Off the Wall

There is only one way State of Origin can be kept in the "origin states" - and that is people power from fans in New South Wales and Queensland.

The proposal "floated" by David Gallop yesterday that "at least one" origin game each year might be played outside Sydney and Brisbane is not new. It may be being put forward as a device to more dollars from the NSW and Queensland it has been in the past.

But whatever it is, it is a bad idea - and one that risks undermining the great success that Origin has become.

And this year we had 3 sell out games, record and near record ratings - and a couple of great contests.

The point I would make is that why tinker with something that has been, and remains, arguably the great success story of Australian sport?

The first game next year is being played in Melbourne. Forget the nonsense about it being to "take the game to Victorians". It is about how much the Victorian events authorities will pay to get it. Good luck to them - but why not take test matches to Melbourne, Perth and wherever else the administrators want to.

The suggestion that Origin should be taken to New Zealand defies comprehension. Kiwi players are specifically excluded from taking part in Origin matches!

We have a great product - it should add value to the television rights negotiations. It needs to. What we need is for fans who want to protect Origin for what it is - a game between two states, played in the two states.

David Gallop, and the incoming IC need to get the message.

Money is important - but so is the integrity of a wonderful product.

Tampering with it too much may well kill, or wound, the goose that laid the golden egg.