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State of Origin 2024: Dates, schedule and history

State of Origin is one of the highlights on the Australian sporting calendar and also attracts a large television audience from all around the world.

Australia is a nation that loves sport with Rugby League, Rugby Union, Cricket and Aussie Rules among the most popular.

So it is a huge statement when the State of Origin series is often described as “Australian sport’s greatest rivalry”.

But what is State of Origin? Here is all you need to know about the 2024 series and the history of the competition.

Who competes in State of Origin?

The State of Origin series is a contest between two Australian state representative sides - New South Wales and Queensland.

New South Wales are known as the Blues, with Queensland the Maroons, and the rivalry between the two states is hot to say the very least.

State of Origin 2024 dates and venues

  • Game 1: 5th June 2024 - Accor Stadium, Sydney 
  • Game 2: 26th June 2024 - Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne 
  • Game 3: 17th July 2024 - Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

What is the State of Origin format?

New South Wales and Queensland play each other on three occasions in State of Origin, which is a best-of-three series.

Which players are eligible to play State of Origin?

To play in State of Origin is said to be the pinnacle of a player’s rugby league career, even more so than representing the Australian national side.

However not all Australian players are eligible to play.

Players are selected to play for either New South Wales or Queensland based on where they played their first senior rugby league game, either high school or senior local club.

Players must also be eligible to represent Australia at international level.

Where has the State of Origin been played?

Most of the games have been split between New South Wales and Queensland, but the matches also head interstate.

Suncorp Stadium in Queensland has hosted 59 games, while Stadium Australia in Sydney has hosted 30.

Matches have also been played at venues across Australia in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. It even ventured to California in 1987.

Who has won most State of Origin series?

There have been 42 State of Origin series since 1982, with Queensland winning 24 and New South Wales triumphing 16 times, while two finished in 1-1 draws.

However, when the series was drawn, the shield is handed to the previous year’s winner, and on both occasions that was Queensland, meaning they have 26.

Period of Queensland dominance

Queensland enjoyed a huge period of dominance from 2006 to 2013 when winning eight State of Origin series on the bounce.

New South Wales' biggest winning streak has been three series in a row from 2003 to 2005 and 1992 to 1994.

The Blues claimed the series in 2018 and 2019, but it is the Maroons who hold the bragging rights for now after going back-to-back in 2022 and 2023.

The Wally Lewis medal

The Wally Lewis medal is awarded to the player of the series, whether they represent New South Wales or Queensland.

Queensland’s Cameron Smith has won it the most, claiming four Wally Lewis medals in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2016.

Reuben Cotter of Queensland is the current holder.

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