QRL backs Perth Origin call

QRL backs Perth Origin call

The Queensland Rugby League have welcomed a decision to take a State of Origin game to Perth.

The West Australia capital has been confirmed as the venue for game two of the 2019 series, the first time an Origin match will be played there.

QRL chief executive Rob Moore said on Friday it was a sensible decision for rugby league to explore additional markets.

However it was also integral to the series that Queensland were given the chance to host two games in a year as was NSW, he said.

This year’s series featured two matches in Sydney, while last year also had only one game in Brisbane due to game two in 2015 being held in Melbourne.

Next year’s series will see two games played in Brisbane and one in Sydney but one match will return to Melbourne in 2018 ahead of the Perth trip in 2019.

“It’s a balance we’ve got to find,” Moore said.

“We obviously like the home ground advantage at Suncorp Stadium, we always will.

“In that next cycle as long as we balance it up between home games and away games, we’ll be happy.”

NRL boss Todd Greenberg said the benefits of taking Origin matches to other venues made sense.

“It grows the game in other markets and showcases our premium product to a new audience,” Greenberg said.

“We saw Melbourne embrace State of Origin in 2015 and we expect Perth to do the same in 2019.”

The Perth match will be played in front of up to 60,000 people, with the new Burswood Stadium scheduled to open in 2018.

Perth will also host its first rugby league Test match later this year, with Australia and New Zealand to do battle at nib Stadium in October.

West Australian premier Colin Barnett has confirmed his government paid an undisclosed amount to win the rights to the Origin match.

The move marks the first time a State of Origin match has been taken off the east coast of Australia, with the exception of the 1987 exhibition match in Los Angeles.

Despite the news of a match moving away from Brisbane, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk appeared to support the idea.

“Of course, we’re lobbying very hard to make sure we get a (NRL) grand final here in Queensland,” Palaszczuk said.

“But State of Origin, it’s a great game, and it’s any wonder that other states are vying for those rights and I’m quite sure there’s many Queenslanders in Perth who will enjoy the game.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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