Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys has confirmed there will be no return to a Sunday afternoon grand final.

The NRL have been lobbied for many years by fans and some players both current and former to move the grand final back to a daytime fixture, but Peter V'Landys told News Corp it simply won't be happening at this stage.

The argument is an easy one given the current 7:30pm timeslot impacts the ability of children to watch the game, and is even worse for those in New Zealand.

It's an argument which understandably has been high on the chain of interest in recent weeks given the Warriors came within a single game of making the grand final.

Daytime grand finals were the normal in generations gone by, but with TV viewing times peaking in the evening and money from said broadcasters controlling the game, it was always seen as a long shot that the grand final would move from its now annual 7:30pm timeslot.

There is also the issue of heat to factor in - this Sunday, the State Championship and NRLW - both afternoon fixtures in the lead-up to the men's game - will be played in stiffling conditions.

Speaking to News Corp, V'Landys said the NRL don't have any plans to make a change at this stage.

“At this stage, we won't be making any changes," he said.

“The argument keeps coming up about an afternoon grand final.

“There could be an argument for a twilight grand final but why change something that is successful?

“The fans have overwhelmingly voted for a night grand final because more people watch it then.”

V'Landys also suggested data says as many as double the amount of fans tune into an evening grand final as they would for an afternoon grand final.

Prior to the grand final switching to a full night time affair, it had been played in the twilight slot, but that was eventually moved back.

It's a long-running debate around State of Origin too - those games generally kick off after 8pm on a Wednesday night, with Channel 9 seemingly pushing it further and further back with every passing year.

Fans will argue that the game should kick-off at 7:30pm (AEST), and without factoring in the financials of the decision, it's hard to argue.

The same can be said of the grand final.

In the AFL, a night time grand final was trialled during COVID, but the competition will move back to its traditional 2:30pm time slot this Saturday, although the argument for a later grand final there continues to be disputed.

The 2023 NRL grand final kicks off at 7:30pm (AEST) on Saturday.


  1. What a load of crap…..I don’t know what fans overwhelmingly voted for night grand finals, but obviously those who didn’t have to put kids to bed at 8 o clock or maybe those who were so drunk by grand final time when they voted….afternoons grand finals seem to enhance AFL as even staunch NRL fans seem to tune in!!!!

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