Daly Cherry-Evans: 6pm kickoff would be ‘even better’ for Origin games | The Sporting Base

Daly Cherry-Evans: 6pm kickoff would be ‘even better’ for Origin games

June 21, 2024

Daly Cherry-Evans: 6pm kickoff would be ‘even better’ for Origin games

Queensland halfback Daly Cherry-Evans has called for rugby league’s biggest matches, State of Origin, to be moved to an earlier timeslot so that more kids and eager fans can watch the games.

When asked about the changes he’d make to Origin if it ever got reshuffled, Cherry-Evans said he’s eager to see the premier matches move to 6pm kick-off times so that young viewers could enjoy the matches just as much as older NRL fans.

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He was less eager about the day being changed—a possibility that has been brought up across the NRL world more and more in Origin time recently. The most recent call has suggested Monday evenings could work well for the showpiece three-game series, though there’s been relatively few takers for that bold idea.

“I think a 6pm kick-off would be even better for Origin,” he said.

“I’m actually happy with keeping Origin on Wednesdays. I love the format. I love 10-day camps.

“I don’t know how we can change it and not affect international rugby league or the NRL competition. For the NRL, it’s a tricky one, State of Origin is working well at the moment [on Wednesday nights] so I don’t see any need to change.

“If anything, I would love to see the NRL change the kick-off time so the kids wouldn’t have to stay up so late. My kids are older now so they can come to the game, but it is a late night for younger kids sitting at home waiting for Origin to start.

“I remember as a kid, you would be waiting for Origin to begin and getting tired thinking it’s time for bed.

“I think we would get an even bigger audience [by kicking off at 6pm].”

Cherry-Evans may get his wish sooner than he thinks; the ARL Commission is meeting on Wednesday night to discuss formal changes when the Origin circus arrives in Melbourne. On the agenda are things like the showpiece moving to a different day, shifting away from the season entirely, and most importantly what time it usually starts.

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The biggest issue for earlier kickoffs will be Channel 9, which wants the later timeslots (and gambling ads) that generate millions for the NRL and fund the $30 million Origin playing stipends.

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