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How. Bloody. Good.
Game 1 of the 2021 State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland will be played at one of the most iconic sports grounds in Australia: The MCG.
That means the very first hit up of the series (I'm picturing Payne Haas running full steam at Tino Fa'asuamaleaui) will take place on the hallowed turf of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a venue steeped in so much history.
And there's no questioning how electric the atmosphere will be inside the 100,024-seater stadium when two of sport's fiercest rivals lock horns on the field.
The NRL announced the dates and venues for the 2021 series on Monday morning, confirming that Brisbane will host Game 2 with Sydney bagging the finale.
But ahead of the announcement, the question on every rugby league fan's lips was: "Where on earth will Game 1 will be held?"
So many incredible venues to choose from.
Well, now it seems we have an answer with the 2021 series officially set to kick off on Wednesday June 9 in Melbourne.
"We're excited to be taking Australia's biggest sporting brand to Melbourne for the 10th time," NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said.
"The last year has been incredibly challenging for Victorians with the extended lockdowns and challenges. We're delighted to be bringing Ampol State of Origin back to the city. It will give fans an exceptional live sports experience, and bring interstate visitors back to the hotels and restaurants."
And with Queensland's historic victory last year still fresh in the memory for us New South Welshman, it won't be too long until the deep-seated rivalry between the two states starts intensifying.
The Maroons upset the odds and clinched the series in front of a home crowd in Brisbane of just under 50,000 fans.
New South Wales will undoubtedly be looking to enact revenge.
What better place to kick things off than on a neutral battle ground? Let's go!
FULL STATE OF ORIGIN SCHEDULE:
GAME 1: MCG (Victoria), Wednesday June 9
GAME 2: Suncorp Stadium (Queensland), Sunday 27 June
GAME 3: Stadium Australia (New South Wales), Wednesday 14 July
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@qldmaroons
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