Should we take Origin to the United States?
Short answer. No.
Does the NRL need to do something to promote and advertise the game in the US? YES!
Origin is a unique beast. Its two states in Australia bashing each other in what many pundits believe, sadly in my opinion, to be the pinnacle of Rugby League.
It'd be almost akin to taking the Superbowl and playing it at Eric Weissel Oval in Wagga Wagga.
It won't have the impact that the games administrators in the US believe it will. A revolution doesn't happen from watching one game, especially when the rival code is loved and highly respected by all and sundry in that same country.
What the US needs is a regular fixture, that does have importance in the Rugby League World, not just exhibition and trial games.
Constantly playing meaningless games there does nothing. It's an advertisement sure, but it just says "We don't honestly think you'll be interested in playing this game at a competitive level, but if you do, that'd be swell!"
There have been dribs and drabs of games played in the US by Australian, British, French and New Zealand sides for many decades now. The fact that the game hasn't taken off as a seriously major rival to Gridiron in that time shows that not enough people in America are taking the game seriously.
And that’s because no one else outside the US has either.
There was a proposal by the US to play a World Club Challenge competition consisting of 8 clubs on their soil. Getting warmer.
The only problem with this is that it will essentially be just a few exhibition and tour games for the NRL and Superleague champions.
Instead of a competition, just have the actual World Club Challenge game played there in its current format.
Do that on a yearly basis, along with all the other exhibition games. It's a step in the right direction.
Next step - hold the World Cup in the USA and Canada. Advertise the pants off it, get some home grown Hollywood types who are league fans like Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe to hype it up, promote it, advertise it, go nuts!
These people have cash and influence. Crowe especially is mad keen to give the game a massive breath of life in America. He can't and won't do it alone, because he'll eventually ask himself 'what's the point of all my hard work if no one is supporting me?'
Prior to a World Cup, get the National US team to take tours of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, France, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Lebanon, every bloody where!
The more exposure to the game they get, and the more exposure the game gets to them, the stronger the US will be. The better they perform, the better chance they have of their country taking a keen interest in them and consequently, playing the game.