We all love State of Origin, but could we one day see the concept used in the Nines format?
After the recent success of the World Cup Nines tournament, the Nines format will head to Perth in February.
The competition will see all 16 NRL teams compete for a total prize of $1 million, with a bonus $1 million on offer for any men’s team that wins both the Nines and NRL Premiership.
The World Cup format saw the likes of Emerging Origin players AJ Brimson and Kyle Feldt line up alongside current Queensland Maroons stars Kalyn Ponga, Jai Arrow, Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Hunt and David Fifita.
This got me thinking.
Could the State of Origin concept also be used in the Nines format and allow up-and-coming players from each state to compete alongside regular members of both the Maroons and New South Wales Blues sides?
In a strategic move away from the traditional Emerging Origin camp, Maroons coach Kevin Walters recently decided he wanted the complete 33-man squad at the pre-season camp to begin preparations for the 2020 campaign.
“We want the 2020 Origin squad to spend as much time together to build their relationships off the field as well as their specific positions," Walters said.
The concept could take place as a pre-season event at the NRL Nines tournament or similar events throughout the season – and would provide players with an opportunity to build relationships on and off the field, whilst giving fans a glimpse of the next generation of Origin stars.
The prize money could be put back into each state’s development program and provide additional funding for camps, emerging programs and equipment.
Would you like to see the Origin concept in the Nines format? Will it ever happen?
Only time will tell.
My hypothetical Queensland Maroons Nines side
- Kalyn Ponga
- Valentine Holmes
- AJ Brimson*
- Anthony Milford
- Cameron Munster
- David Fifita
- Daly Cherry-Evans
- Jai Arrow
- Ben Hunt
- Reed Mahoney*
- Kyle Feldt*
- Phillip Sami*
- Michael Morgan
- Corey Norman
- Kurt Capewell*
- Corey Oates
Notables: Felise Kaufusi, Ethan Lowe, Ronaldo Mulitalo*, Thomas Flegler*, Jake Friend*, Corey Horsburgh*, Tino Fa'ausuamaleaui*, Joe Ofahengaue, Jaydn Su'a* and Moses Mbye.
*Denotes players who have not yet made their Origin debut