NRL 2020: State of Origin stars warn NRL against tarnishing league showpiece

Opening a revamped NRL season with State of Origin would tarnish rugby league's showpiece product, claim two former rep stars.

The NRL is currently working through scenarios, with a view to restarting the competition in May, with restrictions on travel and crowd numbers.

Among the options is the prospect of resetting the 2020 campaign with the traditional interstate rivalry.

But former Queensland forward Corey Parker has urged that idea be scrapped, fearing the product would be diluted with under-done players and potentially no fans in the stadium.

"Our premier piece is the Origin series obviously, but we need to get the NRL back on to whatever format that may look like and then get the Origin series around that," Parker told Fox Sports.

"But to start with Origin, I disagree with that. I think it's really important for all 16 clubs, the staff and players to get back playing."

Former New South Wales rival Braith Anansta agrees, suggesting the three-match series could put a bow on a congested season. 

"If we're going to do Origin it's either got to be mid or after the Grand Final," Anasta told Fox Sports. "I think after the Grand Final." 

"If you look at Origin, and what makes Origin and what makes it so good, it's because it's the best of the best.

"Also the crowd... the crowd makes Origin. If we try and start getting rugby league back with Origin, there's going to be no crowd, because of the restrictions.

"Imagine watching an Origin game with 17-a-side of guys who haven't played yet and there's no-one watching it. 

"It's going to ruin the brand of Origin, it'll ruin the brand of Origin, so why would you even risk it?"

The NRL's innovation committee meets again later this week and Fox Sports reports it is committed to taking an aggressive approach to get the game back up and running, as soon as it's medically safe for the players. 

It will discuss a two-conference system, with teams isolated into bubbles in NSW and Queensland, as well as ways to sell the new format to broadcasters.

Origin is the NRL's biggest money-spinner, generating up to NZ$120 million for the game.