North Queensland Cowboys captain Jason Taumalolo has opened up on his dream to represent the Queensland Maroons in State of Origin.

Despite having represented Tonga and New Zealand in the past, his dream may soon become a reality. This is due to the possibility of Origin's eligibility rules changing.

Taumalolo spoke to Code Sports about his Origin dream and insists there would be no hesitation about playing under Billy Slater if he is deemed eligible.

"It's always been a question that has popped up," he said.

"I will wait until the rules are decided and we'll go from there, but it would be awesome to play for Tonga and Queensland."

"Origin is the best arena with the best names."

"It (representing the Maroons) is something that has definitely crossed my mind, but I guess we'll see if the rules change and whether they let me play."

The Cowboys forward has nearly represented Queensland twice before. The first was in 2012, followed by the second time in 2021.

In 2012, Taumalolo met with the Maroons coach Mal Meninga who flew to Townsville. Having flown to Townsville, Meninga tried to poach him away from representing New Zealand. Although, he was unsuccessful in his pursuit.

Years later Paul Green made inquiries to recruit Taumalolo. However, due to the current Origin eligibility rules, he was unsuccessful like Meninga.

Currently, Taumalolo is ineligible due to the fact he has played 10 tests for New Zealand, which is categorised as a tier-one nation. But, because he has lived in Queensland since the age of 13 he could have been cleared to play.

Taumalolo isn't the only player who is wishing the eligibility rules change, with Ronaldo Mulitalo and Victor Radley also hoping to play State of Origin.

With more tier-one nation players eyeing an Origin debut, ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce is investigating whether they should be cleared for the future.


  1. The answer to Taumalolo et al should be a categorical NO. State of Origin is for Australian eligible players only….it is not a money fest to sweeten their pot. If you are to make a change it is for the 12/13/14 year olds.

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