For more than 40 years, rugby league has embodied all the hopes and dreams, contradictions and tensions of life in the Sunshine State. The game speaks to Queenslanders' sense of being the underdog and the outsider - a powerful undercurrent that sweeps through politics, business, the arts, and sport. The enduring appeal of State of Origin is that it allows Queensland to balance the scales, at least for 80 minutes.
In Heartland, journalist Joe Gorman chronicles a tale of loss and rebirth - from the decline of the Brisbane Rugby League competition and North Queensland's Foley Shield to the extraordinary rise of the Broncos and the Cowboys in the NRL. Weaving together stories of diehard supporters and game-changing players, from Arthur Beetson to Johnathan Thurston, this is a revealing account of Queensland's coming of age, both on and off the field.