State Of Origin

Slater receives four-star endorsement for Maroons job

The elite quartet - Wayne Bennett, Mal Meninga, Craig Bellamy and Cameron Smith - have all offered their unqualified support for the retired Melbourne Storm fullback to take charge of the Maroons this year.

Bennett, who steered an underdog Queensland team to win last year’s title, was expected to retain the position. However, the QRL prefers a full-time coach, leading Bennett to announce last week he would concentrate on coaching the Rabbitohs in his final season at Redfern.

Maroons’ Game I hero forced into change; Foxx firms for Blues

Kurt Capewell will to start in the back row, with Edrick Lee and Valentine Holmes on the wings, Corey Allan at fullback and Dane Gagai and Brenko Lee in the centres.

“Cameron (Munster) passed everything and we’re very satisifed with where he’s at,” Bennett said.

“We won’t know until this morning to see if he (Xavier Coates) can train. He’s 50/50 at the moment.

“Edrick Lee will come in.”

“We’ll get (Brenko Lee) through training today, we’re confident we’ll do that. He was good on Sunday, so pretty confident he’ll play.”

Origin set to return to mid-year after Biff and Blues’ win fail to lift ratings

Peter V’landys said after the disappointing Game I ratings that Origin would most likely return to the middle of the season, unless there was drastic improvement in Game II.

Nationally across five city metro markets 1.654 million viewers tuned to see the Blues beat the Maroons 34-10 at ANZ Stadium to force a decider at Suncorp next week.

The numbers were a slight improvement on the series opener in Adeliade, which came in at 1.6 million, but is still a significant drop of nearly 16 per cent or 306,000 viewers on Game II of the 2019 series at 1.96 million.

State of Origin: Queensland beat New South Wales 18-14 in opening game

The Blues, who have won the last two series, started brightly and opened up a 10-0 lead at the interval after tries from Damien Cook and Josh Addo-Carr.

Queensland hit back after the break as Alex Brimson, Xavier Coates and Cameron Munster crossed the whitewash.

Addo-Carr added a late second try, but the Maroons held on in Adelaide.

NSW won back-to-back series for the first time since 2005 last year, but they lost momentum after the break as Queensland came out inspired by their half time team-talk from former England coach Wayne Bennett.

Coates set to make his debut for Queensland Maroons

Results confirmed the good news for Coates and the Maroons released a statement to say he had "shown significant improvement" and their medical staff anticipate he will be fit to play on Wednesday.

The young Bronco suffered shoulder damage at training on Sunday.

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans earlier said he was confident Coates would be able to take his place and wanted to give him as much time as possible to prove his fitness.

Coates was one of eight rookies named to make his debut in the Ampol State of Origin series opener on Wednesday night in Adelaide.

NSW Blues Origin squad: Walker, Cook, Murray, Wighton, Cotric added

Walker and Rabbitohs teammates Damien Cook and Cameron Murray, along with Canberra duo Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric, were selected on Sunday after their teams were eliminated from the NRL’s finals series over the weekend.

The South Sydney five-eighth was dropped after his debut in Origin I last year but Blues coach Brad Fittler recently indicated he was a fair chance of leapfrogging Roosters pivot Luke Keary in the race to replace James Maloney in the NSW No.6 jersey.

"Cody Walker - he's been awesome, absolutely awesome," Fittler said.

Ponga's surgery call delayed as Maroons brace for withdrawal

A final call on Ponga's availability for the Maroons will be delayed until after the gun No.1 has a labral tear in his left shoulder assessed by a specialist, with Newcastle players undergoing end-of-season medicals on Tuesday.

Queensland are yet to name the initial members of their 27-man Origin squad and they will likely make that announcement later this week.

Titans livewire AJ Brimson looms as the most likely fullback replacement option if Ponga is unavailable, while Cameron Munster and Moses Mbye have also had plenty of experience at the back in previous NRL seasons.

Walters: Why condensed Origin series will benefit Maroons

It was announced on Thursday that due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Origin would be staged on November 4, 11 and 18 - three consecutive Wednesdays - when it's hoped crowds can attend.

It's the first time Origin has been played so late in the year, with the showpiece series usually kicking off in late May or early June. Venues are yet to be confirmed.

Walters told he thinks moving the series down the calendar, free from the interruption of club football, is "excellent from our point of view" as the Maroons look to snap NSW's two-year winning run.

Breaking new ground: Origin series and women's game in November

The NRL has announced the 2020 fixtures will be played on November 4, 11 and 18. Venues are yet to be finalised.

It was also announced on Thursday that the women’s State of Origin match - which was originally due to be played in June - has been scheduled to go ahead in November as a standalone fixture on Friday, November 13.

With the rearranged Origin schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the NRL to reschedule its entire calendar, the men’s series being played over three consecutive weeks will present unique challenges for coaches and players alike.

State of Origin to follow NRL

Australian Rugby League Commission chair Peter V'landys has announced State of Origin will be played after the rescheduled NRL season.

The three match interstate series between New South Wales and Queensland is typically played during the round-robin.

V'landys has told Triple M radio there are two main driving factors for holding State of Origin after the NRL grand final.

"One is the possibility that we'll have crowds - not the crowds we have a normal State of Origin but a limited crowd with the social distancing," he said.