Sport Rugby League State of Origin a perfect season finale, says Kevin Walters

State of Origin a perfect season finale, says Kevin Walters

Staging the State of Origin at the end of every NRL season would resolve the annual mid-year club disruptions, believes Queensland coach Kevin Walters. Photo: Getty
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Queensland coach Kevin Walters wants State of Origin to have a permanent home at the end of the NRL season, pointing out it will remove the annual disruption caused to the clubs.

This year’s interstate series has been scheduled for three successive weekends in November, following an October 25 grand final that has been pencilled into a calendar overhauled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

It will provide a climactic finish to the season and Walters believes it is worth considering as a curtain call every year for rugby league.

The reduced 20-round competition has also captured the imagination of the former Brisbane Broncos star, who reckons the NRL has an opportunity to assess the benefits of a shorter season.

“For me it just opens up so many avenues with a straight season of NRL and then into Origin,” Walters told Fox League Live.

“The clubs get their players (otherwise) it puts a huge hole in the competition for eight weeks. We’ve tried to resurrect that with the Sunday game that reduces the time that our State of Origin players are away from their clubs and had some success.

“But this looks like a gold mine for me.”

Walters has previously called for the NRL to do whatever it can to ensure this year’s Origin series is played in front of a crowd.

Walters said the game’s premier players will be in peak form and on a high in the immediate wake of the NRL knockout games, meaning a high-standard Origin series can be expected.

It will create a new challenge for Walters and NSW counterpart Brad Fittler in terms of how they prepare for the series.

“It’s a different scenario for NSW and Queensland to get their heads around but I’m sure the players, the fans and everyone involved in State of Origin can adapt to whatever conditions are thrown at us.”

-with AAP