Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ruled out Brisbane hosting a State of Origin game during the coronavirus pandemic, saying she hopes the interstate series is scrapped this year.
Palaszczuk refused to support a mooted plan to send Queensland clubs to Sydney in order for the NRL to restart on May 28, saying she is "really concerned" about the health risk to players.
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A vocal critic of the NRL's plan to resume the competition late next month, Palaszczuk upped the ante on Tuesday when she said this year's Origin series won't be played during the pandemic.
"I love the footy as much as everyone else. I think it's devastating we're not going to see the State of Origin this year as well," the Queensland Premier told Nine Network.
When pressed on whether she thought the series will be held this year, Palaszczuk said: "I hope there's not (an Origin series).
"We always have a State of Origin, but how can you have it?
"Maybe in December? Let's keep our fingers crossed."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said on Tuesday that the NRL won't be given any "special arrangements" to aid their ambitious plan to resume competition next month.
The PM told Nine’s Today Show he welcomed the NRL's efforts to restart the suspended season after the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but warned against doing so hastily.
"Obviously, all of these things will be subject to the health advice and the health clearances that are necessary ... the health advice has to be paramount.
“I have no doubt that the NRL and the other codes understand that and they will comply with that," Morrison said.
"I like that they’ve got an ambitious date, but it will be subject to the health advice there will be no special set of arrangements, the health advice is paramount" – Prime Minister @ScottMorrisonMP on the return of the NRL. #9Today pic.twitter.com/8GtxS3oYpS— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) April 13, 2020
The NRL is yet to unveil what the rest of the 2020 season looks like after announcing its planned resumption date, with the league set to enter negotiations with broadcasters on Tuesday to discuss a modified competition.
NRL pushing on with three-game State of Origin plan
It has confirmed this year's Origin series will remain in a standard three-game format but is yet to confirm dates.
The 2020 Origin series was due to kick off in Adelaide on June 3 but that has been scrapped due to COVID-19, reverting the interstate clashes back to Sydney and Brisbane.
Brisbane was initially scheduled to host game three on July 8.
But Sydney may be the sole host after the Queensland premier reiterated her government would not be relaxing quarantine laws, scuttling plans for an Origin game to be played in Brisbane during the shutdown.
Queensland has enacted strict movement restrictions during the coronavirus threat in which there is a mandatory 14-day isolation period for anyone allowed entry.
"If NSW has different health advice to me, go for it. But we have very strict health advice here and I'll be listening to my health experts," she said.
Palaszczuk is not a fan of a proposal to send Queensland clubs Gold Coast, Brisbane and North Queensland to Sydney in order to avoid quarantine laws and ensure the NRL's resumption.
"I'm really concerned about my Queensland players going down to Sydney," she said.
"All you need is one community transmission down in Sydney and the whole team could possibly have it.
"It would have to be very strict quarantine. I'd have to get health advice from my chief health officer.
"We're either going to listen to the health advice or we're not - I'm not making any apologies for that."