COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
The Telstra Premiership 2021 draw features a return to mid-year settlement for the game’s flagship.
The annual interstate series was forced into postseason by the 2020 hiatus from COVID-19, and while hotly contested and widespread, TV ratings seemed to encourage fans to prefer Origin by the middle of the year.
Venues are yet to be confirmed, but Origin I will be released on Wednesday the 9th. June, between rounds 13 and 14, with half of the competition saying goodbye in round 13.
Origin II will be released on Sunday the 27th. June, while the NRL competition takes a week-long representative break with other international matches for men and the women’s state of origin that may be scheduled for this weekend.
The Ampol State of Origin series ends with the third game on Wednesday the 14th. July, between Rounds 17 and 18 of the Telstra Premiership. The second half of the teams say goodbye in round 17.
« We tested it at the end of the season. It wasn’t as successful as we thought, but it served the purpose for this year, « said ARL commission chairman Peter V’landys on Wednesday.
A mid-season Origin Origin this year would not have been played in front of any audience, and with a reduced NRL draw it would have wrongly penalized teams with high Origin representation, he said.
« Our ratings have not been as good as usual for the normal time frame, » he added.
« A real test would have been to do it in October, but that also affects our international calendar, and we don’t want to influence that. After consulting the broadcasters, it was best to return it to its original position. «
National Rugby League, 2021, South Sydney Rabbitohs, State of Origin Series
EbeneMagazine – AU – 2021 Origin dates announcement: the series returns to the mid-season