Maroons’ call to bring grand final north
Queensland Origin stars Will Chambers and Ben Hunt turned up the heat, as senior Queensland Government ministers met to hatch a plan to bring next year's NRL grand final to Brisbane.
Maroons duo Will Chambers and Ben Hunt - who have both played grand finals at Sydney's ANZ Stadium - yesterday led a push for ARL chairman Peter Beattie and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg to play the decider at the home of Queensland rugby league, Suncorp Stadium.
The SCG will not only host the 2020 NRL grand final, but could also snare the 2021 decider.
A newly built Allianz Stadium at Sydney's Moore Park will be considered for the 2022 NRL grand final, before the completion of a remodelled 70,000-seat ANZ Stadium in 2023.
The Queensland Government labelled the Suncorp snub a "disgrace" and Chambers yesterday implored former Queensland premier Beattie to reward fans by bringing the NRL grand final to the Sunshine State.
"I'd love to be involved in a grand final at Suncorp Stadium," said Chambers, who played for Melbourne in last year's decider against the Roosters at Homebush.
"With Suncorp, people will travel to go to the game. For me, nothing beats the atmosphere of Origin nights at Suncorp and if you had a grand final at Suncorp, it would be amazing.
"Actually, the grand final would be so good at Suncorp that people wouldn't want to go back to ANZ.
"Suncorp is the best stadium in Australia, everyone loves it, everyone knows it's the best ground in rugby league."
Maroons hooker Hunt, who played for Brisbane in the 2015 grand final against the Cowboys at ANZ Stadium, also backed Suncorp.
"It would be great to have a grand final at Suncorp, it would be exceptional," he said.
"For me, it's one of the best rugby league grounds in Australia I believe and to play there when it's a full stadium, it's unreal.
"It would make for a great spectacle. They would fill the stadium for sure.
"The Queensland people love their rugby league so if we can't have the grand final in Sydney, the logical place is to bring it to Suncorp Stadium."
News Corp understands Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones and Sport Minister Mick de Brenni last night met with Suncorp Stadium executives to formulate a plan to bring the game north of the border.
"We had a very productive meeting and we are developing what we think will be a very compelling case that will ensure the NRL has nothing to lose by moving the Grand Final to Queensland," she said last night.