1 – Kevin Naiqama
Kevin Naiqama confidently displays his new season tattoo at the Wests Tigers training, at Ziems Park, Corrimal.
Religion is key to Naiqama’s game play, and he proved it with a giant etching of Jesus on the Cross, the city of Jerusalem and the Last Supper.
On both arms are etchings of the Virgin Mary, and Jesus in Heaven – as well as scripture.
The religious passages are from John 3:16 and Romans 10:9.
“In John 3:16, it shows me how much God loves everyone, through the good and the bad. God is love,’’ Naiqama said.
“And in Romans 10:9, it talks about salvation and me and confessing my faith in Jesus that I am identified in him and he is my Lord and Saviour.’’
Naiqama said the tattoo took over 40 hours to complete.
This huge etching is definitely one of the largest and most complex tattoos seen on any NRL stars, and rightfully earns top gong in the 12 best inkings.
2 – Adam Reynolds
Fans get a gander at Adam Reynolds’ front tatoos, as he’s treated for injury during game two of the State of Origin Series – between the Queensland Marroons and New South Wales Blues, at Suncorp Stadium, on June 22, 2016 in Brisbane, Austraila.
Reynolds has a huge Aussie native plant etched scross his chest, a former lion, as well as his unmistakable neck tattoo, displaying both his Daughter, Nadia’s, name, but also a nod to the maturity that comes with being a father at 18.
On his left foot, he’s got a Bunnies logo for history – and on his fellt arm, are two koi fish for good luck.
Reynolds also shows a testamet to God, with a powerful religious motif, the Sacred Heart, rosary beads, and a portrait of the Virgin Mary.
It doesn’t stop there though, with a Portrait of Bob Marlley on his left leg, and inking on the right leg, with a pair of clowns alongside a cheeky message, ‘Laugh Now, Cry Later.’
And what about that huge tat across his stomach?
The phrase, ‘Brothers ‘Till Death,’ in Latin.
3 – Matt Rogers
Matt Rogers shows off his Southern Cross tattoo amongst a liturgy of others at the Titans Recovery session.
Not pictured is his massive back tattoo of the Virign Mary cradling Jesus in her arms, which rivals the size of Kevin Naiqama’s.
4 – Todd Carney
Todd Carney believes his tattoos are expressions of who he is and what he believes in.
Although he does mention he may have “gone overboard with them a bit,” they’re still close to his heart, messy and disorganised – the way he describes himself.
Carney says there’s method behind the madness, however, with every rash decision made in life, getting directly inked on his skin for life.
His first tattoo came when he was just a young teen in Canberra – and the least likely person you’d ever think took him to get it.
It was just his name on his forearm, which he says he does regret, partly because it’s there for life.
He thought his mum would flip when she saw it, but apparently all was calm in the Carney household, leaving only one option – to get more ink!
As well as his own name, Carney has his parents’ initials behind each ear, and his two sisters’ named printed on his wrists.
After his father passed, he got the saying,
‘Always in my mind, forever in my heart,’ tattooed on his hands – so whenever he looks down, he’ll think of his father.
These aren’t the only odes to his Dad, with the date he was born, and the date he died on his chest. His name, Daryl, is also on Carney’s neck.
His biggest tat, however?
An angel with wings spread, and its head in its hands. Carney said for him, this displays the mix of emotions and feelings you experience in life.
5 and 6 – Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan
Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan stand side by side at recovery – both tattooed to the nines.
Ferguson is another player who has a koi fish weaving across his left arm, a renowned symbol for luck.
As well at this, lower down, he has ‘YOLO’ tattooed across his fingers.
With Josh Dugan, there’s a bit more to compact.
An ageing picture, snuck out of his house, taken some 25 years before.
Gripped tightly through an entire flight from Canberra.
Then, taken in his cab ride from Coolangatta Airport.
“It was of his parents,’’ recalls Frank Wilcock, one of Australia’s elite portrait illustrators. “Josh had snuck the photo all the way from home because he wanted it tattooed as a surprise for his folks’ anniversary.”
And that opened the floodgates.
Dugan, like many other favourite NRL stars, has a coiling coi, crosses, dragons, roses and rosary beads.
Tigers and tributes – everything you can imagine is etched for life on the skin of Josh Dugan.
Every memory, and every moment – which has cost over $20,000 and counting.
“So, yes, it’s expensive,’’ Dugan concedes. “But this is my story. My life.”
Now for some of the, ah, less than impressive tattoos…
7 – Mitchell Pearce
Old Mate clearly got a bit confused one night and forgot his own name.
To combat this happening again, he decided to just get it tattooed!
The staunch inking runs directly up his left arm in cursive – and on the inner right, a tattoo that aptly states ‘Carpe Diem,’ or ‘Seize the Day!’
8 – Chris McQueen
Chris McQueen is a bit of an oddball – and nothing says that more than his Harry Potter tattoo, under the ear.
“It’s the deathly hallows symbol,” McQueen explains.“Me and my two best friends from home (Brisbane) all got matching tattoos. I am a Harry Potter fan as well as a gamer. I guess getting the tattoo confirms I am a nerd.”
He also has a 1070 tattooed on the other side, his South Sydney Number.
9 and 10 – Adam Reynolds and John Sutton
Adam Reynolds is back again! This time, for his Bunnies face tat with fellow teammate, John Sutton.
It’s a custom for grand final winning players to get some ink celebrating their achievement – and Reynolds and Sutton went out and did just that!
There was only one problem.
They were fake!