MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Tim Watson of Victoria and the Essendon Bombers competes for the ball during the AFL State of Origin match between Victoria and South Australia, 1989 at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

How State of Origin footy should work in the AFL

State of Origin is the biggest fixture on the Rugby League calendar and it was also once one of the biggest fixtures in AFL footy. And it is about time it returned.

However, there are several obstacles to overcome for the AFL before reintroducing State of Origin, including the number of states included in the competition the time of year of the games and the format.

But we have the answer.

Our suggested format will include eight teams, Vic Metro, Vic Country, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Northern Territory.

Breaking Victoria up into two sections will break up the larger number of Victorians playing the AFL and also ensure there are an even number of teams in the competition.

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29 May 1999: The Victorian team celebrates with cup, after the State of Origin match between Victoria and South Australia, played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia. Victoria defeated South Australia. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dadswell/ALLSPORT
29 May 1999: The Victorian team celebrates with cup, after the State of Origin match between Victoria and South Australia, played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia. Victoria defeated South Australia. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dadswell/ALLSPORT

With each state having their own team, it ensures the passion will remain in State of Origin, quelling the possible drawbacks of introducing an “Allies” or “All-Stars” team.

The format will be a knockout competition, taking place at the end of the season, ensuring State of Origin does not interfere with the regular season.

The teams will be randomly drawn for the first year, and then the seedings for each year will be drawn from the previous year’s results.

For clubs, coaches and players concerned about fatigue, players selected in State of Origin would only play a maximum of three extra matches per year and may only play one extra game per year if their team is knocked out in the first round.

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Possible State of Origin fixture:

State of Origin bracket

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