Australian sport’s greatest rivalry, State of Origin, will head to Perth for the first time in 2019.
The NRL can today announce that Game II of the 2019 State of Origin series will be played at the new Perth Stadium.
It will be the first time, barring the 1987 exhibition match in Los Angeles, an Origin match has been played outside of the eastern states of Australia.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said Origin was the game’s showpiece event and deserved to be showcased to a new market.
“We saw Melbourne embrace State of Origin in 2015 and we expect Perth to do the same in 2019,” Mr Greenberg said.
“By then Perth will have a state-of-the-art facility which will be a fitting new venue for the biggest sporting event in the country.
“Taking Origin to new venues has huge benefits for the game.
“It grows the game in other markets and showcases our premium product to a new audience.
“I’d like to thank the Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett and the WA Government, as well as Tourism Western Australia for showing such enthusiasm for State of Origin.”
The announcement was made on the eve of the Telstra Premiership match between Manly and the Warriors at Perth’s nib Stadium.
Perth will also host its first rugby league Test match on October 15 this year, when Australia play New Zealand at nib Stadium.
Mr Barnett said holding a State of Origin at Perth Stadium was a huge coup for Western Australia.
"Arguably Australia’s biggest sporting rivalry is that between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons during the State of Origin series,” Mr Barnett said.
“We are expecting thousands of fans to make the trip across the Nullarbor to be at the game and millions more will watch the live television broadcast which gives us the opportunity to show off our transforming city and world-class new stadium to the rest of Australia.”