State of Origin heading to Adelaide in 2020

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    The NRL has sensationally announced that a State of Origin game will be taken to the Adelaide Oval in 2020.

    According to, the 2020 game is expected to be either the first of the series on a Wednesday night or the second, which would be played on a Sunday afternoon under the new TV deal, to ensure the game isn’t a dead rubber.

    State of Origin is widely regarded as the pinnacle of rugby league in Australia and the NRL have often talked about playing one game outside of New South Wales and Queensland each year.

    Victoria has been the usual destination, with the opening game set to be played at the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2018.

    It will be the ninth time Melbourne has hosted a State of Origin game and it’s generally thought Origin has been a success in the Victorian capital, with a crowd of 91,513 watching the last match played at the Cricket Ground.

    The first Origin game to be played away from the eastern seaboard will be played at the new 60,000-seat Perth Stadium in 2019, followed by the 2020 game in Adelaide.

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said it was a significant moment for rugby league in Australia.

    “Melbourne embraced State of Origin in 2015 and we expect another special night at the MCG for Game One this year,” Mr Greenberg said.

    “The fact that this contest will be embraced by Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide in consecutive years is a significant coup for the game.

    “Adelaide is a new market in terms of hosting this match but we know that Origin is a popular event in the city, as it is across the country.

    “That will only be enhanced when Origin is played for the first time at such a historic venue like Adelaide Oval.”

    Rugby league’s first attempt at expanding into Adelaide came with the failed Adelaide Rams, who played their first season during the Super League war of 1997 before falling over at the end of the 1998 season.

    Since then, just five first grade games have been played in the South Australian capital. A generally positive response was seen last year though as the Sydney Roosters beat the Melbourne Storm in a nailbiter on the renovated 50,000-seat Oval.

    The renovations have seen the Adelaide Oval become one of Australia’s premier sporting grounds with regularly big crowds packing the venue for cricket and AFL and it’s expected a State of Origin game would draw similar crowds.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,800 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

    The New South Wales State of Origin team for the 2018 series remains a mystery, with new coach Brad Fittler facing plenty of selection headaches. So we want you to tell us - and all your mates - who should start for Blues in Game 1 with our team picker.

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    The Crowd Says (51)

    • February 14th 2018 @ 9:51am
      Perry Bridge said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:51am | ! Report

      Lock in those dates early – there’ll be no available hotel rooms in town that night.

    • February 14th 2018 @ 9:55am
      peeeko said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      Rugby league’s first attempt at expanding into Adelaide came with the failed Adelaide Rams- i actually saw the Dragons played some games at the Adelaide Oval back in 92 or 93

      • Roar Guru

        February 14th 2018 @ 10:00am
        Scott Pryde said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        Ok, first serious attempt. One-off games don’t count… Saying the Dragons played some games there is like saying rugby league tried to expand into Los Angeles.

        • Roar Guru

          February 14th 2018 @ 10:39am
          Nat said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the Rams had reasonably good support and backers during the SL era. Not too successful on the field but rarely do new franchises have straight up success (Melbourne excluded).

          • February 14th 2018 @ 10:43am
            Cathar Treize said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            Yes, the Rams like the Reds would still be around if they only had financial support & patience instead of having the rug pulled from under them.

            • February 14th 2018 @ 11:55am
              spruce moose said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

              They were victims of the peace treaty is all. Teams had to go for a unified competition.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 12:29pm
                Maestro said | February 14th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

                The Rams refused to pay ground rental owed for Adelaide Oval so went to the soccer ground s left town under a cloud.

      • February 14th 2018 @ 11:48am
        RandyM said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        I loved Graham Appo, what a Rams legend

    • Roar Guru

      February 14th 2018 @ 9:56am
      Riley Pettigrew said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      Definitely an interesting decision. Surely Newcastle, Canberra or Townsville have to be next.

      Now for the NRL to accept test matches between Australia vs Tonga in Hawaii, and New Zealand vs England in Denver.

      • Roar Guru

        February 14th 2018 @ 10:00am
        Scott Pryde said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        The biggest problem with Newcastle, Canberra or Townsville Riley is stadium size. Origin will never be played anywhere less than 50k.

        • February 14th 2018 @ 10:59am
          Christo the Daddyo said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          Apart from all the years it was played at the SCG and SFS…

          • Roar Guru

            February 14th 2018 @ 11:01am
            Scott Pryde said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

            I was referring to this day and age. Back in the day, they didn’t have the option of ANZ Stadium now, did they?

            With the options available now, it’s never going to a ground which holds 20k or 30k.

          • February 15th 2018 @ 12:10am
            BrainsTrust said | February 15th 2018 @ 12:10am | ! Report

            SCG and SFS are big venues, surely you should have been talking about the old Lang Park.

    • February 14th 2018 @ 10:13am
      Justin Kearney said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      It’s a great decision. Not the best ground to watch football but sure to make a fun trip.

    • Roar Guru

      February 14th 2018 @ 10:33am
      AdelaideDocker said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      This is interesting. Very good, though, and no doubt it will be amazing for Adelaide that night (day?). Adelaide Oval is absolutely brilliant, and I can see it packing out for one of these.

      Also, it’s a coup for Perth to lock in one of next year’s games.

      • Roar Guru

        February 14th 2018 @ 10:43am
        Nat said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

        Absolutely. Cannot fault the SA people for turning out to watch their sport. Pathetic by ch10 to schedule the BBL final mid afternoon for the sake of a reality TV show.

        • Roar Guru

          February 14th 2018 @ 10:46am
          AdelaideDocker said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

          Yes, definitely. We’ll turn out for just about anything. It’s an impressive trait South Australian’s appear to have.

          • Roar Guru

            February 14th 2018 @ 10:57am
            Emcie said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

            And I’m sure that South Australians will have a better appreciation for the sport itself then the Melbournites have.

    • Roar Guru

      February 14th 2018 @ 10:34am
      Sleiman Azizi said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

      The failed Adelaide Rams?

      The club lasted two seasons. Their inaugural season saw a crowd average of over 15,000. That is pretty good. Their last season saw that drop to just over 7,000. That isn’t.

      But given that they had been slated to be on the chopping block as part of the peace deal struck, is it any wonder attendances fell?

      Like the Reds, the Rams were never given the opportunity to succeed. Remember the 30,000 crowd that turned up to watch Roosters v Wigan in the World Club Challenge in Sydney?

      But no, rugby league people seem to like finding ways of not striking while the iron is hot.

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