The NRL season kicked off this weekend and it looks like a couple of players spent their off-season enjoying Fortnite. Three players from three different clubs all celebrated tries this weekend by taking a knee and pretending to wrap bandages around their wrists – an animation Fortnite players will immediately recognise.
It started with Josh Dugan on Friday when his Cronulla Sharks faced off with the North Queensland Cowboys. After scoring his first try at his new team, Dugan dropped his knee and wrapped his wrists, mimicking the bandage animation from Fortnite‘s Battle Royale mode.
Try time to @Josh_Dugan!
Deft grubber and Dugan gets his account started at the @Cronulla_Sharks.
— NRL (@NRL) March 9, 2018
Then on Saturday, Blake Ferguson from the Sydney Roosters and Isaiah Papali’i from the New Zealand Warriors followed suit by celebrating their tries with the same pose.
"Blink and you'll miss that!"
— NRL (@NRL) March 10, 2018
We’ve reached out to the players’ clubs to see if Dugan, Ferguson and Papali’i have been squadding up in Fortnite over the off-season but we haven’t heard back yet. It definitely has the feel of a coordinated effort from the boys. The NRL even posted a video on Facebook showing Papali’i practicing the pose with a teammate.
Whether they’re playing the game together or not, it seems a safe bet that a number of NRL players have got stuck into Fortnite. After all they’re humans with pulses and Fortnite is pretty darned popular with that demographic..
Here’s hoping there’s some cross-code play going on here and we see some AFL players follow suit. I’d love to see some of the Brisbane Lions pull this off, if only because it means they’re actually kicking goals.
Editor’s Note: The article originally identified the NZ Warriors player as Bunty Afoa. Thanks to WithTheDawn in the comments for the correction.