State of Origin home series up in air




Adelaide has been named State of Origin's latest neutral venue, prompting questions about when Sydney and Brisbane will again host more than one clash apiece in the annual series or even if they will.

Nathan Peats tackled by Johnathan Thurston and Dylan Napa
NSW v Queensland State of Origin rugby league match at ANZ Stadium, Homebush Australia. Wednesday 21 June 2017. Photo: Paul Seiser /

NSW hooker Nathan Peats is tackled by Queensland Maroons' Johnathan Thurston and Dylan Napa during Game II of State of Origin match at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Source: Photosport

Adelaide Oval was confirmed on Wednesday as host of one of the first two games of the 2020 series.

It will be the third consecutive series in which a game is played outside NSW and Queensland with matches allocated for the MCG in 2018 and Perth in 2019.

NRL football boss Brian Canavan talked down the prospect of a backlash from Queensland or NSW fans for taking the game to neutral territory.

"We've been through that before with Melbourne and that doesn't seem to worry us," he said.

"If they can't get to Adelaide - we'd love them to come to Adelaide - if they're in NSW or Queensland, they'll be watching on TV."

Queensland coach Kevin Walters said players wouldn't be concerned with a mid- season trip west.

"They'd play in a bindi field if they had to, they just love what Origin's about," he said.

Canavan and South Australia sports minister Leon Bignell declined to say what SA paid to host the game but the NRL says the financial incentive was "obviously a major consideration".

The state government estimates up to 16,000 interstate fans will descend on Adelaide and inject $15 million into the local economy.

Andrew Fifita of NSW attacks during game 1 of the State of Origin rugby league, Queensland Reds v New South Wales, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia. 31 May 2017. Copyright Image: Tertius Pickard /

Andrew Fifita of NSW attacks during Game 1 of the State of Origin rugby league against Queensland.

Source: Photosport

Rugby league also isn't concerned about the possibility its marquee match could be spoiled by the AFL, which plays one game a week at the stadium throughout winter.

"We're all competitors in certain markets but only competitive on game day," Canavan said.

Adelaide's premier sporting venue has hosted three NRL matches since 2010 and is set to host a fourth in Round 16 this year when the Roosters face the Storm.

But crowds for the three games have reached a combined 41,800 - well short of the ground's 53,500 capacity.

Melbourne will host its ninth State of Origin match in 2018 before the series ventures to Perth for the first time in 2019.

The only other city to host a game of the series is California's Los Angeles in 1987.

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