The turnaround of the Gold Coast Titans under coach Justin Holbrook has been one of the stories of the season but departing representative forward Jai Arrow has stolen some of the headlines.
Originally with his signing with South Sydney at the beginning of the season, since the season has been underway, it’s all been about his glorious mullet.
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Some on social media were roasting the Queensland Origin representative who will make the move from the Gold Coast to Redfern in 2021 while others have been enjoying the throwback to the 80s with the spectacular flow.
While several believe the hairstyle won’t fly when he’s playing under legendary coach Wayne Bennett, another tweeted that it should be “referred straight to the judiciary”.
In the Titans match against the Panthers in round 11, Fox League commentator Andrew Voss even told Queensland State of Origin coach Kevin Walters “I reckon the haircut costs him State of Origin”.
”I don‘t know how you could pick a guy with that hairdo,” he laughed. “That is some look for Jai Arrow, Halloween comes up at the end of October I thought.”
He drew comparisons to baseball legend Don Mattingly — and the popular meme from The Simpsons — after cutting the top of his hair but leaving the mullet to flow unbridled behind him, he went further by round 17.
With a freshly shaved dome except for the exquisite mullet flowing unbridled behind him, Arrow revealed the fresh look came from teammate Young Tonumaipea.
“I definitely didn’t pay for it,” Arrow told ABC Grandstand NRL. “So Youngy rates himself as a hairdresser and it’s obviously for a good cause, I’m not doing it because I want to do it — I’ll just keep telling everyone that. So Youngy butchered me the other day.
“He said ‘what do you want’ and I said ‘I obviously want keep the mullet for the World’s Greatest Shave that I’m doing’ to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. So he said ‘OK I’ll fix you up’ and all of a sudden he started butchering my hair and I said ‘oh well, we’re too far in now, you may as well shave it’. So he shaved half of it and left the back so I couldn’t do much about it but I’m just going to have to put up with it for another couple of weeks.”
When asked about Tonumaipea’s hairdressing prowess, Arrow added: “He does rate himself and I can vouch for him, he’s done a good job as everyone can see.”
Arrow has raised $2500 of his $5000 goal and he’s raising the money for his mum who was diagnosed for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and wanted to raise awareness for the disease.
While he’s departing the club at the end of the year, Arrow said it had been exciting to see the improvements this season.
Although out of finals contention, the Titans have won six games under Holbrook — and have had a huge improvement from the four win in their wooden spoon winning season in 2019.
And with the signing of a host of talent, headlined by Broncos star David Fifita, Arrow said “it’s good times for the Gold Coast, on the up”.
Originally published as ‘Butchered me’: Truth of NRL’s best hair