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)

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.

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.

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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.

Possible State of Origin fixture:

State of Origin bracket


  1. It is very arrogant and presumptuous to think that Victoria is the dominant state in football. Victorian dominance…possibly, equal chance your wrong!! SOUTH AUSTRALIA would like to challenge that theory

  2. It’s dead and buried…… one turned up for it in the end. We have a national competition every week, there’s simply no point to it anymore. Move on people……..

  3. Format sounds like it could work however play it at start of season in place of the bullshit NAB challenge. Players not selected for their state can play practice matches in regional areas giving the new guys a shot to be seen

  4. A state game would be played under the guise of tradition, ethics and honour. 3 things the AFL have no interest in. If it had commercial vaule it would be played each year.
    The national youth girls championships were on this week, final being played right now at the MCG.

  5. Three teams, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Each play each other twice home and away. Top two teams after the round robin play off in the final

  6. state of origin is washed up and will never work, its basically played every week anyway and clubs are not impressed by the idea of their best players getting injured in a game that has no relevance , argue if you want but if it had relevance it would not have died in the first place now would it

  7. Players are too committed to their clubs. They need to be available to play for their club post SOO game.

    The only way this can work is to play this outside of the regular season.

    NRL pecking order is very different to AFL, players want to play for their country, then their state, then their club.

  8. Tasmania…at some stage in the old reresentative carnivals (last century so probably too young to know better) have beaten every other rep side including Vic country and the big V…

  9. Just the traditional three states with only one game each year. The winner plays again the next year and the loser waits two years. Adds some incentive to keep winning and only one game keeps the burden down on clubs

  10. what an insult – we’ll beat the Vics straight up Victoria vs S.A thanks very much – we’ve done that plenty of times if you look it up! get stuffed completely

  11. Nope glad its gone. The risk of injury to players is increased and a premiership hangs on everything going right.

    Every year the same tripe is rolled out for nonreason but to cling onto some past ideal. Can we just move on and stop with this garbage.

  12. Players have had enough by the end of season. Especially players that don’t make the finals and not training and taking their break then having to return to play games, like wise for players in the finals. They already have shorter breaks and pre seasons and adding an addiction 3 weeks of games after the finals will not be suitable.

    • NRL goes longer and play a lot longer with other games like origin and Aus squad. Personally AFL is becoming a baby game. Don’t get me wrong I love afl but it’s so stupid these days I feel like buying a dvd of the better era when footy was about smoking on field or having a drink or 2 or having a mad punch on. We’re Australians we make our own terms on footy. Nowadays we dont

  13. That’s a lot of players involved! Assuming squads are picked of, say 25-30 each? There’s 200-240 players involved! No way you’d get that many committing to this. SA vs VIC

  14. Have Vic Metro v Vic Country, South Aus v West Aus and QLD v NSW/ACT.. Winners of each game advance and highest scoring losing team play each other in round-robin and two winners advance and play off for Whitten Cup.. Use fringe players voted by fans and play over two long weekends and than whoever advances play each other before Grand Final on Friday night.. (If players are in Grand Final, next best vote getter)

  15. You argue between 1 and 3 games extra to remove impact to regular season. However, that 1 and 3 extra games to pick up a medium to long term injury thus impacting pre-season at best. It is also between 1 and 3 weeks less recovery time from the corrective surgeries/treatments a lot of players undertake post season.

    For those arguing before the season, same issue for incurring an injury.

    It is a thing of the past.

  16. Quiet day at the office…again?? No Geelong players will be released they are required to win games and hopefully flags not play wishy washy BS games.

  17. Maybe create a large cash incentive for winning. That may make players compete. For example a $100,000 bonus to each player that plays in the final might sway their opinion.

  18. The only way it will work is SA v Vic then WA v Vic. One at adelaide oval, the other in Perth. I don’t think Victorians care about it enough to fill the G or Etihad.

    I’d go watch SA play Victoria.

  19. State of Origin is dead and buried but your format Thats crazy to many teams would all of those teams be filled with players anyways and some wouldnt even be compedative

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