Former Blues captain Paul Gallen has defended his comments that this year’s Queensland Maroons squad was the weakest he had ever seen.
Prior to Queensland taking out the 2020 Origin series with a thrilling 20-14 win on Wednesday night, Gallen ruffled a whole lot of feathers when he echoed claims that the Maroons playing group was the worst it had been in a long time.
Asked if he would stick by his comments, the former New South Wales captain refused to stand down.
Gallen said his criticism of the side was more than “fair” with Queensland coach Wayne Bennett forced into selecting a host of debutants for the series.
“No, I’m standing by my comments absolutely,” Galen told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.
“When you listen to some of the responses from the Queenslanders post-game, those comments were fair.
“This was the weakest Queensland side I had seen for 15 or 20 years.
“I wasn’t the one who said they were the worst team in 40 years but I did say they were weakest in the last 15 to 20 years.
“I think when you debut 14 debutants in the series, it’s a fair comment.
“When you listen to Cameron Munster in the post-game say it was their first win without the big dogs, it justifies it.
“Not only that, Johnathan Thurston gets on TV and says it was the best victory they’ve had since 1995. What’s that implying? Why was it the best victory they’ve had since 2017 when they had Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis and the likes.
“I think my comments were justified.”
Paul Gallen’s tough love for the 2020 Maroons squad
Gallen also took aim at the Maroons and Queensland fans for not sticking up for their squad at the time of his comments.
“There was one person to come from Queensland and stick up for the current side and that was their coach from Wayne Bennett,” he said.
“There wasn’t a single other person, these staunch Queenslanders come from nowhere.
“No one said a word after my comments on Monday or after the New South Wales journalist’s comments from a couple of weeks ago.
“All of sudden, in hindsight and they’ve won the series, they come from everywhere.
“I didn’t know I was so popular. I had 5000 messages today on social media.”