North is where the heart lies for Tallis
THE man who became rugby league’s “Raging Bull” says Townsville will always be the place where he feels truly at peace.
Gorden Tallis returns home this weekend ahead of the Foxtel All In Townsville Tour, where back- to- back shows featuring Tallis and other stars including Mark Skaife and Mal Meninga will be broadcast from the Townsville Civic Theatre as part of the Watpac Townsville V8 build- up.
First on his schedule is the annual under- 10 Gorden Tallis Cup, which is being played this weekend at the Townsville and District Junior Rugby League grounds.
For Tallis, who proudly calls himself a Townsville Centrals man, the nostalgia always hits hard when he visits home.
“Townsville is the place where feel well and truly relaxed,” he said.
“It’s hard to describe, but when I come home it feels like I’m in my favourite song.
“Everything feels right and that’s the way it’s always going to be.”
Tallis, the son of legendary North Queensland rugby league stalwart Wally Tallis, made his first foray into rugby league at Centrals and was a former student at Currajong State School.
At 19 he moved to Sydney and played for St George- Illawarra from 1992 to 1995, playing in the 1993 grand final loss to Brisbane and making his Queensland State of Origin debut a year later.
Sitting out the 1996 season during the controversial Super League competition, Tallis launched his now legendary Broncos’ career in 1997 and went on to play 160 games with the NRL powerhouses.
Now a Broncos’ Hall of Famer, Tallis is reluctant to pledge his allegiance to one club.
An ambassador with the Gold Coast Titans and also a former Cowboys board member, Tallis says for him Queensland comes first.
“I love all three Queensland clubs,” he said.
“I’m a North Queenslander, simple as that, and I’m proud at what the Cowboys have been able to achieve.
“The Broncos were a massive part of my career and I’ve got a lot to be I thankful to them for. And I’ve currently got a role at the Titans, so my heart is with all the Queensland NRL clubs.”
Tallis, who also played his way into State of Origin folklore with some of the greatest on- field moments and spats the game has ever seen, says he can still clearly remember his Townsville childhood.
“When I grew up here, and this is a sign of how old I’m getting, there were no mobile phones that every kid seems to have now,” he said.
“The rules in Townsville much were once the street came on you had to be at home. pretty lights
“That’s the way it was and sport was a massive part of the North Queensland culture, our lives revolved around it and it was everyone’s cup of tea up here.”
Tallis believes the North Queensland community has every reason to be confident the Cowboys can continue their premiership surge despite being without co- captain Johnathan Thurston for the rest of the season.
“Life without JT will be tough at times, but how many games did they play without him this season already?” he said.
“He missed a few games and they still did all right, and now they have Te Maire Martin, Morgo ( Michael Morgan) and Lachlan Coote who are all capable of steering them around.
“You can’t be a one- man team and win a grand final, so I think they’ll still be a big threat.”
The Foxtel All In Townsville Tour is free and open to the public, with gates opening on Wednesday at 3pm
To register visit www. foxtel. com/ townsvilletour. Wednesday broadcast times: Inside Supercars and Queenslanders Only 4pm- 5.15pm and 5.30pm- 6.15pm. League Life 7.30pm – 8pm. Paul Murray LIVE 9pm – 11pm.