The Blatchy’s Blues have become an institution at Origin matches, but now that fan experience is about to be revolutionised, taking the passionate NSW supporters closer than they have ever been.
With a special set of headphones incorporated within their trademark wig, the Blues faithful will be able to hear a pre-game speech from coach Laurie Daley plus the bright blue afros will light up for the first time. The new smart wig concept was initiated by NSWRL partner The Star.
Aaron Woods knows just how important it is to see ANZ Stadium filled with blue. Moments before Aaron Woods rips in for NSW in the high-octane State of Origin arena, he takes a moment to look at the sea of blue which fills ANZ Stadium. “It is the first thing I look at,” Woods said.
“As a player you look up and see the blue lights everywhere with the wigs. It’s an unbelievable feeling. From when we run out there the blue wigs are all to our left. You get so much off it.”
Woods takes time to mention the experience to rookie NSW players before kick-off. "It’s one thing I always say to the guys who are on debut, or have their first game in Sydney. I played with Teddy (James Tedesco) in game three last year and I told him to get out to the front of the line and make sure you look left because there are wigs everywhere."
Woods has noticed the growing trend of the wig-wearing fans. He said players had spoken about the lift it gives them. “It gives us a massive boost and the boys get so much energy from it,” Woods said. “When I first played Origin it was probably half (full of wigs) but each year it’s grown and grown. Now it’s probably three quarters (of the stadium) full.”
Article published in www.dailytelegraph.com.au on 2 May 2017. Author is Michael Carayannis.