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NRL Backflips On Decision To Scrap The Australian National Anthem Before State Of Origin

NRL Backflips On Decision To Scrap The Australian National Anthem Before State Of Origin

After announcing its decision to scrap the Australian national anthem ahead of the State of Origin series, the NRL has now done a complete U-turn.

The sport's governing body insists it remains committed to keeping the pre-game tradition in place as it has done for the past 40 years.

The Daily Telegraph initially reported that the NRL was planning on ditching Advance Australia Fair ahead of the November series between New South Wales and Queensland.

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This follows on from last year's series where a number of Indigenous players refused to sing the anthem due to the racial undertones within the lyrics.

Now, though, in the space of 24 short hours the NRL appears to have backflipped on its original decision.

"Our decision not to play the anthem was never about politics," ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys said.

Peter V'landys. Credit NRL
Peter V'landys. Credit NRL
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"We have always been committed to the anthem as shown at the Grand Final last weekend.

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"The original decision not to play the anthem at Origin was about the rivalry and tribalism associated with the Origin series.

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"However, having listened to the public response and given the strong national unity in fighting the COVID pandemic together, the commission has decided it is important to ensure that unity continues.

"We have always been a commission that listens to our fans. We have heard the message and acted accordingly."

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Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison even chimed in.

"This is a welcome decision by the NRL," he said.

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"The NRL have done the right thing by listening to their fans and acting quickly to overturn their choice not to play the national anthem at the Origin Series.

"We have all faced a year of struggle and heartbreak and it has never been more important to be coming together to celebrate Australia and to be able to sing together our national anthem at the game so many of us love."

Featured Image Credit: NRL

Topics: queensland, New South Wales, Rugby League, national anthem, latest updates, nrl, State of Origin, Australia

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Max Sherry

Max Sherry is a journalist for SPORTbible Australia. After migrating Down Under from London as a teenager, he instantly fell in love with Aussie sport and its culture. From NRL to AFL, cricket to rugby — you name it, Max watches it (with a beer in hand, of course). During his time at Fox Sports, he worked in the football department covering the Premier League, A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. Born a stone's throw away from West Ham's training ground, Max is obviously a die-hard Liverpool fan.