If you’ve always thought Queensland has had the wood over their NSW counterparts as far as Mate Vs Mate passion is concerned, the Cockroaches’ young captain Boyd Cordner’s words will be of particular interest to you.

“I’ve been born and bred to love that blue jersey of New South Wales – and to hate Queensland,” Cordner tells Inside Sport this month. “That’s the way it’s been since I was a kid, and that’s the way it still is. That’s what makes State of Origin so great; that healthy rivalry that’s stronger than ever today. There’s not much else like it anywhere in sport.”

For our 2018 State of Origin preview, we turned to our weekly rugby league podcast to make sense of the game’s great rivalry. How will NSW’s new era go?


Also in the new issue of Inside Sport, we chat one on one with newly minted New South Wales Blues coach Brad Fittler to find out his plans for finally ending Queensland’s Origin dominance.

Plus, we hear from Melbourne Storm super-centre Will Chambers, who talks intimately about his rugby league journey so far.


Meanwhile, Fox Sports commentator Hannah Hollis offers her views on the annual NRL competition vs State of Origin collision, which sees states and clubs trying to get the best out of the same players.


In 2015, Coach Mal Meninga made sure Queensland was focused on winning a record ninth series win out of ten. But quietly, Justin Hodges’ team-mates – particularly those he’d played with for almost 15 years at the top level – were hell-bent on giving the 33-year-old victory in his last match. This month, Hodgo shares with us the finest moment of his brilliant career.


There’s also a feature story on Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn. This season offers up a new challenge for the former rugby league and union star, but he’s used to that sort’ve thing by now …


We also check in on Richmond Tigers star Alex Rance, who offers up some interesting insights into his life off the field.


And with the 2018 World Cup almost upon us, we take a look at one of the Socceroos’ true funsters - who actually has a serious role ahead of him at Russia 2018 - Trent Sainsbury.