This morning, the NRL announced the State of Origin series would be taking place in November, surely putting the final nail in the coffin for The Ashes.
It had been much-anticipated since it was announced last year. There hadn’t been an Ashes series in the UK since 2003, when the Aussies won 3-0.
Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, the season has had to be altered. The NRL Grand Final will now take place at the end of October, with State of Origin coming straight after.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with it. Domestic competition was always going to take precedent, especially considering the Ashes was a post-season test.
State of Origin is a staple part of the rugby league season in Australia. The battles between Queensland and New South Wales often attract quite a bit of interest over there.
Given the pandemic and the time restraints, we were always going to have to make sacrifices. Ultimately, the Ashes shouldn’t go ahead until it is safe to do so. At the moment, you cannot justify them going ahead.
In my opinion, domestic seasons should be completed before the Ashes can go ahead. Over here, that could take some time.
I would rather wait, and play The Ashes another time, once it is safe.
There have been allegations of Australia not taking internationals seriously. Which I can understand, but ultimately, they are protecting their product, and that is business.
It is not the first time they have been accused of this either.
Back in 2018, England travelled to America for a test in Denver against New Zealand. The NRL clubs were concerned about the welfare of their players travelling to America, and playing at high altitude.
Ultimately, you cannot please everyone. Whilst this decision may irk some England fans, it cannot be denied that State of Origin is the biggest money turner in the Australian game.