A statue immortalising Rugby League legend Mal Meninga at Suncorp Stadium has been announced today.
The State of Origin coach will be honoured in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Queensland as both a player and as a Maroons mentor.
Mr Meninga said that he hopes the statue will be a reminder to all Queenslanders of the State of Origin team that he’s had the pleasure to coach over the past eight seasons.
“I am humbled by the honour to stand alongside such greats of the game in Wally, Darren and Artie,” Mr Meninga said.
“This is an honour I share with them.”
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said that he’ll begin discussions with Mal as to the appropriate image with which to capture him.
“Whether it’s as a damaging Maroons centre or the coach that led Queensland to eight straight Origin series wins,” Mr Newman said.
“Mal is an icon of the game. He will be honoured alongside fellow legends Wally Lewis, Darren Lockyer and Arthur Beetson at Suncorp Stadium, the spiritual home of Rugby League in Queensland.”
Mr Newman assured Mr Meninga that the statue’s plaque would leave plenty of room for future Origin wins.
Recreation and Sport Minister Steve Dickson said the State Government would contribute $10,000 towards the statue and that AEG Ogden and Nine Entertainment Company would split the remaining costs, which are expected to total around $70,000.
“It is hard to imagine we will ever see the likes of such a squad again, let alone eight straight Origin series wins. And the good thing is the story isn’t finished yet,” Mr Dickson said.