Canberra Raiders youngster Josh Papalii has turned his back on New Zealand after being recruited by Queensland coach Mal Meninga to represent a state he once used to live in.
Meninga has openly talked for a year about pressuring Papalii to turn his back on the country of his birth and that was helped along by the fact he did some assistant coaching work with the Raiders this year.
Once again, Rugby League’s farcical eligibility rules are used by the self interested to further their own cause. This is not good for the game. This helps no one.
The ARL has said they will look at fixing the eligibility rules but for what ever reason, this is taking way too long. Earlier this year John Grant had the hide to suggest that the ARL has no power to fix State Of Origin eligibility rules. It was passing the buck in the worst possible away, especially when you consider that the RLIF has no power what so ever.
Mal Meninga can strut around in a state of arrogance and talk about fictitious agendas being run against him but the fact is recruiting Kiwi’s and Pacific Islanders may help his pay packet but it does nothing at all for the health of Queensland Rugby League.
Meninga and the QRL has openly turned their back on Queensland born and bread players. They then dare use words like “loyalty” and “passion”. Its a fucking disgrace that they have been allowed to get away with this for so long.
New South Wales is no better. All State Of Origin has become is a glorified All Star Game and who the fuck wants to see that. When you have players pretending to give a fuck about the state they are playing for and then will tell you they like seeing the All Blacks and Black Caps do well, please…I can’t believe we have got to this point without someone stepping in and putting an end to this farce.
That should be John Grants job. He was quick to punt David Gallop and make sure he was standing there on stage handing over the trophies and taking up the higher profile. When it comes down to making tough decisions though, Grant has been found wanting.
All of this could be fixed in one day. It would take nothing for the ARL to fix State Of Origin rules and put and end to this ridiculous recruitment process, while at the same time salvaging the little international competition we have by protecting other nations from being used as feeder systems by Australia and its representative sides.
A Queenslander isn’t born in New Zealand. A New South Welshman isn’t born in Fiji.
Its all well and good to point to crowd figures and television ratings, but if the leaders of our game can’t be bothered protecting its integrity they will soon find themselves running a sport with no integrity and with no values.
Good luck with that….
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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