MCG to host State of Origin 1 in 2018

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    The Victorian government expects the MCG to beat its State of Origin attendance record when the interstate fixture returns to Melbourne for next year’s series opener.

    Queensland will begin their title defence against NSW on neutral territory, NRL boss Todd Greenberg has confirmed to News Corp Australia, at the 100,000-capacity MCG.

    The June 6 fixture is part of an NRL deal with Victoria that also provided Melbourne with hosting rights for game two in 2015, when 91,513 spectators – a record – watched NSW beat Queensland at the MCG.

    “We hope to see NSW and Queensland fans travelling to Melbourne as well as locals enjoying the best of rugby league in game one,” Greenberg told News Corp.

    State tourism minister John Eren said Victoria would smash its attendance record.

    Melbourne’s hosting in line with the NRL’s policy of playing one game outside Sydney and Brisbane every three years.

    Western Australia will host for the first time when game two of the 2019 series is played at the new Perth Stadium.

    The Maroons won their 11th Origin series in 12 years when they beat NSW 22-6 in Brisbane on Wednesday in the deciding third game.

    © AAP 2017

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