NSW v QLD - State of Origin Game 2
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Matt Burton of the Blues celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium, on June 26, 2022, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The NRL is reportedly considering yet more changes to the way State of Origin is played in 2023.

The format is already set to go back to three Wednesday night games, with this year's representative round being the final where the entire competition will take a break for Test matches followed by the middle game of the series - often in a neutral venue - on the Sunday evening.

Origin in neutral venues will continue, but Sunday night has fallen by the wayside with the concept moving back to Wednesday evening's thanks to the Dolphins' introduction, with the NRL now needing 26 rounds to fit all their regular season games in and not willing to bring the start of the season a week earlier or push the grand final a week later.

While that will make a difference to the way byes play out - with one every week and an extra eight to be split over the course of the Origin window - likely to mean five teams will have a bye before one Origin, with three to have a bye before the other two games, meaning six teams will be forced to play without Origin stars on all three occasions - the Sydney Morning Herald are now suggesting Origin games will be played over a shorter window.

Traditionally there are three weeks between Origin games - the round directly after, a full round, and then the round without Origin players - however, the publication report that subject to approval from broadcaster Channel 9, Origin could be moved to a three-week format, or, at worst, having only two weeks between games.

The idea will be to lessen the total impact on the NRL season, with club football returning to full strength and becoming the focus sooner, while it would also bring proposed end of year Test matches into view far sooner.

With three weeks between games, it would have meant that all 17 teams would have at least had a bye during the Origin period, even if not before games when Origin players are unable to line up, however, that option would be removed with a shortening of the gap between games.

The other element which remains unclear is whether a series condensed into three weeks would see teams pick a squad for the duration of the series ahead of Game 1, and whether those players would then be able to be released to their clubs at any point if not playing.