Origin decider:

For the first in 54 years of commentating, the legendary Ray ‘Rabbits’ Warren will call a rugby league game off the television.

Channel Nine commentator Andrew Johns – plus the network’s production crew – have been permitted into Queensland for tonight's State of Origin decider but Warren will remain in Sydney and call off the TV from Nine’s Willoughby studios.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Warren had a practice run calling a replay of State of Origin II off a television monitor on Monday.

Nine hired a charter flight for Johns and the production crew which left Sydney for Brisbane at 7am on Wednesday.

Queensland Government exemptions for the charter flight were only approved at 6pm on Tuesday.

Ray Warren can put down the binoculars for his call of Origin III. Picture. Phil HillyardSource:DailyTelegraph

While happy to call off the TV, Warren admitted: “I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable. I’ve never called off the tube in my 54 years.

“But in the climate that we’re in, there are some things you have to do – some things people have to do. I think I can get through it okay.”

Due to Queensland’s COVID restrictions, the entire crew had to be transported directly from Brisbane Airport to Suncorp Stadium where they will prepare, work and wait for 13 hours until kick off.

Nine’s management had the choice of using Queensland commentators but elected for Warren to call the important game.

Originally published asOrigin first for Ray ‘Rabbits’ Warren

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