SUGGESTIONS of a rift between New South Wales and Queensland players who represent Australia in rugby league have been scotched by recently retired Parramatta Eels captain Nathan Hindmarsh.
The issue came to light this week after Queensland players were labelled arrogant for singing their own team song after the Kangaroos beat New Zealand 18-10 at Townsville on Saturday night.
Hindmarsh last played for Australia in 2009 and was a guest speaker at a sports luncheon at the Mullumbimby Leagues Club yesterday.
The day was organised by Mullumbimby first grade coach and former Australian fullback Graham 'Wombat' Eadie and also included former St George and Parramatta hooker Steve Edge.
"We tried to make one up for years and years and never settled on a team song," Hindmarsh said.
"The side is made up of players from both states so surely we can find something that suits everyone and not sing the Queensland song."
Hindmarsh is no stranger to the Mullumbimby club and last visited when first grade won the premiership in 2004.
He is keen to see the club retain and develop the junior players coming through.
"We lose a lot of players to cars and partying when they turn 16 or 17," Hindmarsh said. "There are a lot of distractions but, if you want to make NRL, you have to stay focused.
"If your mates drop out it doesn't mean you have to if you don't want to."
Hindmarsh played 330 NRL games and was a one-club man at the Eels between 1998 and 2012.
He is best known for his ability to make up to 60 tackles a game with many wondering who will step up to fill the void now he is retired.
The Eels finished with the wooden spoon in 2012 but will have NSW Origin coach Ricky Stuart next season.
"Matt Keating has been there for a few years now and he does a lot of defence, too," Hindmarsh said.
"As much as I want it (a premiership) to happen straight away, it might take a year or two.
"A lot of it came down to attitude this year and blokes leaving the work for someone else to do.
"Some of the individual attitudes need a bit of an adjustment and I think Ricky will be able to do that."
The Mullumbimby Giants hope to hold another sports luncheon early next year.