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Queensland would play Origin in carpark

Maroons stalwart Chris "Choppy" Close has brushed aside claims Queensland have been robbed of a home State of Origin match next year, declaring the result will be no different for NSW.
Queensland would play Origin in carpark
by NRL

By Wayne Heming

BRISBANE, Nov 20 AAP - Maroons stalwart Chris "Choppy" Close has brushed aside claims Queensland have been robbed of a home State of Origin match next year, declaring the result will be no different for NSW.

Man-of-the-match in the first two Origin matches, Close was unconcerned by Tuesday's announcement that Sydney's ANZ Stadium - which has never been sold out for the match of the series - would host the first and third games of next year's series with Queensland forced to surrender one of their two scheduled games at Suncorp Stadium.

"I've always said we'd play them in a carpark if they wanted," Close told AAP.

"If they wanted to play (Origin) at Woolies' carpark in Broken Hill, then bring it on.

"We'll turn up with the same attitude, the same team and no doubt there'll be the same result."

Queensland's greatest player, Wally Lewis, wasn't as accepting as his 1980 teammate.

Lewis, who played 31 Origins for Queensland and won a record eight man-of-the-match awards, questioned how hard the Queensland government had fought to hang onto its two games in 2013.

"Look, anybody that doesn't fight hard hard to maintain a bit of loyalty and support for Queensland, I don't believe they're real Queenslanders," Lewis told the ABC.

"People that don't believe these games aren't the No.1 earner for Queensland need to go back to primary school."

Queensland Sports Minister Steve Dickson said the government had to watch its spending.

"If it's about chequebooks at the end of the day, maybe NSW may have a bigger chequebook than us," he said.

"We just can't afford to go blowing big bundles of money at this point in time, on Origin or anything else."


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