Going in, boots?n?all
By MITCHELL DALE
QUEENSLAND rugby league hard-man Gorden Tallis will come out of retirement at this weekend's Orara Valley sevens tournament sporting a pair of boots that could look more suited to the Rio Mardi Gras.
The former Test captain, who ended a 12-season career at the end of last season, will be among a number of ex-internationals running out for Mark Carroll's Barbarians side in Group G.
And the big fella is going to be pretty hard to miss.
Tallis will trot out in shiny gold and silver versions of the Nike 'Raging Bull' boot, named in his honour.
"All of my boots are actually being framed, so I don't have any in my gear bag," he confessed.
"But Nike will send me the latest model of the Raging Bull and they will be gold and silver ? something lairy, it's a sevens tournament after all."
Tallis admitted that match-fitness will be his Achilles heel this weekend.
"It (fitness) will be a huge problem," he said.
"Thank Christ they are only seven minute halves.
"I have hardly done anything in the off season, I've only had the joggers on twice since I retired.
"I have played one game of indoor soccer and one game of basketball, but they were both in social competitions with some mates."
Tallis is adamant he won't follow the path of another former Broncos and Australia captain, Allan Langer, and come out of retirement saying he is happy with life after football.
When the Coffs Coast Advocate caught up with Tallis, he had just finished a leisurely stroll through the supermarket while his former team mates were slugging it out on the training paddock.
"This is the good part of retirement, I like not having to worry about doing 400m sprints or up-hills at training," he said.
"The Australian players are at their first day of training today, it's pouring down here so I am glad to be out of it.
"There is no way I will get itchy feet (about retirement), but I would love to play in these type of matches as long as the body holds up and my fitness is good enough."
The man Queenslanders love and New South Welshmen loved to hate is excited about his first run since the Broncos' bowed out of the 2004 premiership race after a loss to North Queensland in week two of the finals.
"I am excited about playing, I haven't played with some of these players before," he said.
"It is a good chance to put something back into the game.
"It is for a good cause and if we can help raise a bit of money for the local team then we have served our purpose."
- The Cook Islands will play Fiji in the lead-up match to the Coast and Valley All-Stars v USA Tomahawks match at International Stadium on Wednesday.