'Not keen': State of Origin commentary shake-up sparks frustration

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
Phil Gould (pictured) during commentary.
Phil Gould (pictured) will be calling the State of Origin decider with Ray Warren from a studio in Sydney. (Getty Images)

Phil Gould will return to the commentary box to call the State of Origin decider tonight, but has revealed veteran commentator Ray Warren’s frustration after being forced to call the game in a studio.

Earlier in the week, State of Origin broadcaster Channel Nine says it's been set up for "failure" after the Queensland government denied a request for technical staff to be granted a quarantine exemption for Wednesday night's decider at Suncorp Stadium.

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This has resulted in Warren and Gould calling the game from the Channel Nine studio in Sydney.

While there was speculation Warren had called his last game after a 55-year stint in the commentary booth, this was put to bed when Gould talked about his disappointment calling the game in Sydney.

“He’s not keen to do it off the tube,” Gould told listeners on his podcast Six Tackles with Gus.

“When you know Ray as well as we do, these little things can sort of set him off a bit.

“He relies a hell of a lot on the atmosphere at the ground for the tone. The crowd tells him when to get excited.”

Gould said there is a huge advantage of being at the ground and seeing thing viewers can’t during the game.

“So he’s never been keen to call a game off the screen in the studio for fear of the lack of atmosphere and not knowing when to get excited in the call,” he added.

“There is a huge advantage in being at the ground... you see more than the people at home are seeing on TV.”

Ray Warren’s NRL stint nearing its end

Legendary commentator Warren recently revealed his stint in NRL could be coming to an end soon.

Warren called Games I and II but told the Daily Telegraph recently that he was considering calling time on a glittering 55-year stint in the commentary booth.

“I’m going to sit back, relax and enjoy Christmas and January and then make a decision,” he said.

“It might have been my last grand final the other week, I honestly don’t know.

“If I’d announced before the game I wouldn’t have got through it. I get very emotional when I think about it.

“It’s hard to imagine what it would be like without broadcasting sport. It’s been five-and-a-half decades. I’ve never really treated it as a job. It’s more like a toy or a novelty. I’ve been really fortunate.”