They will this year honour success in a tumultuous season, which shifted the football code over borders and into months of unfamiliar lodgings.
They are the 17 rings for the players, and one for the coach, that are gifted in victory for securing the NRL premiership.
“Each year we try and find someone who’s deserving, who’s helped the game, contributed to the game, to help design the ring,” says Sam Rahme, owner of Affinity Diamonds, and custodian and creator of, if you ask the players candidly, the most prized of the prizes.
Last year, the grand final ring paid homage to those who helped in a year of fire and pandemic.
This year, the NRL acknowledges the work of the thin blue line.
“The Police Commissioner, being a football fan, was excited to do it,” says Sam.
The two karats of diamonds and blue sapphires locked in white gold mimic the unifying checkerboard band of each state’s police hat.
“The blue and white checker band is something that every police force across Australia does recognise. It’s a nice way of recognising across Australia, the work police officers do every day,” says NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.
“But the additional challenges that we’ve had through Covid. It has been a complex year in the life of a law enforcement officer.”
Challenges that have ranged far beyond law-keeping, to life-saving.
“We wanted to play a role from a health perspective as well,” says Commissioner Fuller.
Work ranged from boxing and delivering relief food hampers, to handing out masks and bottles of sanitiser on LGA hot zone streets.
The ring’s custodian is impressed with the Commissioner’s work.
“He’s got a good ability at design; he might have a future career, when he retires next year,” Sam says.
“This a new gig for you?” I enquire of the soon-to-be retiring commissioner.
“Maybe a part-time job, not a full-time job, Mike,” the Commissioner says.Internet Explorer Channel Network