Written by Mike Carter, Hull KR Shirts.
Welcome to Getting Shirty With Blake Green. I had the opportunity to ask former Hull KR and current Newcastle Knights player Blake Green some questions about the shirts which he has worn in his Rugby League career to date.
NAME – Blake Green
CLUBS – Parramatta Eels, Cronulla Sharks, Canterbury Bulldogs, Hull Kingston Rovers, Wigan Warriors, Melbourne Storm, Manly Sea Eagles, New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights
POSITIONS – Stand-Off, Scrum Half
STATS FOR HULL KR – (2011-2012)
HERITAGE NUMBER – #1124
APPEARANCES – 39
TRIES – 17
(A special thank you to Bryan & Jonathon for providing the stats)
Considered a journeyman, Blake has played for 8 different top flight teams in his native of Australia, and England. Destined for a great career from a young age Blake captained the 2004 Aussie Schoolboys side, which featured Superstar, Greg Inglis. In 2007, Blake made his debut in the NRL for Parramatta and it didn’t take long for Cronulla to sign him up on a two year deal. After struggling to cement a starting position at Cronulla, Blake moved to Canterbury in 2010 in the hope of a regular starting position in the halves. After experiencing his most consistent season to date, Blake made the decision to move to England and sign for Hull Kingston Rovers on a two year deal.
Blake made his debut at the Millenium Magic Weekend against rivals Hull FC, where he scored a try in a 34-22 win. Blake would go on to feature 39 times for Hull KR across 2011 and 2012. Blake made his final appearance for The Robins against Widnes Vikings at the Stobart Stadium when he left the field at half-time due to injury. This was the last time Rovers fans would see Blake play before moving to Wigan Warriors ahead of the 2013 season. 2013 would be the most successful season in Blake’s career as he won the Challenge Cup and the Super League Grand Final in his debut season with The Warriors. Blake was also named Man of the Match in the Super League Grand Final and with that honour, he was also the winner of the Harry Sunderland Trophy. His final game for Wigan was the 2014 Super League Grand Final which saw St Helens lift the silverware. His impressive form in England attracted the attention of NRL giants, Melbourne Storm.
Blake moved back to Australia for the 2015 season and during his second year with Melbourne, his form would help guide them to the NRL Grand Final but he unfortunately found himself on the losing side. Blake spent the 2017 season with Manly before moving to his current club the New Zealand Warriors, where he finds himself in his third season, which is the most time he has spent at any one club.
Getting Shirty With Blake Green
MC – Blake, what is your favourite Hull KR shirt you’ve played in?
BG – The shirt I made my Rovers debut in was my favourite shirt at Hull KR. A try scoring, winning debut against Hull FC also added to the meaning.
MC – What is your favourite rugby shirt (excluding Hull KR) you’ve ever played in and why?
BG – My Fave jersey was the 2015 Melbourne Storm Heritage jersey. Every time we played in it, the former players would come to Melbourne for the weekend to watch the game and we would always win. I loved the gold collar.
MC – Is there a shirt you’ve played in and thought, “man, this is awful”?
BG – No, not really, I’ve liked every shirt I’ve played in.
MC – Do you have any superstitions with regards to club kit and getting ready for a game?
BG – I never warm up in my playing jersey. I always warm up in a training tee and then I put my jersey on before I go out, so I feel fresh and ready for the game.
MC – What is your favourite Hull KR shirt, which you didn’t play in?
BG – My fave Hull KR jersey was probably the 2010 home jersey. Mainly because when I signed with the club I would watch their games and picture myself wearing that kit.
MC – Do you have a favourite shirt which you’ve acquired in your career?
BG – My fave jersey which I’ve got at home is the pink jersey which we played in for the Storm in 2016. We had our mum’s and wife’s names on the chest of it. It was a pretty good day. We won and I flew my mum, nan, wife and daughter in so we could all be together in the dressing room for the after match celebrations. Melbourne always do a great job with the families of their players.
MC – You’ve played in some big games in your career, including Grand Finals in the UK and Australia, and a Challenge Cup Final with Wigan too. Do the shirts worn in big games mean any more to you?
BG – Yeah, they do mean more but at the end of the day it’s the memories of the particular moment that stay with you, the jerseys are great but the memories mean more to me.
MC – Do you still have any of the shirts worn in Finals?
BG – I’ve still got the big game jerseys. I tend to give some away to people that I know would love to have one. I gave a jersey to Mark Goundrill every year. He’s a mad Rovers fan and he’s got a big heart. The Wigan jersey I gave Scotty (see Getting Shirty with Scott Murrell) – I just remember him saying to me (after that game), how class it must have been to win at Old Trafford. I just said do you want my jersey, and he was like yeah! I thought he would give it to his little fella to wear around the house but he video called me with it framed up in his house. I loved being able to meet someone like him. He was the heartbeat of the footy club at Roversn, back then.
MC – How many shirts per season would you normally wear as a player?
BG – We normally wear about 5 or 6 different jersey styles a year in the NRL. We have the basic home and away jerseys. We also have a heritage round, indigenous round, retro round and sometimes we will have an alternate kit too, just in case of a colour clash. At the end of each season we get to keep one of each style. Most clubs I have played for you have 2 for each player, per style. This is just in case it rips or a blood bin happens. Most clubs have auctions or prize give away promotions for the one the player doesn’t get to keep.
MC – What would normally happen to the shirts you wore, which you got to keep at the end of a season?
BG – The jerseys I keep I normally put in a box at home and my son Boston puts them on around the house. Hopefully one day when he gets bigger he can wear them to his sport training or something like that. When I retire I might frame a couple of jerseys that I played in, in the big games for to help cement the memories.
MC – What was it like to wear the famous green and gold, when you captained the Aussie Schoolboys in 2004?
BG – Schoolboys was a great experience. I played with Greg Inglis, and well he turned out to be one of the greats of the game! During the series we got beat by England and Scott Murrell never lets me live it down…
MC – Playing in the #6 Jersey, who’s your favourite half back partners who wore #7?
BG – Daly Cherry Evans, Cooper Cronk, Shaun Johnson and I’ll have to say my mate Dobbo – I can’t leave him out!!
That’s everything from Blake Green in this Q&A with Hull KR Shirts. I’d just like to once again thank Blake for taking the time do the Q&A and wish him all the best in his career.
I wish we could have kept Blake at Rovers beyond 2012 because it really was a joy to watch him play alongside Michael Dobson.
Here is Blake’s shirt from Justin Morgan’s final game in charge of Rovers. A play off defeat in the South of France against Catalan Dragons, which sits nicely in my collection.
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Getting Shirty With Blake Green. Who else would you like to Hull KR Shirts have a Q&A with? Tag them on this post on Twitter and we’ll see who is interested in getting involved.