The NRL has made the last-minute name to shift State of Origin III from Newcastle to the Gold Coast amid a worsening COVID-19 outbreak in Greater Sydney.
Fearing a serious occasion with a crowd at Newcastle would pose a severe well being risk to regional areas in NSW, the state authorities advised the NRL the chance was too nice to stage the sequence finale.
The third match will now be held at Cbus Super Stadium on Wednesday night time, marking a rare sequence by which all three video games shall be held in Queensland for the primary time.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo mentioned the sport wished to reward Newcastle’s assist of rugby league, however wanted to respect the NSW Government’s resolution.
“We are disappointed not to be able to give Newcastle the city’s first State of Origin, but we must operate within all State Public Health Orders and not having a crowd in Newcastle negates the opportunity for our fans from the region,’’ he said.
Mr Abdo said relocating to the Gold Coast presented a low risk option and would not impact either camp.
“The Gold Coast has a very low infection rate and both Origin camps are currently located within driving distance of Cbus Stadium. It means neither team will be disadvantaged by travel,’’ he said.
“This is an exciting outcome for the Gold Coast. It will be the first time in history that the Gold Coast has hosted State of Origin.
“The Gold Coast is an important market for us and in the current circumstances presents a safe outcome for the community and a great outcome for our fans in southeast Queensland.
“It does mean all three games are played in Queensland, but our priority is ensuring the safety of the community and the continuity of the competition.”
“I want to thank the Queensland Government for yet again providing their support rugby league.
“I’d also like to thank Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate for his strong advocacy for Ampol State of Origin to come to Cbus Stadium and the support of Destination Gold Coast.”
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