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City vs Country Origin is an annual Australian rugby league football match that takes place in New South Wales between City and Country representative sides. The City side represents the Sydney metropolitan area. While technically it is Sydney vs the rest of NSW, players from the Central Coast (such as Matt Orford and Mark O'Meley) often represent City, but other players from the Central Coast (such as Chris Heighington) represent Country. The Country side represents the rest of New South Wales.
The concept of an annual clash between a City and Country team originally started in 1911 with a Metropolitan side taking on the Country team. The first match officially took place on 10 June 1911 with City taking the victory 29 to 8. It would take another nineteen years before an annual clash between an official City and Country side was agreed upon during the 1930 season.
Both sides were originally made up of the best players playing in the Country Rugby League of New South Wales and the Sydney-based NSWRL Premiership. However, the increasing drain of players from rural areas to the NSWRL clubs led to the City side becoming increasingly dominant and the Country side uncompetitive. The 'origin rule' for player qualification being introduced in 1987 so players in NSWRL clubs originally from outside Sydney became eligible to represent Country.
The players who now represent the City and Country sides come from the National Rugby League competition in Australia. The match is played before the State of Origin series and is often referred to as a selection trial for the New South Wales Blues team.
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