What TV channel is State of Origin on? UK kick off time, live stream details and team news
State of Origin begins on 8th June 2022 (Wednesday). NSW will face Queensland in Game1 starting at 8.10 PM AEST. One of the three games in the 2022 series will be hosted by a neutral site. Origin will return to Western Australia for only the second time in its history, with games taking place in Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane, respectively.
The State of Origin between Queensland and New South Wales is upon as they first of three clashes takes place in Sydney this week.
It is one of the highlights of the Australian sporting calendar and one of the hottest rivalries in the 13-man code also grabs the attentions of viewers across the globe, including the UK.
The three-match series has not always been the easiest to get hold of on these shores but it is worth the effort with physicality and intensity levels off the charts from first minute to last.
This year, though, the game is taking place against the backdrop of a pay dispute. Players have previously accepted a 50% pay cut to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic, dropping their reported fee to $15,000 for the series. But the NRL made a $43 million profit last term, prompting serious questions.
The now traditional bet between the New South Wales and Queensland premiers is back for 2022.
Queensland's Annastacia Palaszczuk says her New South Wales counterpart, Dominic Perrottet, will light up the Sydney Harbour Bridge in maroon should Billy Slater's side win the series.
In return, if Brad Fittler's team is successful, Queensland's Story Bridge will turn blue, although Perrottet claimed he "hadn't heard" of the famous bridge over the Brisbane River.
"I had to google it," he joked.
"Have you heard of the Story Bridge?"
"We know they don't follow through on their agreements... we are still waiting on our $30m for the hotel quarantine. We'll send the bill again."
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler said his brand new centre combination can get the job done in tonight's opening State of Origin match.
Injuries to the incumbent pair of Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic forced Fittler to look elsewhere this year, with Kotoni Staggs and Jack Wighton named to start the match.
There have been suggestions of a late reshuffle, with Stephen Crichton starting the match and Wighton dropping back to the bench.
Watch State of Origin exclusively live and free on Channel 9 and 9Now.
As if to put those rumours to bed, or perhaps to muddy the waters, Fittler singled out Wighton during a chat with the Today show.
"The fact is we lost our two centres, so they were going to be a new combination," he said.
"Simple as that. The boys have trained really well, Jack Wighton's actually played five games at left centre for us, so he's accustomed to that position and the way we play.
"It's not that bad."
The Blues' coach reported that everyone is fit and well for tonight's match, despite the flu that has struck down many in recent times.
"It's all good. I'm a bit concerned, through all the clubs there's a lot of flu, a bit of COVID-19, the flu's been knocking them around," he said.
"There's been no injuries and everyone's in good health. It's always a nice thing being the coach and knowing that."
He said the opportunity to see the parents of his players earlier this week emphasised how much State of Origin means.
"We had a few parents in the other day, sometimes getting parents' perspective of watching their kid come through and get to that level, it's the best way to see State of Origin, through other people's eyes," he explained.
"It means a lot to a lot of people.
"At this time of year, there's nothing better."
Good morning and welcome to one of the best days on the sports calendar - the opening match of the State of Origin series.
Tonight's match at Accor Stadium is likely to be a sellout with a crowd of 80,000 on hand for the first Origin match in New South Wales since 2020.
It's also the first match as coach for Queensland great Billy Slater. After 31 games for the Maroons during their golden era, the 38-year-old is charged with regaining the Origin trophy, which NSW holds after a 2-1 series victory in 2021.
Watch State of Origin exclusively live and free on Channel 9 and 9Now.
Speaking to Today, Slater said he's enjoyed the switch to coaching.
"It's vastly different, as a player you're solely focused on your performance in that 80 minutes," he said.
"As a coach you need to look at everything, you're controlling the environment, you're trying to build the game plan, you're working with individuals on their game.
"There's a lot that goes into it, but a lot of the work's been done for me, it's up to the players to perform in that 80 minutes tonight."
The Maroons will be seeking a 23rd series title this year, while the Blues have lifted the trophy on 16 occasions.
"The rivalry is real, this is the 42nd year of State of Origin, that rivalry ... people grow up with it," Slater said.
"I don't think you need to build it, it's already there. If anything you need to relax the players and make sure they focus on the game of footy, which is really important.
"At the end of the day the result will be given to the team that plays the best in the footy game, so it's important to focus on that.
"That rivalry is always there, it's bred into you."
Queensland will field four debutants, including 19-year-old Jeremiah Nanai who has just 16 NRL matches to his name, while Selwyn Cobbo turned 20 only three days ago, and has played only 19 NRL matches.
Despite their tender years, Slater is confident they're ready.
"There's not much protecting, they've got 12 other players on the field but at the end of the day they're here because of their actions," he explained.
"Selwyn and Jeremiah are quite young, their actions are telling me they're ready for this. What I've seen this week, the preparation has been great, the connection within the group is really good.
Slater noted that Origin might be famous for the headline moments, but that's not where the game is decided.
"I think it gets won through the little moments, we all see the big moment in State of Origin, the Darren Lockyer try (in 2006), the Mark Coyne try in 1994, and they're great highlights," he said.
"But it's the little moments that count in State of Origin. If we accumulate them, that will put us in good stead."
"I'm feeling nervous, but that means it means something to you. I can't wait for tonight."
What's the team news?
NSW: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Brian To’o, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. Daniel Tupou, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Payne Haas, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Cameron Murray, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Isaah Yeo
Interchange: 14. Stephen Crichton, 15. Liam Martin, 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 17. Ryan Matterson, (18. Nicho Hynes)
Extended Squad: Joseph Suaalii, Daniel Saifiti, Api Koroisau, Tyson Frizell
Queensland: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Selwyn Cobbo, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Xavier Coates, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 9. Ben Hunt, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Kurt Capewell, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Reuben Cotter
Interchange: 14. Harry Grant, 15. Lindsay Collins, 16. Patrick Carrigan, 17. Jeremiah Nanai, (18. Tom Dearden)
Extended Squad: Murray Taulagi, Jai Arrow, Tom Flegler, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
Watch State of Origin Live in Australia
Australian viewers can watch the State of Origin all games online through 9Now which supports Google Chromecast, Apple TV, iPad, or any Smart device. 9Now is a network of Channel Nine. Users can register and log in to the official website of 9now and watch State of Origin Rugby live in 2022. 9Now supports Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Tizen, and Windows Phone.