Origin eligibility overhaul, ARLC, Peter V’landys, Jason Taumalolo, New South Wales, Queensland, World Cup, England, New Zealand, news

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys has confirmed the Origin eligibility rules will be subject to a review following widespread calls for a full overhaul.

Commissioner Wayne Pearce is set to review the selection laws of the State vs State showcase following a major push for tier-one players to be able to take part in the clash according to The Daily Telegraph.

Under the current rules players were unable to represent either Queensland or NSW after playing for “another tier-one nation at senior level”.

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However, the Origin arena could set for a huge shake-up and players from New Zealand and England could potentially play Origin should they be eligible to represent their state.

Pearce said he believes the “Origin concept has evolved” ahead of what could be a revolutionary review set to begin once the CBA is finalised.

“There are now so many international players in the game that Origin should no longer be seen as purely a pathway to representation for Australia, on the provision that players fulfill the criteria of eligibility for State of Origin,” Pearce said.

“State of Origin should be a pathway to international football, not just playing for Australia, but they must fulfill the criteria as it’s already set out.

“We haven’t started the review (of Origin rules) yet because we have been working through the CBA, but we will be doing a review of State of Origin.

“We had started one but with all the dramas last year (relating to Covid) we didn’t get to a completion.

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“We have to get together with the stakeholders to work out what will effectively be the best outcome for the game. We have to look at the potential downside (of allowing Kiwis and Poms to play Origin).

“It comes back to the principle, is Origin a selection trial for Australia or is it a selection trial for international football?”

Pearce will reportedly speak to a number of high-profile members of the rugby league community including both Origin coaches, Brad Fittler and Billy Slater.

V’landys recognized Origin eligibility rules were a “polarising issue” and made it clear a major overhaul will not be a simple task.

If the review sparks a change in eligibility rules, players such as Jason Taumalolo and Victor Radley could be lining up for their respective states.

Taumalolo has in the past represented New Zealand, but is eligible to play for Queensland while Radley opted to play for England at this year’s World Cup.

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Master coach Wayne Bennett previously called for an Origin eligibly overhaul, using Radley as an example of a player who should be able to represent both his heritage and state.

“What I’m saying is the criteria to play for Queensland and NSW must not change,” Bennett said.

“But what should change is that players should be available for selection for a whole lot of countries outside Australia.

“Victor Radley should be allowed to play for NSW and also play for England. But he will never play for Australia.

“He made that choice. But he still ticks all the boxes to play Origin because he grew up playing his football in NSW.

“What a lot of people seem to be struggling to understand is that these players like Junior Paulo and Jarome Luai and Brian To’o, they’ve all grown up in Sydney.

“So under the criteria as it is now they qualify for Origin.”

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