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Origin dates, rest of draw to be locked in next week: Abdo

Interim NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has confirmed the remainder of the 2020 Telstra Premiership draw and State of Origin dates will be announced on May 21 after clubs were given their next two opponents on Friday afternoon.

Declaring the game was set to become "faster and more unpredictable than ever" due to the switch to one referee and introduction of the six again rule, Abdo said the next fortnight was about trying to deliver as much certainty as possible for clubs, players, coaches, staff, broadcasters and fans.

The next set of details to be confirmed include the logistics of the draw with stadium locations, biosecurity measures and medical protocols all still a focus before locking in venues.

"We're all here because our fans love rugby league. The rule changes and the draw, everything is ultimately about the fans," Abdo said.

"Having blockbusters in round three and four was absolutely part of our thinking. Our game has got a rich history between coaches, players and clubs.

"We're delighted with the number of blockbuster games we've been able to deliver. There's a lot to look forward to."

Abdo confirmed the dates for the State of Origin series will be included in the announcement next Thursday, however the locations would not be decided anytime soon pending biosecurity measures and the potential for crowd attendance just two of many factors. 

"That's something we'll be quite adaptive to and consider later in the year," Abdo said.

Abdo also remained confident of resolving any potential legal battle looming between the Professional Rugby League Match Officials union and the NRL after the code announced its decision to revert back to one referee earlier in the week.

"I'm confident we will reach a resolution with the referees," Abdo said.

"We respect the position they've taken and we believe we've followed the correct process and are confident we will be able to resolve that between now and next week."

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.