BY JARROD MELMETH
It’s been confirmed, Newcastle will host State of Origin III on July 14.
The game is set to be played at McDonald Jones Stadium in front of a 75 per cent capacity crowd of around 20,000 fans.
It will be the first Origin game in NSW to be played outside of Sydney.
The game was due to be played at Stadium Australia in Sydney but an alterative venue has been sought after since Sydney’s strict COVID-19 lockdown was announced on June 26.
The NSW Government announced on Wednesday morning the hard lockdown would be extended for a further seven days, ruling out the Sydney venue completely.
The Broadmeadow venue has been a front runner to host the match in the days since with the Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys, as well as Knights legends Kurt Gidley, Danny Buderus, Paul Harragon and Andrew Johns throwing their support behind the proposal.
South Sydney’s Friday night clash with North Queensland is also being moved to Newcastle.
It’s understood the Queensland government pushed to have Friday’s game moved after a venue in Olympic Park was listed as a COVID-19 exposure site.