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Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she is open to speaking with the NRL about the resumption of the season in May, but is yet to hear from the game’s bosses.
It comes ahead of a landmark week of meetings with broadcasters, the ARLC and the innovation committee, to finalise a pitch to state governments on Wednesday.
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QLD Premier now open to hosting State of Origin
NRL: After initially ruling out the chance of a game being played in Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is now open to the possibility of hosting game 3 of State of Origin.
Since last week, Palaszczuk has softened her stance on the NRL’s attempt to restart the competition during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as her doubts State of Origin can be played at all in 2020.
On Monday morning, the premier said she was open to discussions with the NRL over their plans to move players safely between states to allow the season to restart on May 28.
Palaszczuk also confirmed she had spoken to QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher about whether Origin could be played this year, and prefers a proposal to play the three-game series at the end of the year.
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“There’s no update, of course we’re open to any plan,” she said.
“There has been no plan submitted, there has been no phone calls. “But in relation to the QRL and the State of Origin, yes of course I’ve spoken with Bruce Hatcher.
“As I’ve said from day one, towards the end of the year we will be open to that if the health advice says we’re in a situation to do so.”
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The NRL has already confirmed Origin will be played in the traditional three- game format this year, but like the regular competition a plan around the showpiece event is yet to be confirmed.
It will all be on the table this week in delicate negotiations with broadcasters Fox Sports and Channel Nine.
NSW deputy premier John Barilaro gave further hope to the NRL as they prepare to present a plan to governments for the green light to return this week. He confirmed the NSW government is considering allowing non NSW-based teams to be housed in regional sports centres across the state, but it will be subject to advice from health experts.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg (right) and ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys have reportedly not spoken to the Queensland Premier.Source:AAP
“First and foremost, the NRL is putting a proposal forward to government to consider, and the health experts will assess that,” he said on Monday morning.
“I’ve always said from the outset, it’s about the protocols and measures that will be put in place to protect one, the players and two, the community.
“But you are already allowed to travel to the regions for work.
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“So if you look at the sport of NRL it is an industry, it’s a job for those players, it is work-related.
“We’ve never said anything more than that.
“Of course the message to the regions right now and to everybody is to not travel to regional and rural NSW – that’s to protect the community. “But in a contained environment using enclosed and closed facilities like our sport and recreation centres, you have an ability to manage the risk and that’s what we’re talking about.
“There are a lot of naysayers and obstacles but as the deputy premier I’m helping and working with the NRL to find solutions.”
Originally published asQLD Premier open to Origin and NRL return. But she hasn’t heard from the game
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