State of Origin is coming to Perth!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have seen that State of Origin is coming to Perth next year.

Perth’s 65,000 seater Optus Stadium will be the venue as Australia’s greatest sporting rivals do battle on June 23, 2019, for Game Two of the three-game series.

It will be the first time an Origin game will be played in Perth and the first contest outside of either New South Wales or Queensland since the infamous 1987 Californian experiment.

NRL Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Abdo expects the Perth experiment to be a success, however.

“We know Origin in Perth is going to be something very special,” he said.

“The stadium is a wonderful state-of-the-art facility and it will be incredible to witness Australian sport’s greatest rivalry on this stage.”

With spectators expected to travel from interstate for the game, Western Australia Deputy Premier, Roger Cook says the game will be a boost for the local economy.

“We are expecting thousands of fans to make the trip west to be at the game, and millions more to watch the live television broadcast,” he said.

“Hosting the game on a Sunday will give interstate fans travelling the chance to spend the weekend in Perth or extend their stay in WA, delivering a massive boost for the economy.”

Origin coaches Brad Fittler (NSW) and Kevin Walters (Queensland) were in Perth earlier this week to promote the event, with many fans counting down the days until the big event.

339 if anyone was wondering.

With almost 40,000 people flocking into Optus Stadium for a blockbuster double-header to kick off the 2018 NRL season, there is a clear appetite for rugby league in WA, and Walters believes the time is right to add a Perth-based team to the competition.

“We should push hard to try to get a team based out of the area here. Hopefully, in the next couple of years, that will be achieved,” he said.

Perth has been without a professional team since the disbandment of the WA Reds in 1997, and Walters believes adding a team from WA is the final step in making the NRL a truly national competition.

“Rugby League has a small identity here, but it needs a bigger one,” he said.

“The only way for that to happen is to get a team based out of here. It will have all of Australia covered then basically.”

So, Perth fans, it’s over to you now. Pack out Optus Stadium on June 23, 2019, and show the rest of the country how much we love our rugby league.

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