Then and Now

A young Daryl Brohman playing for Brisbane Norths

At the time of writing this column, the third Origin game has yet to be played, and by the time this is printed, we will know the result. Every year, teams have to be changed due to injuries and let’s hope the changes to the Queensland side for Game 3 have done the job. 

We need to keep building for the future and bringing in new players, like local junior, Thomas Flegler, which has to be a good thing!

Last time, we talked about the successful debuts of several 18-year-old players for Queensland and, as it turns out, Reece Walsh did not get to play in Game 2, but he will more than likely feature in many Origin games in the years ahead. 

Another former young Queensland player whom I did not mention last time was Daryl Brohman. 

Yes, the “Big Man” from his media career was, in fact, an excellent footballer, who made his mark on the game at a very young age.

Daryl was a Brisbane Norths’ junior, who burst onto the A-grade scene in the old Brisbane Rugby League competition while still in Year 12, in 1976! 

 A big fast front rower, who could also kick goals, he was a success at a young age and a year later, while working full-time in a bank and playing for Brisbane Norths, he was selected in the Combined Brisbane side to play France.

Then he went one-step further by making the Queensland side, as an 18-year-old front rower to play Great Britain the same year. 

The reason both France and Great Britain were in Australia in 1977 was because a “World Series” competition was staged between Australia, New Zealand, France, and Great Britain. 

His success was noticed by Sydney Club’s scouts and, the next year, he transferred to Penrith, where he played for 5 seasons and in 1983 made his State of Origin debut for Queensland in game one of the series. 

This was the infamous match where NSW second rower, Les Boyd, broke Daryl’s jaw in tackle. Incredibly, Daryl kept playing for some time with a broken jaw until replaced. 

It is quite possible that he would have played for Australia that year, as Queensland won the Origin series, but the broken jaw put him out of the game for some time. He made another appearance for Queensland in the 1986 State of Origin series, and he also played for Canterbury and won a Sydney Grand Final with them in 1984. He was also the first Brisbane Broncos Reserve Grade Coach when the club started in 1988.

Daryl’s playing career from the mid-1970s to later 1980’s coincided with several other excellent Queensland front rowers, but he did play Origin and his achievement of playing for Queensland at such an early age should never be forgotten.

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