The Aussie State Of Origin Series Could Go To The Highest Bidder
Australia's State of Origin rugby competitions could now be going to the highest bidder, with the National Rugby League confirming that traditional states New South Wales and Queensland "should not expect to have an extra game a year without paying for the privilege," according to Stuart Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. In what is "believed to be a first for the Origin concept," NSW and Queensland might have to dip into their pockets to combat the interest and the A$2.5M ($2.6M) offer from the state of Victoria. NRL interim CEO Shane Mattiske said, "There is tension around that third game." The '13 series still lacks a location, but previously under the old system, NSW and Queensland "took turns every year at hosting two of the three games in a series." NSW's position is being influenced by the fact that it has lost the past seven Origin series to Queensland "and faces the prospect of not hosting two games again until '15" if the extra game is given to Queensland and Victoria for the next two years. Tourism authority Destination NSW is believed to be in negotiations with the Australian Rugby League Commission, "which has made no secret of the fact that it views the game as a business and will always be looking to get the best deal" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/4).