There has been much talk of late about the possibility of more State of Origin games being played in the city of Melbourne, evidenced by the strong bid/s that the city has put forth to the NRL and the ARLC to have more games played there – but for Storm fullback Billy Slater, he says that Origin should stay in New South Wales and Queensland.
With the idea to take more Origin games to Melbourne, Slater has said that the current system – that is, taking one game to Melbourne every 3 years, is the way that it should be done.
“I think Origin games are quite regular enough in Melbourne at the moment – having one there every few years,” Slater said.
“I certainly don’t think you want to be going down there for Origin every year . . . but every three years or so would be fine.
“‘We were then in 2006 and again in 2009, back in 2012 – I think that is probably about right.”
Whilst Slater is aware that the NRL needs to grow outside the areas of QLD and NSW, he also says that when it comes to a spectacle like Origin, the roots of the game and its heartland, cannot be ignored.
“You don’t want to lock yourself into going to Melbourne every year,” he said.
“The reason we are going to Melbourne is to expand our game and we have to do that.
“But you just need to take small steps and keep chipping away at it. Origin has always been huge in Queensland and New South Wales and that should not change.”