State of Origin set to be played after NRL Grand Final

This year’s State of Origin series is set to be played after the NRL Grand Final.

May 28 has been locked in as the return date for the NRL after they agreed a TV deal with broadcast partners Channel Nine and Fox Sports.

The length of the season is yet to be confirmed but it has been reported Down Under that the season could be between 17 and 22 games long, with a decision to be finalised next week.

The State of Origin series is set to be held after the Grand Final, pending consultation with the RLPA, states and clubs.

And this has raised more doubts over the Ashes series that was meant to see Australia tour England in October and November.

The Kangaroos are scheduled to play England at Bolton (October 31), Leeds (November 7) and Tottenham (November 14).

There have been concerns over the Ashes series going ahead since the start of the coronavirus because the season could run beyond the scheduled Super League Grand Final date of October 10.

But earlier this month, England coach Shaun Wane said he remained hopeful of the Ashes series going ahead – even at a later date.

He said: “I’m very hopeful.

“I want to start coaching as soon as possible but obviously there are more important issues than our sport.

“Once that gets sorted out then if we can get the Ashes on then fantastic. The way the Aussies are going about their business fills me with confidence that the Ashes are going to be on.

“But I’ll play Christmas Day in Australia, it doesn’t matter to me.”

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