From fades of glory to full Tiger King mullets and far too much bleach, it’s been hard not to get distracted by NRL player’s hairstyles post-lockdown.
From fades of glory to full Tiger King mullets and far too much bleach, it’s been hard not to get distracted by NRL player’s hairstyles post-lockdown.

These post-iso haircuts are a hot mess

It's been labelled the nation's second pandemic; NRL's bonkers haircuts.

From Viliame Kikau's flying "top deck" mop to Jai Arrow's "Joe Exotic" mullet, players' post-isolation locks are leaving fans bewildered, with many decrying 2020 the year of the worst NRL haircuts.

Experimentation has become so radical, old-school Souths coach Wayne Bennett banned his first grade players from peroxide last month after some turned up to training with bad bleach jobs, including playmaker Cody Walker.

"He likes crew-cut, military-style, I think he'd be pretty happy if he could shave everyone's head," Walker said.

Jai Arrow’s glorious mullet blows in the breeze during an NRL Titans training session. Picture: AAP
Jai Arrow’s glorious mullet blows in the breeze during an NRL Titans training session. Picture: AAP

While wild haircuts are a fun distraction after months of shutdowns, a player's appearance can have a serious effect on their future in the game.

Teenage Sharks centre Bronson Xerri, one of the hottest prospects in the game before being suspended last month after a positive drug test, had his sights set on a different club.

Cody Walker before Wayne Bennett’s bleach ban. Picture: Adam Yip
Cody Walker before Wayne Bennett’s bleach ban. Picture: Adam Yip

But Phil "Buzz" Rothfield, the Telegraph's sport-editor-at-large, revealed Xerri's plans did not pan out.

"His father was ringing the Roosters saying: 'He's keen to come and play with you guys'. But with his bleached hair and tattoos everywhere, they dropped off him because of that," Buzz said.

 

From left, Penrith’s Apisai Koroisau, Parramatta’s Dylan Brown and Maika Sivo and Tino Faasuamaleaui of the Storm Tino Faasuamaleaui of the Storm.
From left, Penrith’s Apisai Koroisau, Parramatta’s Dylan Brown and Maika Sivo and Tino Faasuamaleaui of the Storm Tino Faasuamaleaui of the Storm.

With a powerful board, including Mark Bouris and led by Nick Politis, as well as sponsors at the top-end of town with deep pockets, the Roosters unashamedly ensure their players won't appear on lists like this.

Just ask former wild hair man Angus Crichton.

"When Crichton came to the Roosters from South Sydney last year - go and have a look at his haircut when he was playing at Souths, it was shocking," Rothfield said.

"It was spiked in the middle, it was shaved here and there, so he got a message from the Roosters saying you'll have to get your hair cut before you get here."

 

Josh Dugan of the Sharks with his rugged mullet.
Josh Dugan of the Sharks with his rugged mullet.

 

 

Mullets in all their forms: From left, Penrith’s Nathan Cleary, Bryce Cartwright of the Titans, Papalii of the Raiders and Brandon Wakeham of the Bulldogs.
Mullets in all their forms: From left, Penrith’s Nathan Cleary, Bryce Cartwright of the Titans, Papalii of the Raiders and Brandon Wakeham of the Bulldogs.

 

Burwood Man Cave barber Noah Obierzynski said whole teams used to have the same hairstyle but now cuts are all over the shop and, in some cases, "it looks like someone gave a toddler some clippers".

"Now one has blonde, one has a mullet, one's shaved, one has a crazy line on his head," he said. "People are just going back 10 years to mullets, into the future with these crazy hair styles, there's too much going on, you look at some of them on the field … it looks like my grandma cut it.

"They would have been better to let their wives do it with a butter knife."

 

A Mullet of sharks: If you’re not experimenting with hairstyles, are you even in the NRL? Picture: AAP
A Mullet of sharks: If you’re not experimenting with hairstyles, are you even in the NRL? Picture: AAP

 

Twitter has been twittering with jibes over NRL haircuts including this nugget from @MattCurtain1.
Twitter has been twittering with jibes over NRL haircuts including this nugget from @MattCurtain1.

Cronulla Sharks have come in for a heavy ribbing in recent weeks, after mullets became their default style with Josh Dugan, Andrew Fifita and Royce Hunt's cuts leaving fans wondering if lockdown training included giving each other a trim.

Fades of glory: Dragons players have embraced the clippers in lockdown (Shout out to that superb Titan’s pornstache on the far right). Picture: Getty
Fades of glory: Dragons players have embraced the clippers in lockdown (Shout out to that superb Titan’s pornstache on the far right). Picture: Getty

Meanwhile, tidy undercuts and Peaky Blinder-style fades are the rage among the Roosters and Dragons, with many sporting little more than a crop on top of near-bald back and sides.

Viliame Kikau, whose hair is the most talked-about this season, has vowed to keep growing his extravagant 'do, described by NSW coach Brad Fittler as a "big, blonde squidgy mop", in defiance of critics - including his parents.

But, with the Panthers sitting clear at the top of the NRL ladder at the moment, it's tough to argue with him.

 

High-top fade, rats tails, Eliesa Katoa covers all bases. Picture: Getty
High-top fade, rats tails, Eliesa Katoa covers all bases. Picture: Getty

 

BEST OF THE BUNCH

 

Rats-tail to die for: Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly), Junior Paulo (Eels)

Top decks (blonde on top, brown): Apisai Koroisau, Viliame Kikau (Penrith), Dylan Brown (Eels); Tino Faasuamaleaui (Storm), Maika Sivo (Eels).

For all the jokes, it’s good to see players get creative with their locks in 2020.
For all the jokes, it’s good to see players get creative with their locks in 2020.

High top fades: Waqa Blake (Eels), Kenneth Brown (Storm)

Outstanding mullets: Jai Arrow (Titans), Cronulla Sharks' Josh Dugan, Andrew Fifita, Sione Katoa, Royce Hunt; Nathan Cleary (Penrith), Bryce Cartwright (Titans), Judda Turahui (Storm)

Fades of Glory: James Tedesco (Roosters), Paul Vaughan (St George), Stephen Crichton (Panthers), most of St George Dragons, Corey Horsburgh (Raiders) Zac Lomax (St George)

Originally published as NRL's post-iso haircuts are a hot mess

Dubbed the ‘Flying Mop’, Penrith's Viliame Kikau’s hair has been among the most talked about dos on the field this season. Picture: Brett Costello
Dubbed the ‘Flying Mop’, Penrith's Viliame Kikau’s hair has been among the most talked about dos on the field this season. Picture: Brett Costello
Walker sporting a more low-key on Bennett’s orders. Picture: AAP
Walker sporting a more low-key on Bennett’s orders. Picture: AAP
What a profit: Cronulla's Andrew Fifita owning his look.
What a profit: Cronulla's Andrew Fifita owning his look.
Peaky Blinder style, Paul Vaughan and Cameron McInnes. Picture: Getty
Peaky Blinder style, Paul Vaughan and Cameron McInnes. Picture: Getty
Keeping it classy: Stephen Crichton’s subtle fade.
Keeping it classy: Stephen Crichton’s subtle fade.
Lone mullet Josh Papalii of the Raiders is tackled by faded Manly Sea Eagles. Picture: Getty
Lone mullet Josh Papalii of the Raiders is tackled by faded Manly Sea Eagles. Picture: Getty
Judda Turahui (right) goes mullet mad during training. Picture: Getty
Judda Turahui (right) goes mullet mad during training. Picture: Getty


MEGA GALLERY: 194 stunning photos from Gympie‘s 2020 formals

Premium Content MEGA GALLERY: 194 stunning photos from Gympie‘s 2020 formals

Take a look at every single beautiful photo capturing the moments Gympie region...

Record-breaking start to Rainbow Beach fishing comp

Premium Content Record-breaking start to Rainbow Beach fishing comp

Not a single room, caravan park, motel or campsite is available as almost 800...

PHOTOS: Christmas party season begins under the stars

Premium Content PHOTOS: Christmas party season begins under the stars

Gympie’s business community glammed up to kick off the silly season with a stylish...