What the XXXX? VB to be served at Origin
QUEENSLAND fans will be denied a traditional XXXX at this year's Origin series, with NRL executives locking in a Victorian brew as this year's "Beer of Origin".
A senior QRL executive rushed to Sydney on Sunday for crisis talks in a bid to sidestep a stoush with both the Maroons and Blues sponsored by Lion for the coming series kicking off at the MCG on June 6.
Disappointed XXXX executives are believed to be scrambling with the QRL to make sure XXXX is readily available for Maroons supporters before and after the final game at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on July 11. One idea is that XXXX-sponsored marquees could be set up outside the ground to host supporters entering and exiting the ground.
The NRL's new deal pits the league against both the QRL and NSWRL who signed lucrative contracts this year with Lion, maker of XXXX and Tooheys, to sponsor their respective Origin teams.
But the NRL, which hires the grounds for Origin matches, has the final say on which beers are sold inside the stadiums and has ruled in favour of CUB, which paid for the right for VB to be called the "Beer of Origin".
An NRL spokesman said the league had not decided the final line-up of beers for the game as "that is generally a matter between the stadium and their supplier."
"CUB have been long- term investors in the game and have been the beer of origin for the last decade.
"The parties will now negotiate the final arrangements for this year's origin matches."
XXXX signed a new four-year deal at the start of this year with the Maroons, taking the relationship into a fourth decade. Tooheys reportedly paid $10 million to replace VB as the logo sponsor on the Blue's shorts for the three matches this year.
Passionate Queensland fan Jack Fogg, who was enjoying a XXXX at the Breakfast Creek Hotel yesterday, was left stunned and angry by the lockout.
A QRL spokesman said the Maroons' new deal with XXXX had extended one of the longest running sponsorships in professional sport.
"We have a long-term relationship with XXXX and we owe it to them to service them as best we can," he said.