We could not be more enthusiastic about a rugby union version of the NRL’s State of Origin. The concept has a bona fide spokesman in the form of Queensland Reds star Karmichael Hunt, who has an impressive 10 Origin appearances on his resume before he switched codes.
Negotiations betwixt QLD, NSW and Australian rugby unions seem to be offering promise and the plans seem to favour staging the match during Super Rugby’s international break, a time that would suit ideally in terms of supplying some top shelf domestic rugby.
In what seems to be typical rugger tongue-in-cheek fashion, Hunt called the idea for the match State of Union, but he may have overlooked the fact that a certain highly litigious U.S. President-elect might deem the name a copyright infringement on his big annual January show out of fear that many Americans would much prefer to watch a rugby match as opposed to watching him bloviate endlessly.
There are the usual niggling details to work out, such as how to determine eligibility and residency issues. For example, Israel Folau could be claimed by both sides, because he was born in NSW, but moved to QLD at an early age and has made a name for himself by representing the Maroons.
The Queensland Rugby Union is so gung-ho, that it has reserved Ballymore Stadium in Herston outside Brisbane for the end of June.