Mixed response to Monday night Origin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mixed response to Monday night Origin

By Joe Barton and Melissa Woods 01/06/2011 06:26:50 PM Comments (0)

An NRL proposal to move State of Origin fixtures to Monday nights has been met with a mixed response by those involved in the annual fixture in recent years.

NRL boss David Gallop is considering shifting Origin matches from 2012 onwards from their traditional Wednesday nights to earlier in the week to reduce the prospect of injuries to star players, and plans to discuss the possibility with broadcasters.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, who coached the Blues to three winless series from before stepping down from his post this year, maintains that anything short of a stand-alone fixture is selling the product short.

Cronulla and NSW captain Paul Gallen believes players should "suck it up" for the honour to represent their state, while former Queensland winger Lote Tuqiri supported the Monday concept and agreed with Bellamy that a stand-alone game worked best.

Bellamy has long been concerned about the increasing workload on the code's best players who are forced to back up for their club sides days after playing in the most physical series known to rugby league.

"It doesn't matter to me what night they play it," said Bellamy at Storm training on Wednesday.

"My opinion has always been that it (Origin) should be a stand-alone weekend (with no NRL games).

"Hopefully the next TV agreement, we'll be able to do that."

Gallen, who as a forward maintains one of the code's highest workrates and would benefit most from additional resting period, also pointed out that a Monday night fixture would rob each state of an extra two days of preparation.

"I don't really care - I'd play Origin whenever I can and if I've got to back up a day or two later, just do it," he said.

"It is hard on us but that's just what we do - you've just got to do.

"I don't know if that is the right answer for it ... you'll get a seven-day preparation rather than a nine or ten-day preparation.

"There's pros and cons to everything but I think we've just got to suck it up and play on."

Tuqiri supported the Monday night proposal in principal but only on a few conditions.

"A stand-alone game on a Monday? I think that would be welcomed if (the Origin players) don't have to play the round before," Tuqiri said.

"Origin is a massive game. You just get worked up from the week and you're using a lot of that energy during the week from you guys in the press and everything like that, so I think it would be a welcomed change."

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