NSW Sky Blues forward Millie Elliott isn’t concerned that Queensland will host two of the three games in a landmark Ampol Women’s State of Origin series next year.
The NRL this week announced that the 2024 series will be extended to three matches for the first time, after a two-game series was held this year. Queensland won the 1-1 series on points aggregate.
Next year Game One will be on Thursday 16 May in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on the eve of Magic Round. Game Two will be at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on Thursday 6 June and Game Three at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville on Thursday 27 June.
“Frankly as far as I’m concerned, Queensland won in NSW and we won in Queensland this year so it doesn’t really affect us too much where the matches are played – we just wanted three games,” Elliott told nswrl.com.au
“I’m not fussed where the games are and I’m glad they’ve picked the venues they did – they’re all great grounds.
“Suncorp before Magic Round will hopefully bring a big turnout for us. There’s never been a women’s Origin game at Suncorp before so that’s another historic moment,” Elliott said.
“Newcastle, I think, is the best spot in NSW to have a game because of how the fans really get behind their footy and have already shown how they back the Knights girls.
“And Townsville is great. People really turned up for it this year and enjoyed what they saw.”
Elliott, who has been part of the NSW Sky Blues team for every game since 2019, said she was relieved to hear the news this week.
“I feel like it’s what Origin is about, playing a three-game series,” she said.
“I know it was called a series last year but it was only two games and it was very bittersweet.
“It was great that we had that second game, but being a 1-1 draw and yet Queensland won was very deflating – and it would have been for the Maroons players as well as us.
“So it’s now as it should be. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Elliott said it was great news for females coming into Rugby League’s pathways.
“It’s going to be the new normal now. We can’t go backwards from three games,” she said.
“So for the girls coming through our game it’s massive. Not that long ago there was nothing for us outside of open women’s competitions.
“Now we’ve got an Australian Schoolgirls side, we’ve got an Under 19s Origin, so the standard and depth is getting better and better.”