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Where should Women's State of Origin go next?

The NSW Women's Origin team stayed right across the road from ANZ Stadium in the lead-up to Friday's match against Queensland.

I'm wondering how many players looked out their windows at Sydney Olympic Park and thought "Will I ever get to play there? Will our game ever get that big?".

Well, ANZ Stadium is closing next year for its refurbishment from 82,500-capacity to a 70,000-set rectangular venue, bringing 46,000 fans up close and personal to the action like at Suncorp or Bankwest stadiums.

But even off the back of the euphoria of 10,500 fans on Friday night, it's a quantum leap to go to a Suncorp or Optus stadium.

However, one of the first things NSW coach Andrew Patmore said to in February when he was appointed women's coach was about the staging of the 2020 Origin – four months before a ball was kicked in the 2019 contest.

"It has to go to a bigger venue – it's just growing so fast," he said.

Match Highlights: Women's Origin - NSW v QLD

So let's hear from the players. Granted, Maroons prop Steph Hancock wants the game back in Queensland after the past three have been "housed" in NSW – WIN Stadium (23,000 capacity) in 2017, North Sydney Oval (officially 20,000 but realistically closer to 15,000) in 2018 and 2019.

Hancock doesn't care where, just get it back to the Sunshine State.

"NSW have had it technically three years in a row. Who cares where the venue is, if you ask me, as long as it's somewhere in Queensland," she told

Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe (10,000) is a possibility as would be a return to Cbus on the Gold Coast (27,400).

The NSW women held a kids clinic at NSWRL's Centre of Excellence last week and most of the roll-up was from western Sydney clubs, where the girls' game is growing like green shoots after a storm.

So why not Panthers Stadium (22,500) or Bankwest at Parramatta (30,000)? There's a feeling those two venues would be heaving if a women's Origin game went there.

"Obviously it was sold-out on Friday night so you can't do better at that venue," said Maddie Studdon, NSW halfback and Nellie Doherty Medal player of the match in the 14-4 win.

"Each year the numbers are improving so next year we need a bigger venue.

"The numbers of supporters we're getting now demands it. We struggled to hear each other out on the field on Friday because the crowd was so loud.

"It's a part of our game that we absolutely love – playing before a good crowd. I'd love to go to Bankwest or Cbus again. Any opportunity on a big stage we'll grab it.

"We did have the under 18s before us so that obviously brought in more people.

"If we go bigger, we go bigger. I'm just stoked we're even having this conversations because the larger number of fans supporting us."

Match Highlights: U18 Women's Origin - NSW v QLD

NSW skipper Kezie Apps says the right decision needs some thought.

"I don't know where that venue will be to go in between being too big or too small," she told

Maddie Studdon awarded Nellie Doherty Medal

"North Sydney is a good venue but we need something a little bigger. North Sydney is really intimate and creates a fantastic atmosphere because you can hear the crowd, feel them close.

"A really big stadium might lose that closeness and excitement."

The women's interstate game was played 20 times before the NRL changed it to the official Origin status – a standalone game – for the past two years.

The games at WIN Stadium two years ago and Cbus Stadium three years ago were held as curtain-raisers to NRL club games.

Apps and Studdon don't want women's Origin to slip in status like that again.

"I like it how it is as a standalone game. You've got fans coming just to watch us play," Apps said.

"They are not turning up at half-time to get ready for a men's game. It is a long day for parents coming to footy having to spend a lot of money on tickets and food.

"Our tickets are cheaper at $10 with under 16s free. We've been more family-orientated."

As for pushing the game out to 35-minute halves instead of the current 30, Apps believes that could be a reality as early as 2020.

"I reckon it will happen. It will bring the fitness into it a bit more and open up the game a bit more."

Studdon remembers the experiment with 80 minutes a few years ago.

"I'm right with 60 minutes at the moment. It's good, clinical football," she said.

"When we played at 80 initially we fatigued a bit as our bodies didn't really handle it as women. There were more injuries. At 60 minutes the game's intensity lifted and it was faster.

"But I'm sure we can handle 70 minutes if we did go there because fitness, and sports science and recovery is moving that rapidly."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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