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Maroons get fantastic boost with crowd limit removed at Suncorp

The Maroons will have more of a home-ground advantage for the Origin series decider after the Queensland Government announced it would allow full capacity at Suncorp Stadium.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday announced restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic would be eased in the Sunshine State from Tuesday, clearing the way for Wednesday's game three in the Ampol State of Origin series to be played before 52,000 fans.

Under the previous restrictions, a crowd limit of 40,000 was in place.

The NRL on Friday announced that close to 2000 tickets will be gifted to front line health care workers and emergency services personnel as a sign of appreciation for their sacrifices during the pandemic.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo welcomed the Queensland Government decision.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for more of our fans to be part of something special," he said.

"Wednesday night’s game will be the biggest crowd in Australia since the COVID suspension and rugby league will be the first sport to play at a major venue in Australia with 100 per cent capacity available.

"It has been an extraordinary season and remarkable that our final game of the year will be an Origin decider with no crowd cap. It’s amazing to think how far the game has come since the competition was suspended in March."

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Abdo said the decision to gift tickets to such worthy recipients was an easy one to make.

"Frontline healthcare workers and emergency services personnel are among the heroes of our nation. The allocation of tickets is a small way for the game to say thank you for the remarkable work they have done this year," he said. 

It is a massive boost for coach Wayne Bennett's team, who will be underdogs despite being on their home turf after their 34-10 drubbing at the hands of NSW in game two in Sydney on Wednesday.

The majority of the remaining tickets are likely to be snapped up by Queensland fans as there are still restrictions on entering the state for residents in 32 Sydney local governments areas.

The NRL has also announced the match officials for Origin III with Gerard Sutton to head up the same group which has officiated through the series.

"State of Origin is a high-intensity and high-pressure environment and a consistent approach is important. After the first two games of the series the players know what to expect from the match officials," NRL head of football Graham Annesley said.

"It will be a benefit for the teams to have that level of consistency over the three matches.

"After assessing performances across Origin I and II, the Referees Appointments Committee felt the same officials deserve the chance to finish the series."

 

Game three tickets are on sale. Get in now to avoid disappointment