Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Kick Off: 11:00
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick Off: 10:45
The State of Origin is a 3 match series between to 2 main Australian stats- New South Wales and Queensland.
The players are picked by a group of selectors and their eligibility is based on where their first senior Rugby League club where based, hence the name State of Origin.
The State of Origin idea has a long history that goes back to the very start of rugby league in Australia when interstate matches were frequent.
It is reported that a journalist wrote an article in 1900, stating that Stephen Spragg, who had just moved to Queensland, should be allowed to play for New South Wales.
Although there were regular matches between New South Wales and Queensland since the inception of Rugby League in 1908 it wasn’t until 1982 when the concept really took off due to the inauguration of the State of Origin series.
After a number of experimental games in 1980 and 19081, the old rules of interstate matches were brought back into use with the invention of the State of Origin series. A 3 match series between the blues of New South Wales and the maroons of Queensland.
In 1987 the controversial decision was made to play an extra game in the series in Long beach in the United States.
Queensland had already won the series 2-1 and had little to no interest in this extra gam which quickly became simply an exhibition game.
The Super League wars of the 90’s caused problem for the State of origin, with players banned from playing in it and even a second series run by News International featuring a New South Wales, Queensland and a New Zealand team.
After the end of the Super League wars the State of Origin series went back to its traditional best of 3 series between Queensland and New South Wales and the matches quickly became the pinnacle of domestic rugby league in Australia.
Due to the increase in popularity of the sport of rugby league in Australia during the 2000’s, the crowds for the Origin matches have grown hugely with the matches now selling out some of the biggest stadiums in Australia.