Bennett wants three Origin games in four weeks

Former Australia coach Wayne Bennett wants next year’s State of Origin series to be played over four weeks and hopes it will prevent the inevitable injuries that come from players ‘backing up’ for their clubs just days after intense interstate action.

Johnathan Thurston spoke today of the “borderline ridiculous” scheduling that is pushing players to their limits.

Bennett claims he has contacted NRL head of football Todd Greenberg about a proposal to rest Origin players from club duties and play three interstate games in four weeks in June next year.

Under Bennett’s plan, 22-man squads would be named for each state for the series.

Queensland legend Gorden Tallis told Fox Sports he feared the plan could lower the event’s intensity and standard, but reigning Golden Boot winner Thurston welcomes it with open arms.

“I totally agree with it,” he said.

“I have also read crowd numbers are down at this time of year; TV ratings are down. I think club footy will benefit from it.

“It creates more interest for fans when club footy comes around again and I am sure crowds will bounce back again.”

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