Australian rugby league boss confirms New Zealand could host State of Origin game from 2027

Australian rugby league’s chief has confirmed a State of Origin game could be played in New Zealand as early as 2027.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys confirmed to The Australian newspaper that New Zealand was “absolutely a consideration’’ for a State of Origin fixture between Queensland and New South Wales.

“At the moment, the Origin scheduling has already been locked in for the next three years, but we are ecstatic at the success of rugby league in New Zealand,’’ V’landys said.

“The Warriors have been outstanding this season and naturally we want to keep that momentum going.

“A historic State of Origin match in New Zealand is definitely something we will consider.”

The article in The Australian stated the “NRL’s internal research shows rugby league is becoming a genuine threat to rugby union in a New Zealand nation besotted with the All Blacks”.

“The resurgence this season of the Warriors, who have returned home after two years in Australia due to Covid, has ignited interest, while the NRL Nines proved a smash hit during its four-year tenure at Eden Park from 2014-2017,’’ the article stated.

An Origin game in New Zealand could hold some appeal for NRL players with Kiwi heritage, including 2023 series participants Jarome Luai and Spencer Leniu (NSW) and Kalyn Ponga, Reece Walsh, Jeremiah Nanai and Moeaki Foutaika (Queensland).

V’landys’ comments following a heavyweight endorsement for a New Zealand Origin game by legendary coach Wayne Bennett.

The Dolphins’ NRL mentor – a technical adviser to New Zealand’s 2008 Rugby League World Cup winning team – has long been an advocate for growing rugby league around the world.

He told The Australian that Eden Park would be sold out for an Origin game.

“There isn’t a Kiwi who doesn’t know about State of Origin,” Bennett said.

“I remember talking to a bloke over there who said even the All Blacks players watch Origin and come to training and talk about the game.

Bennett said Kiwis “are rugby league crazy, they have been great supporters of the NRL for decades and the Warriors have been in the competition for a long time.

“Origin captures the imagination like no other game, so I encourage the NRL to consider going to New Zealand.”

Bennett, who won six out of eight Origin series across four stints as Queensland coach, said he was a fan of the neutral venue format whereby one match a year was held outside Brisbane or Sydney.

The 2023 series opener was played in Adelaide and the Melbourne Cricket Ground will host a game in 2024.