland hold the honour of being the top seeded team prior to the first season of Super Rugby in 1996, having won back-to-back Super 10 trophies the two previous years.

A star-studded side boasting John Eales, Tim Horan, Elton Flatley, Mark Connors, Rod McCall and Jason Little would reach the semi-finals in 1996, 1999 and 2001 but would be unable to win the title.

However in 2010 the team finished fifth overall, ending a run of six seasons where the team didn’t place higher than 10th, before becoming the second Australian team to win Super Rugby – with Ewen McKenzie and his band of ‘rock stars’ (including Quade Cooper, Digby Ioane and Will Genia) lifting the trophy in 2011.

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