PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 23: A general view as the Australian national anthem is played during game two of the 2019 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 23, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Here are five ideas to improve the NRL moving forward!


5. Keep Origin in NSW and Queensland

State of Origin is the pinnacle of rugby league. Everyone who has watched an Origin game knows it is a significantly greater spectacle than any club game.

Why is this?

Well for starters, there is actually tribalism in Origin.

From day one it has always been New South Wales vs. Queensland, The Blues vs. The Maroons. Unlike the NRL, where teams change logos, locations and jerseys like there’s no tomorrow. 

Much of the lack of tribalism in the NRL can be accredited to: 

  • Players constantly moving to play for rival clubs
  • Lack of true home grounds 
  • Constantly changing jerseys and logos (more on that later…). 

For example, everyone remembers the Balmain jersey from the 1980s with “Phillips” across the front. Since 2005, the Tigers have had so many different jerseys and colour schemes that I forget which team I’m watching.

Origin does not have this problem. 

Well, it didn’t have this problem… 

Until recently, the games were always played in Sydney and Brisbane and it was very rare to put them anywhere else. The jerseys remained more or less the same and a true sense of tribalism was born. 

Nowadays the concept of playing games at Melbourne and Perth and giving The Blues an “alternate” jersey will slowly but surely contribute to the death of tribalism in Origin, the same way its happening in the NRL. 

It’s a quick fix, keep the games in NSW and Queensland and just forget about these alternate jerseys. It will be “State of Origin 1 – Superhero Jersey Round, Auckland” before we know it.



  1. Have to agree with SOO, the stupid superhero jerseys and stuff keep it to 3 jerseys home away and third/heritage/alternative. Like the 5 minute sin bin idea too.

    I’d say keep the 9s alive, have it every year at changing venues. As a kiwi the games in Perth don’t start till 8:45/9:00 tonight which is fine to watch a couple but they start with the women’s and each club is only guaranteed 2 games seems really stupid, make it 3 games each over two full days not starting at 4:30.

    People always counter by saying adding the 9s is to many games for the players. Yet salary cap continues to rise each year and half every teams 9s squad is under 20’s or reserves or a retired player. If it’s really an issue drop the preseason games down to just 2 games and bring more regular season games to the people who don’t live in big city’s.

    This would keep the players work load the same, gets rid of meaningless preseason games and gets more important and more entertaining games to the people out of the big city’s.
    In terms of money the 9s over 2 days at a moving venue would make more money than 2 extra preseason games being played out in the bush.
    Make every club bring at least 3 home games away to the people. Nothing better than a sold out ground of 15/20 thousand die hard fans supporting a real game of footy not just a trail

  2. You want to really help this game move forward ?

    Create a second division with Brissy 2, Perth, Christchurch, PNG and anyone else who wants to join in it. Bottom two NRL teams also join at the end of this year. Automatic promotion/relegation for winner of div 2 to div 1 NRL. Div 1 becomes a 14 team comp.
    Origin, 1 game on the road every year to promote the game. TV Rights negotiations to focus on promoting the game rather than just cash (that will come later) preferably an FTA dedicated League channel Showing NRL div 1 & 2 games plus Superleague plus talk shows and highlight reels. Origin goes to stand alone weekends. Use incentives schemes for members with real benefits that ordinary fans can relate too (e.g. a free tour behind the scenes after 5 yrs membership, coffee with the coach after 10yrs etc). At the moment, membership feels like a purely commercial transaction.
    Major focus on marketing our game, More internationals, Fringe comps on FTA just making the game more accessable.

  3. Reduce the game time from 80 minutes to say 70 minutes and the clock stops when the ball is not in play – similar to Basketball.
    It would stop all the boring time wasting.

  4. Just watched the eels game against bulldogs. What a pathetic defence performance again. I just backed them not to make the 8. As I said twice if defence doesn’t improve they r gone n so should BA n the kiwi clown. 🤬🤬🤬🤬. Eel supporter for 49 yrs 🥵

  5. I think the only realalistic and valid point is point 1. I like the idea of 1 home and 1 away strip, with traditional colours and a degree of tradition in the design at least. Tweek it a bit year on year in conjunction with changing sponsorships, and from a club revenue perspective, and that’s enough.
    I don’t mind the 5 minute sin bin, in principle, but suspect it will get over used. Borderline sin bin, give them 5, pressure from the crowd, give them 5 etc.
    Whilst I understand the SOO comment, having games outside of QLD / NSW helps expand the game, and could be argued helps level the playing field. Use it, but it use wisely.
    The cost/suburban game concept. In principle, yes, but reality, no. You can’t have a stadium/s suitable for SOO/GF sized crowds that get used once or twice a year. You can’t remain competitive as a sport with the other codes/sports without the coin to back it. How much is a concert ticket these days, and how does watching a team sporting event compare etc?

  6. Agree that the panthers were ripped off Panthers18 but I can see why the video ref can’t be used in that format. How the touchie got that wrong is beyond me. Blame both footballers doing amazing things in the corner and refs/ touchies never having to make a decision. As a Dragons fan though…I’ll get over that one 😝

  7. I have minimal opinion regarding jerseys – whether “fad” or not – and think they have little in terms of impact on the game overall. I think alternative and special edition strips can be great marketing, beside no one is making you buy one. On a similar note to your point about the cost of going to a game, the clubs and the NRL however absolutely should make them cheaper and more accessible. $160 for a jersey is absolutely ridiculous.
    I agree re 5 minute sin bins and a return to home grounds. As others have suggested, i’d also add a reduction in interchange – it will have a three-pronged impact in terms of reintroducing fatigue into the game, which will also reduce impact injuries and will bring the smaller man back into play.
    Also less stoppages for play – if an injured player is down but not near the play, there is no need to stop the clock everytime.
    The bunker should be able to communicate with on-field officials regarding off-the-ball incidents but the bunker should also have a shot-clock regarding their timeframes for decisions.
    Also, listen to the chorus around the game and concede that it is probably time for a designated rep round.

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