Ricky Stuart
Ricky Stuart Jerad Williams

Stuart not happy with Origin switch

NEW South Wales State of Origin coach Ricky Stuart has expressed his disappointment this week at the decision by the NSWRL to move one of its Origin games this year to Melbourne.

Maybe he better get used to it.

Victorian Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty has made it clear he wants one Origin game at the MCG every year, and is confident of matches selling out.

The bid through Victorian Major Events is still in its early stages, but you can be assured it willl be compelling.

Stuart said moving any of the games to Melbourne was disrespectful to the players, and would make his team's task of ending Queensland's unbeaten six-series streak even more difficult.

Game one of this year's series will be played at Etihad Stadium, which has a capacity of just over 50,000, on May 23.

Playing at the MCG could attract as many as 90,000 fans, QRL chief executive Rob Moore saying while he didn't really care where the third game was played, due consideration had to be given to fans of both Queensland and New South Wales.

"You would never suspect a player is disadvantaged by the ground they play at," he said.

"Any bid must be given due diligence by the ARL Commission.

"But to get 90,000 fans to an Origin game in Melbourne is probably good for the game. But there needs to be a balance between that and what the people of Queensland and NSW want."

New Zealand has also shown an interest in hosting Origin games.



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