State versus state. Mate against mate. The biggest clash in rugby league is back for another year, returning to its regular mid-year slot after a disrupted 2020.
State of Origin 2021 Game 1 kicks off tonight at 8:10pm AEST at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Australia.
Last year's series was pushed back to November, meaning it's only been six months since Queensland secured their 22nd title. But COVID-19 is still interfering with rugby league's fiercest rivalry, as a Melbourne lockdown has forced Game 1 to relocate north giving the Maroons an early home advantage.
Facing the first of two games in the Sunshine State, it'll be a tall order for New South Wales, who will be looking to return to their 2019 form after a devastating Game 3 series loss last year. But despite the home town advantage going against them, experts are favouring the Blues to take out the first game of the series.
The Queensland camp has been hit with injuries. The most damaging blow coming last week with young star Kalyn Ponga ruled out for possibly the first two games with a groin injury. Dane Gagai has been battling tonsillitis all week but is due to play, while Melbourne Storm duo Cameron Munster and Harry Grant will both take the field for the first time in weeks due to respective injuries.
The Blues have named three debutants in their match-day 17, with Panthers trio Jarome Luai, Brian To'o and Liam Martin all gearing up to pull on the sky blue for the first time.
Read on to find out how you can catch all the action from State of Origin 2021 no matter where you are in the world.
State of Origin Game 1: live stream and time
The greatest rivalry in rugby league is back! Tonight’s Blues vs Maroons clash takes place at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Australia, kicking off at 8:10pm AEST. Aussies can watch State of Origin Game 1 live and free on Channel 9, while a delayed broadcast will be shown on Fox Sports and Kayo. Watching overseas? Try Watch NRL.
State of Origin 2021: team lists
NSW Blues: 1. James Tedesco 2. Brian To’o* 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Tom Trbojevic 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Jarome Luai* 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Damien Cook 10. Jake Trbojevic 11. Cameron Murray 12. Tariq Sims 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Jack Wighton 15. Junior Paulo 16. Payne Haas 17. Liam Martin* 18th man: 18. Api Koroisau* 19th man: 19. Campbell Graham*
QLD Maroons: 5. Valentine Holmes 2. Xavier Coates 3. Kurt Capewell 4. Dane Gagai 18. Kyle Feldt* 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Christian Welch 9. Harry Grant 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. David Fifita 13. Jai Arrow 14. AJ Brimson 15. Jaydn Su’A 16. Moeaki Fotuaika 17. Joe Ofahengaue 18th man: 20. Coen Hess 19th man: 21. Ben Hunt
State of Origin 2021: How to watch Game 1 in Australia
If you're watching from kickoff, all three State of Origin 2021 games will be shown live and free on Channel 9 in Australia. You can watch Game 1 tonight, Wednesday, June 9 at 8:10pm AEST. You can also live stream the game from Channel 9’s streaming platform, 9Now.
But if you can't make the start time, all hope is not lost. It will also be aired on a delayed broadcast on Fox Sports and streaming service Kayo after the game is over. Just avoid social media for a few hours so you don't see the score!
If you’re looking to boost your sports viewing, a basic package subscription to Kayo gets you access to over 50 sports, ready to live stream or watch on demand for just AU$25p/m with two screens included. If you want a third screen on your plan, it’ll cost you AU$35p/m. Kayo Sports offers a no-lock-in contract and gives all customers a 14-day FREE TRIAL so you can check it out before you fully commit.View Deal
State of Origin 2021: How to watch Game 1 from overseas
Fans living outside Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific Islands can catch the State of Origin online via the Watch NRL streaming service.
Watch NRL requires a subscription and has three different plans to choose from:
Weekly: US$17 / £13 / €17 / AU$20
Monthly: US$33 / £25 / €33 / AU$39
Annual: US$165 / £130 / €155 / AU$199
Watch NRL | US$33 / £25 / €33 / AU$39
The contents of this streaming service are only available to view outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, but a subscription can be purchased from anywhere. Watch NRL allows you to pause and rewind live matches, and also lets you download matches for offline viewing. While you can watch the live stream on desktop via the website, the Watch NRL app is also available for iOS, Android and Apple TV. You can even cast onto a TV via AirPlay or Google Chromecast.View Deal
State of Origin 2021: How Aussies can live stream Game 1 from abroad
For Aussie residents who subscribe to streaming services like Kayo, or want to watch the free Channel 9 coverage, you’ll find these don’t work if you head overseas.
So if you do find yourself abroad and unable to access your streaming account when the game is on, your best option is to use a VPN service to change your IP address to a different location. This should let you access your local coverage as you would back home.
T3’s tech experts have ranked the best VPNs for the everyday user, making it easy for you to find the best one to meet your needs.
Use a VPN to stream the State of Origin from anywhere.
ExpressVPN - Get 3 months FREE with the best VPN money can buy
If you're after the best VPN money can buy, we'd recommend ExpressVPN every time. Not only is it incredibly simple for newbies to use, but it offers class-leading speeds, works on pretty much every device, and boasts rock-solid encryption and security. It has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, which means you can dial your IP address into 160 locations around the world. It has put the effort into its software too, with dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, as well as some Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV Sticks, Apple TV, PS4 and Xbox and even your router.
And now, T3 readers can claim three months FREE when you sign up to a 12-month plan. Or try it out for a 30 days and if you're not happy, you can get your money back.