The countdown to Australia’s biggest sporting rivalry is officially on as the National Rugby League (NRL) launched this year’s Ampol State of Origin Series in Adelaide.
After a blockbuster, sold-out series and a dramatic late win for the Queensland Maroons over the NSW Blues in 2022, Adelaide Oval is set to play host to one of the most anticipated Origin matchups ever on Wednesday 31 May.
It will be just the second State of Origin clash to be played in South Australia, and the first in front of a full capacity crowd, after COVID restricted the attendance to 25,000 in Game One of the 2020 series – a figure that is expected to double this year.
South Australia’s Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison MP said that the return of State of Origin would provide a major boost to the South Australian economy.
“Hosting State of Origin Game One in May will be a true highlight amongst the world-class events we’ve brought to South Australia this year. With fans travelling in their tens of thousands from within and outside the state, the game will be worth an estimated $15 million our hotels, restaurants and cafes. We can’t wait to welcome Blues and Maroons fans back to Adelaide.”
Minister Bettison was joined for the launch in Victoria Square by State of Origin legends including the series’ all-time leading points scorer, Johnathan Thurston, and over 40 local students from East Torrens Primary School.
Thurston, who is a Queensland Maroons Assistant Coach, called on South Australian fans to get behind the rivalry and choose their colours for Game One.
“We’re looking forward to getting down to Adelaide – the boys have good memories here from 2020. There’s nothing like the intensity of an Origin battle, no matter where we’re playing – and the fans have a big part in that. I hope we’ll see plenty of Maroon around the stadium this year.”
Tickets for Ampol State of Origin Game One are available now, starting at just $49 for adults and $195 for families from NRL.com/tickets.
Young fans can also play their own part in the rivalry, by entering the Ampol Little Origin competition. Ampol Little Origin gives Year 5 and Year 6 students a dream chance to take the field to play at half-time throughout the Ampol State of Origin and Women’s State of Origin series.
Applications are open until 6 April for students across New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. For more information and to apply on behalf of your school, visit nrl.com/AmpolLittleOrigin.
Ampol State of Origin Game One in Adelaide is supported by the Government of South Australia through the South Australian Tourism Commission.
Image credit: nrl.com