SLOW AND STEADY: Chief executive Todd Greenberg says the NRL will always move with caution when it come to tinkering with State of Origin. Picture: Getty ImagesNRL chief executive Todd Greenberg says the governing will always proceed with caution when it comes to tinkering with State of Origin as calls for stand-alone games continue to grow louder.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett, who faces being without six of stars at various stages of the Origin period called for stand alone games prior to both sides being announced.
Those calls grew louder, with Canterbury coach Des Hasler leading the chorus,after Josh Morris was a game-day withdrawal from the Bulldogs lineup for their clash with Canberra on Sunday, prompting a mad dash to the capitol from youngster Reimis Smith.
Hasler described the situation as “amateurish” and called for Origin clashes to stand alone but Greenberg said we won’tsee thefirst stand alone game until2018.
“In 2018 in the new broadcast deal one of the games will be stand-alone,” Greenberg said on his recent visit to the Illawarra.
“In 2018 what you will see is State of Origin I and III will be replicated under this model where it’s effectively a split round with four games but the second game will be anchored into a stand-alone weekend.
“It’ll be played on a Sunday night and there’ll be nothing else around it. That’s when we’ll see State of Origin stand alone for the first time.
“We need to be very careful when we tinker with State of Origin because it’s become probably the most successful sporting product, both on television and for live attendance, in this country.We’re very conscious that we’ve got a great product but we’re always looking to evolve.”
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