ENGLAND international Victor Radley could be set for a major eligibility success following a potential NRL shake-up.
It all focuses on the State of Origin eligibility rules which, under the current rules, players cannot represent either Queensland or NSW after playing for “another tier-one nation at senior level.”
That would mean because Radley played for England in the recent World Cup he would not be able to play State of Origin.
Now though commissioner Wayne Pearce is set to review Origin’s selection laws after numerous tier-one players called for change, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“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 proviso that players fulfil 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 fulfil 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.
“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?”
If eligibility rules do change, the likes of Victor Radley would be able to represent both their heritage and region.
Meanwhile, veteran head coach Wayne Bennett. has supported the plan.
“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.”