Parramatta Eels Supporters Website
In my view State of Origin should be expanded
It served it's purpose when most players where only from NSW and Qld.
This format is now outdated.
Whilst this will always be the traditional clash I think it needs to be reformatted into a four team series.
Only NRL players are considered.
4 Other (Obviously team name would need to be decided. Includes players from England, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, PNG, Cook Islands, NT, WA, Vic, SA etc)
I would opt for a shorter season (Maybe 24 rounds)
NSW vs NZ
Qld vs Other ( maybe united territories)
NSW vs Other (maybe renegades)
Qld vs NZ
NSW vs Qld
NZ vs Others
Top two teams play in Grand Final
Four games instead of 3 and it means more players get rep duties.
I reckon it would be a cracker of a tournament.
Personally I think state of origin lost plenty of the state vs state excitement and rivalry when the Broncos entered the premiership. Before then many players in the Queensland origin team played in the Queensland comp, the only time we had a chance to watch them was in origin.
1 thing I would change during the origin period is NRL game scheduling. For example, when an origin game is scheduled for Queensland I would have 2 well supported Sydney clubs (parra and souths) play the Titans and the Broncos in Queensland the weekends before and after the Wednesday origin game. This would get fans from Sydney to travel to Queensland and spend the week there. Imagine going to watch the Eels vs Titans on a Saturday night, origin on the Wednesday and Eels vs Broncos the following Sunday. I know I would be there for the week.
State of Origin is about NSW versus Queensland. It's not about players from NSW versus players from QLD. The punters love the tribalism and ferocity of the games. They don't give a shit whose in the jumper as long as THEIR state wins.
It used to be the best v the best but it isn't any more.
They can;t mess with the NSW v QLD, Blues v Maroons bit, but they can include ALL players in the games regardless of their nationality. If they do this it will once again be the NRL's best v's best.
Award each state "territories". For example; QLD gets England, Tonga, Fiji etc, NSW gets New Zealand, Samoa, PNG etc. EVERY player is then eligible for SOO and it will become great again. The rivalry will be greater than ever.
The punters won't give a f**k whose in their jumpers - as long as they win.
The NRL won't act though - they will let the situation become terminal before they act. As usual.