For the first time in State of Origin’s 40-year history, the interstate series will take place at the end of the season.
In another series first, Adelaide will host a match for the first time, with the players flying in from Queensland and NSW on the day of the game.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Origin Game I.
What time will State of Origin kick off?
Play will kick off at Adelaide Oval at 8:10pm AEDT on Wednesday for those of you in the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria.
Around the country, that equates to:
- 7:10pm AEST in Queensland
- 7:40pm ACDT in South Australia
- 5:10pm AWST in Western Australia
- 6:10pm ACST in the Northern Territory
However, rugby league is notorious for being slightly flexible with its kick-off times, so these times are not likely to be exact.
Why is State of Origin being played in Adelaide?
This will be the first time the series will be played at Adelaide Oval, but in previous years games have been played in Victoria (eight times) and Perth once (last year’s game two). One match was even played in Long Beach, California back in 1987.
NRL games have been played at Adelaide Oval over the past three years, but when that deal ended, the South Australia Tourism Commission opted to bid for a State of Origin game instead.
The game is expected to be a sell out, with a COVID-capped crowd of 26,500 in attendance.
“The interest from states, outside NSW and Queensland, to host our showpiece event is extraordinary,” NRL boss Andrew Abdo said earlier this year.
The original date for this year’s Origin series opener was Wednesday, June 3.
However, with the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there was never really a hope of the matches being played then — the season only resumed on May 28, after all.
“Fans have long suggested the series should be played in a separate window to the [NRL] Premiership and now we have the opportunity to trial the concept,” Abdo said.
Whether the trial will result in a permanent switch though, remains to be seen, but ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said “if it’s a runaway success we might look at it again”.