'Doesn't feel right': Fans reject Karl Stefanovic's Origin cameo

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Karl Stefanovic is pictured here interviewing Maroons coach Wayne Bannett.
Karl Stefanovic's appearance on the Origin coverage didn't resonate with many viewers. Pic: Channel Nine

Channel Nine have played another hospital pass for the opening State of Origin match in Adelaide, after rolling out Today Show co-cost Karl Stefanovic for their pre-game coverage.

The series opener already had a strange feel about it after being staged at the iconic Adelaide Oval for the first time in history.

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But it was the appearance of breakfast TV personality Stefanovic that raised eyebrows before kick-off.

Nine already copped a hiding after Phil Gould's controversial commentary for the NRL grand final.

And it seems the network can't take a trick, with Stefanovic's appearance equally as jarring for viewers.

The Today co-host joined the likes of league greats Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer, as well as regular host James Bracey for the network's pre-game coverage.

A proud Queenslander, Karl took up interviewing duties for the Maroons and even managed to get veteran coach Wayne Bennet to crack a smile.

But the larrikin TV personality was given a brutal dose of reality from viewers on social media, many of whom questioned why he was part of the broadcast.

Maroons make shock late call

Queensland sprang somewhat of a selection shock before kick-off after confirming Kurt Capewell will start in the centres for the series opener.

The Penrith utility had been named on the Maroons' extended bench for the Adelaide Oval clash, and had battled a groin niggle in the lead up.

But he was presented with his maiden Queensland jersey by Mal Meninga as one of eight rookies on Wednesday, and will likely replace Phillip Sami in the backline.

"It's obviously a dream come true," Capewell said.

Seen here, Maroons centre Kurt Capewell is tackled in State of Origin Game I.
Kurt Capewell made his Origin debut after the Maroons sprang a selection shock before kick-off. Pic: Getty

"You grow up as a kid watching Origin, every Wednesday that comes around ... just the buzz is unreal.

"You go to school wearing your Maroons jersey and it's all you talk about for weeks.

"To be presented with the jersey and be able to play for Queensland and represent my state is a dream come true."

Fellow centre Brenko Lee is expected to overcome a calf issue to play in the game, with rain having held off in Adelaide.

Together the duo will become the Maroons' first uncapped centre pairing in Origin history.

NSW rolled out three debutants for the clash, with Clint Gutherson Luke Keary and Junior Paulo all playing their first Origin matches.

with AAP

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