Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has made an audacious bid to steal the State of Origin opener from COVID-hit Melbourne.
The Sunshine State will already host game two of the series at Suncorp Stadium on June 27.
But the Queensland leader is keen to cash in on Melbourne’s woes.
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Ms Palaszczuk has already held talks with the NRL about holding game one at Suncorp as well, or at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.
“We’re putting our hand up as I know other states are as well,” the Premier told State Parliament this morning.
“We live in rugby league heartland. Queensland is the ideal place to kick off this year’s state of origin.”
Ms Palaszaczuk has highlighted the fact that Queensland became the ‘sporting capital’ of Australia last year when a number of Melbourne AFL teams called Queensland home for several months along with the Melbourne Storm.
The NRL is looking at contingency plans for the June 9 opener in case Melbourne’s COVID situation forces it to be moved from the MCG.
It’s understood league bosses are keen for a neutral venue, with Canberra’s GIOP Stadium also being considered.
A decision is likely to be made next week.