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Gold Coast plot to steal Origin game

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is plotting to steal a State of Origin game from Brisbane and host rugby league's showpiece event at a revamped Metricon Stadium at Carrara, according to a News Limited report.

With the Gold Coast to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, The Courier Mail newspaper says Tate has written to the ARL Commission to begin negotiations to host one of the interstate showdowns in the lead-up.

The mayor has outlined a big-match blueprint for the tourist strip, which includes hosting a rugby league Test within the next two years against New Zealand or Papua New Guinea, before landing an Origin clash on the eve of the Games.

The Courier Mail is reporting local civic leaders are desperate to secure sporting blockbusters to test the Gold Coast's ability to cope with huge crowds anticipated during the Commonwealth Games.

Skilled Park at Robina has already hosted a World Cup rugby league match, Indigenous All Stars games and a rugby union Test between the Wallabies and Argentina but, with a capacity of just 27,000, it would not be able to handle an Origin epic, which routinely sells out the 52,000-capacity Suncorp Stadium.

Metricon Stadium will be upgraded to hold more than 40,000 fans for the Games and looms as the most likely venue for any Origin match.

With the Victorian government already successful in luring an Origin match for a number of alternating years, Tate said he saw no reason why the Gold Coast couldn't follow suit.

"Let's think big. We don't want to be fazed about hosting major world-class events.

"And in any event, I think people in Brisbane would much rather see a game come here than be played in Melbourne."

Tate will also write to the Australian Rugby Union hoping to secure a Test against New Zealand or South Africa closer to the Games.

A Queensland Rugby League spokesman said it was too early to comment on the chances of Origin being shifted from Brisbane.

"Any proposal would have to be looked at by the QRL board," he said.

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