NRL announce grand final bombshell in 114-year-first

·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
Cameron Smith and the Storm lift the NRL trophy.
The NRL Grand Final is set to be played at Suncorp for the first time in the competitions history. (Getty Images)

The NRL grand final will be held outside of NSW for the first time in 114 years due to the restrictions in place for Covid-19.

Some 33 years after the Brisbane Broncos entered the competition, Queensland's capital is poised to be land rugby league's showpiece game at Suncorp Stadium.

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The move comes after the NSW government confirmed on Wednesday that the state would not be able to host the annual event due to the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Sydney, paving the way for it to be moved north.

The state has only ever hosted one competition decider, with Brisbane beating Cronulla in the breakaway Super League in 1998.

However, the October 3 NRL grand final will be the first time Queensland hosts the season finale in a unified competition.

NRL announce historic news

NRL chairman Peter V'landys thanked the Queensland government for accomodating the move.

"I’d like to acknowledge the NSW Government, in particular Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres for working collaboratively with us to reach an outcome that ensures the health and safety of NSW residents and allows the NRL to showcase the grand final live to rugby league fans," he said.

Earlier, NSW announced it would be unable to host the match.

"Due to the current COVID-19 situation in Greater Sydney and across the state, the NSW Government has informed the NRL that unfortunately New South Wales is unable to host the 2021 NRL Premiership Grand Final on Sunday 3 October," NSW minister for Tourism Stuart Ayers said.

"While it is very disappointing to miss out on this marquee event, it reinforces the importance of our community getting vaccinated so that events like the NRL Grand Final with crowds can safely return to our stadiums as soon as possible."

Brisbane had always been favourite to host the grand final, with some interest from Melbourne and the NRL towards New Zealand.

However, coronavirus outbreaks in both those destinations have long made Queensland the most obvious choice, with the NRL's hub already based there since July.

with AAP

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