The AFL is considering reviving the iconic State of Origin match to help support the country’s bushfire crisis, according to The Herald Sun’s Lauren Wood.
It would mark the first time in 21 years that the representative match has been played amongst a number of initiatives from the league to support the communities damaged by the bushfires.
The game would take place between two sides comprised of current AFL players, with the report stating that it could be played on February 28 at Marvel Stadium.
“Like everyone, our entire industry is united in our support for the communities impacted by bushfires and the incredible courage and commitment of the thousands of volunteers and emergency services and support agency personnel who are involved in protecting and helping people right across the country,” a league spokesman told the Herald Sun.
“There are a number of ideas and initiatives we are working through with clubs and players across both AFL and AFLW that can support fundraising efforts in the short-term as well as support the ongoing rebuilding of local communities in the longer term.
“Those discussions over how we best do that are continuing and there is widespread commitment to ensuring football does whatever it can to support affected communities any way we can.”
The last State of Origin match was played at the MCG in 1999, with Victoria defeating South Australia by 54 points at the MCG in front of 26,063 people.
More recently the AFL staged the Hall of Fame Tribute Match as part of the game’s 150-year celebrations in 2018 that saw Victoria beat Dream Team by 17 points at the MCG, which drew a crowd of 69,294.
The idea has already received support from a number of the game’s stars.
Yesss let’s make it happen! https://t.co/CP6KVmfYGj
— Patrick Dangerfield (@dangerfield35) January 7, 2020
Bring it back 💯 https://t.co/X0z4p8cOnj
— Scott Pendlebury (@SP_10) January 7, 2020
Let’s do it🙌🏼 https://t.co/fuZ9fBraaD
— Phil Davis (@phildavis_1) January 7, 2020