Hot on the heels of Newcastle missing out on hosting Origin 3, the NRL has ordered 12 NSW clubs including the Knights to relocate to Queensland as COVID numbers increase in Sydney.

The ARL Commission decided not to proceed with holding the final Origin match in Newcastle on Saturday night after the State Government intervened on advice from the Chief Medical Officer, saying the risk was too great.

Almost 20,000 people signed an online petition demanding the game not be played in Newcastle.

It comes after Premier Gladys Berejiklian  warned the state to brace for 100 fresh COVID cases on Monday.

It prompted the NRL to order 12 clubs, including Newcastle to relocate to south-east Queensland for at least 4 weeks in an effort to keep the competition alive.

NRL CEO, Andrew Abdo says there’s a distinct possibility the teams could remain there for the rest of the season.

The Knights could be away from their home ground for the rest of the season Picture: