Perth Origin fixture in doubt after WA border backflip

LU Logo SOO MEN
Embed from Getty Images

The WA Government's decision to scrap its February border-opening date in the face of a surge of Omicron cases nationally could cost the state its State of Origin fixture in June, according to reports.

A report in today's The West Australian suggests the NRL will look to make a call on whether the showpiece event, currently scheduled for Sunday 26 June at Optus Stadium, sooner rather than later. Tickets are due to be on sale in February and corproate hospitality for the game is already well sold.

The 2020 series was relocated to the end of the year after the initial stoppage as a result of the pandemic's early impact, while the 2021 proceeded on its intended dates but games in Melbourne and Sydney were ultimately relocated to Townsville and the Gold Coast respectively due to COVID-19 outbreaks around the times those matches were to be played.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo told the Perth publication the league was certainly considering relocating the match.

"Of course we've got contingencies in place but we won't want to leave this too late so if we need to move Origin as we've had to do in prior seasons we will," Abdo said.

The scheduling of the match at Optus Stadium, which came about as a result of a $5million agreement with the WA Government, is at the discretion of the NRL. If it proceeds, it will be the second Origin match at the venue after the second game of the 2019 series was played there in front of nearly 60,000 fans.