Would you be shocked if I told you that Queensland was whinging once again about State Of Origin eligibility rules?
This time the issue surrounds South Sydney youngster Luke Keary. Keary was born in Queensland but moved to New South Wales at a young enough age that he no longer qualifies to play for Queensland. Keary played all of his junior representative football in New South Wales but that isn’t good enough for Queensland!
According to Queensland is it wrong that Keary was born north of the border but can not play for the Maroons.
That in my opinion is fair enough. I’d suggest that if that is how Queensland wants things to be we should change the eligibility rules so that you only play for the state you were born in.
Here is where it gets weird….
Queensland would also hate that idea. See they believe that if you were born outside of Queensland you should also be allowed to represent Queensland. They want to be able to have their cake and eat it too.
When the Australian Rugby League Commission was established one of the first things they did was clear up State Of Origin eligibility rules. The previous rules that has been in place for many years no longer worked. They allowed so many loopholes that State Of Origin was slowly becoming a farce. An international all star game that saw BOTH states actively recruiting players that were not from Queensland or New South Wales.
While the new State Of Origin rules are far from ideal, they at least allow a clear set of guidelines for players and states to use to know who can play where and why. Its all black and white and allows no room for interpretation of thye rules…which was the downfall of the previous set of eligiligty rules.
Oh course, the current rules allow BOTH states to continue to pick players that were not even born in Australia. Something that I find not only ridiculous, but that undermines international Rugby League terribly.
I tend to think that the current rules are a stepping stone towards much tighter eligibility rules that will eventually be very simple. You play for the state you were born in. If you want to play for a state but you weren’t born there…tough luck!
Keary is a very good young player. When he made his first grade debut you could see he had all the potential in the world. I can understand why ANY coach would want him in their side. He is a player of the future.
I can understand that being born in Queensland might make him want to play for Queensland, but under the current rules, he can’t. That should be the end of it. Mal Meninga shouldn’t be taking to the press every time he can’t recruit a player and whinging about it.
The thing is, State Of Origin is supposed to be about NSW taking on QLD. We are told over and over against that state pride is on the line. That players play Origin football with passion.
State Of Origin should not be played between two teams that recruited players. It should not be played by players who decided to play for one state or the other.
You’re either from New South Wales, Queensland, or you not involved in the series at all. That is how it should be!
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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