Episode 13: Gene Miles

Queensland rugby league legend Gene Miles talks about the game he loves and what’s in store for the Broncos and Maroons in the 2019 season.

During the 80s and 90s, the mere mention of the name Gene Miles was enough to strike fear in the hearts of opponents south of the border. 

Known for his bruising and powerful runs as a centre and later a second rower for the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland Maroons and Australia, Miles was a force to be reckoned with. 

The 1990 Dally M Captain of the Year retired in 1993 but continued to receive accolades, including being named in top 20 greatest Broncos players in history and in the top 100 greatest NRL players (1908-2007). Miles was also inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame in 2008. 

Miles is now chairman of the Former Origin Greats (FOGS), an organisation of former State of Origin players dedicated to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Miles is also the Chairman of Selectors for Queensland State of Origin and responsible for helping select the players that don the legendary Maroon jersey.

Following the Maroons loss in 2018, Miles said it was time to rebuild the team after the retirement of key players like Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Johnathon Thurston. 

“These young guys that have been selected need to go out and cement their own legacy,” he said. 

“Yes, we have been successful over the last decade, however, it’s their turn now and time to set some standards.

“Just don’t forget about the guys who have gone before you and busted their guts.”

Miles said his motto from his playing days still stands true and is something he expects from all selected Maroons. 

“Never let the guy down standing beside you on the footy field,” he said. 

“You might be intimated by the names in the blue jerseys, but they’re all human – if you tackle them around the legs they will fall over.”

Miles said he believed it would be young guns like Kaylan Ponga, the leadership of Michael Morgan and force of big forwards who would usher in a new era of Queensland dominance. 

“We need some young guys to really step up and say I want to carry the State of Origin team for the next five or six years,” he said. 

“Queensland really needs big guys up front doing the damage, so the playmakers can weave their magic.” 

The NRL season officially kicks off on Thursday, 14 March with the Brisbane Broncos facing the Melbourne Storm. The Maroons will take on the Blues for game one of the 2019 State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, 5 June. 

To hear more about Miles’ work with FOGS, his expectations for the Broncos in 2019 and whether the Maroons can win the 2019 Origin series, listen to the full podcast below.

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