ARU eye 'State of Origin' clash

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 09:58
Large league state of origin 800

NEWS: The Australian Rugby Union is reportedly considering a rugby league-style "State of Origin" match to help fill a dead zone during the June Test window.

Queensland and New South Wales have long faced-off in an annual and hugely popular best-of-three rugby league series, and their union counterparts may now follow suit.

Queensland boss Richard Barker said it was frustrating that the Super Rugby competition came to a month-long halt during the crowded southern hemisphere winter sports schedule when internationals take place.

"All of a sudden we come to a dead stop at a time when rival codes are building to the high point of their seasons. We need the IRB [World Rugby] and [ARU chief] Bill [Pulver] to work pretty hard on this.

"Let's play a State of Origin match at Ballymore [in Brisbane]. It's a rugby-owned ground, so rugby would get all the proceeds," he told The Australian newspaper.

New South Wales Waratahs chief Andrew Hore said he was open to the idea but remained cautious.

"We applaud the initiative and we're certainly open for discussion. But an Origin game does highlight the fact that the vast majority of professional rugby players in this country come from NSW and Queensland and sometimes it doesn't hurt to mention that.

"And there is no question, too, that we are looking at the June window very carefully," Hore said.

If a State of Origin match or series went ahead, it would do so without many top players from the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs, who would be on international duty.

The ARU had no immediate comment.

Agence France-Presse