- Wendell Sailor unimpressed with NRL Grand Final entertainment choice
- The NRL has officially gone retro and opted for Tina Turner cover singer
- Turner died in May at the age of 83 following a battle with illness.
- His iconic song “Simply The Best” remains a rugby league anthem
Football legend Wendell Sailor has slammed the NRL Grand Final’s entertainment choice, saying Code fans “deserve better”.
Sailor, who also represented the Wallabies during his distinguished sporting career, felt the NRL had “dropped the ball” by not making headlines ahead of the decider at Sydney’s Accor Stadium on October 1.
“I’m disappointed to be honest… look, I love Tina Turner, I’ve met her a few times, but I think we as the NRL should do better, our fans deserve better,” Sailor said to Triple M listeners.
“We could recruit someone from all over the world. The AFL has KISS and we had a Tina Turner takeoff.
“They need to make headlines, they needed to go all-in, they dropped the ball again.”
Footy legend Wendell Sailor (pictured left) has slammed the NRL’s big final entertainment choice, saying Code fans ‘deserve better’
This follows the NRL announcing plans to go retro in 2023, with a musical tribute to Tina Turner headlining the pre-match entertainment (Turner is pictured before the 1993 Grand Final at the SFS ).
Ruva Ngwenya won many admirers as Tina Turner in the musical Tina Turner.
Sailor’s sentiment was echoed by many fans of the league, who flooded the comments section of the official NRL Grand Final entertainment announcement post on X (formerly Twitter).
“I think if this was a side act somewhere during the day it would have been a nice and fitting tribute,” one NRL fan wrote.
“However, having it as your main entertainment seems a bit cheap. I bet it costs 10 percent of what they normally pay.
“I love Tina, but it’s not expensive. I could go to the local RSL to watch cover songs if I needed to. How cheap they are. This is embarrassing,” wrote another.
“The AFL welcomes global superstars KISS, while the NRL welcomes a woman most people have never heard of, who does Tina Turner covers,” a third fan wrote.
“Is this really the best you can do in the NRL? No wonder the AFL runs circles around the NRL.
Turner shook up rugby league in the 1990s and the greatest game of them all will officially go retro in 2023 with a musical tribute to the late superstar.
The NRL felt Turner’s passing in May as much as anyone given the rock icon’s lasting impact on the game through arguably one of the greatest marketing campaigns in Australian sport, ‘Simply the Best’ rugby league in 1990.
Crosscode star Wendell Sailor (pictured right) shared his thoughts on NRL grand final entertainment on Triple M.
Turner died in May at the age of 83 after a long illness and on the cast’s final day. Tina – The Tina Turner Musical will sing some of his biggest hits.
“Thirty years later, Tina Turner’s performance in 1993 remains one of the great moments of the Grand Final,” said Andrew Abdo, CEO of the NRL.
“This collaboration is a perfect way for Rugby League to pay tribute to Tina and all she has done for our game.”
The musical features iconic songs including “Simply The Best”, “Nutbush” and “Proud Mary”, which will be released on October 1 of this year.