Fresh doubts Queensland can host Origin

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she has her “fingers crossed” the 2020 State of Origin series will be held, but doubts whether it can proceed during the coronavirus pandemic.

And Palaszczuk has refused to support a mooted plan to send Queensland clubs to Sydney in order for the NRL to restart on May 28, saying she is “really concerned” about the health risk to players.

A vocal critic of the NRL’s plan to resume the competition next month, Palaszczuk on Tuesday wondered how the Origin series could be staged amid a pandemic.

“I love the footy as much as everyone else. I think it’s devastating we’re not going to see the State of Origin this year as well,” the Queensland Premier told The Nine Network.

“We always have a State of Origin, but how can you have it?

“Maybe in December? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.Source:News Corp Australia

The NRL is yet to unveil what the rest of the 2020 season will look like after announcing its planned resumption date, with the league set to enter negotiations with broadcasters on Tuesday to discuss a modified competition. It has confirmed this year’s Origin series will remain in a standard three-game format.

The 2020 Origin series was due to kick off in Adelaide on June 3 but is unlikely to be held due to COVID-19 which would revert the interstate clashes back to Sydney and Brisbane.

Brisbane was initially scheduled to host game three on July 8, but the Queensland premier on Tuesday cast doubt on whether an Origin game could be played in Brisbane during the pandemic.

Queensland has enacted strict movement restrictions during the coronavirus threat in which there is a mandatory 14-day isolation period for anyone allowed entry.

“I think we have to be very realistic here. We have to take the advice of health (authorities),” she said.

“If NSW has different health advice to me, go for it. But we have very strict health advice here, and I’ll be listening to my health experts.”

We could be looking at no State of Origin this year… 😔 #9WWOS #NRL

Palaszczuk is also not a fan of a proposal to send Queensland clubs Gold Coast, Brisbane and North Queensland to Sydney in order to avoid quarantine laws and ensure the NRL’s resumption.

“I’m really concerned about my Queensland players going down to Sydney,” she said.

“All you need is one community transmission down in Sydney and the whole team could possibly have it.

“It would have to be very strict quarantine. I’d have to get health advice from my chief health officer.

“I don’t want to put a spanner in the works here, but we’re either going to listen to the health advice or we’re not – I’m not making any apologies for that.”


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