State of Origin could be set for a permanent move after ARLC chairman Pete V’landys flagged radical changes to the NRL’s showpiece event and eligibility laws.
- Pete V’landys says State of Origin could be held post-season going forward if this year’s series “rates the roof off”
- V’landys says the switch has the advantage of maintaining the integrity of the NRL season
- He also is contemplating allowing players who have represented countries other than Australia to play State of Origin
In a shake up from the regular mid-season events, the three-game series will run over consecutive weeks in November starting just 10 days after the NRL grand final.
And if it’s a roaring success with broadcasters, V’landys will consider making the switch to the end of the season for good.
“It’s an interesting experiment this year playing State of Origin after the season because it also ensures the integrity of the game throughout the year, because you haven’t got that break where the good teams lose out because all their good players are playing State of Origin,” he told Channel Nine.
“If it rates the roof off, it could be a permanent change to have it after the season.”
It sets up the 2020 series as a litmus test as the position of Origin within a season has long been debated due to the interruption to the regular competition.
Any change to the regular format would have a significant impact on the NRL with clubs able to keep their Origin stars throughout their entire premiership season.
And it’s not the only change V’landys is looking at.
He said the ARLC would also consider moving international Tests to mid-season, as well as changing eligibility rules for Origin players.
Currently, players must be eligible and elect to play for Australia to be selected to play Origin, and must not have represented England or New Zealand.
“Should players from Polynesian countries who play for the Polynesian countries be allowed to play State of Origin? We’re reviewing that as we speak,” he said.
“The NSW coach [Brad Fittler] has been vocal with me that we should have the best players in the State of Origin and I agree with him.
“So we need to look at that. I think it’s a pretty stupid rule where we force all our players to play for Australia.
“But don’t stop them from playing State of Origin and the New Zealand players for that matter. So the international [schedule] may have to work around that.”