State of Origin III is unlikely to be held in Sydney after the New South Wales government enacted a two-week lockdown in parts of the state on Saturday.

The ARL commission will hold a crisis meeting on Tuesday where it will decide whether to play the NRL matches in Sydney as planned without crowds or to move the matches outside of the locked areas.

The location of Origin III, which will be held on July 14 at Stadium Australia, will also be discussed.

ARLC President Peter V’landys confirmed to AAP that the hit event is extremely questionable given that it is set to be played just five days after the lockdown is scheduled to end on July 9.

“Basically if you look at the previous (locks) it takes a while to get back to normal, it takes a few weeks to reduce the restrictions,” he said.

“If you look at Melbourne, their lockdown ended two weeks ago and they only allowed 50% crowds.”

The NRL has acted accordingly this year already, moving the home state opener from Melbourne to Townsville while Victoria was locked out in early June.

Moving the third game in the series out of Sydney would avoid playing one of the game’s flagship events in front of a small crowd.

This decision would be especially crucial if he was a decision maker, which could attract a sold-out crowd.

Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium has already been elevated as an option.

However, V’landys declined to assure the match would be held in NSW despite the first two games in Queensland.

“We will look at all the options and we also need to look at their financial viability,” he said.

“The Townsville one has been very beneficial for us financially, so we need to think about it.

“Of course, we want to minimize the losses we will suffer. “

If the game were to be completely moved out of state, this would be the first time in history that all three games in a series would be played outside of an original state.

Blues coach Brad Fittler was diplomatic when asked if this was fair.

“We’ll do whatever we have to do,” he said ahead of Sunday’s second game at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

“There are people who do it a lot harder than us.

“We are taken care of in a hotel, tomorrow we have the chance of our life to play in front of a lot of people who love what we do.

“I don’t see anything negative. It’s just a great opportunity to make big dreams come true and have fond memories.

“Whatever the challenge, if we’re strong enough, we can do it.”

On Saturday, the NRL was holding high-level meetings to determine the impact of stay-at-home orders for residents of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong through July 9.

Currently, 10 of the 16 NRL teams reside in these regions.

Decisions on game relocation and bubble restrictions depend on negotiations with the state governments of Queensland and Victoria.

Regular NRL competition resumes on Thursday when the Sydney Roosters host Melbourne at Newcastle, which has already been moved from Sydney Cricket Ground.

There are three more games scheduled for Sydney next weekend as well as the first two games of the 17th round, which also enter the lockdown period.

Associated Australian Press



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