Ronaldo Mulitalo has become the latest figure in the NRL to back a change to the State of Origin eligibility rules.
Former Tigers great Wayne Pearce will lead a review into the rules during the coming weeks, with a widespread push within the game for players who represent other Tier 1 nations to be allowed to play in the three-match state vs state concept.
Origin, which is the biggest event on the rugby league calendar, currently allows players with Tier 2 representation - nations like Samoa, Tonga and Fiji - to compete in Origin if the players meet the other current eligibility rules, such as being born in the state, or playing junior football there.
Players who decide to play for other Tier 1 nations though (being New Zealand and England) are ruled out of Origin contention. Victor Radley became the latest to effectively end his State of Origin career this year when he decided to represent England at the World Cup.
Mulitalo, who had a wonderful year for the Sharks and now has 44 tries in 64 NRL games, represented New Zealand at the 2022 Rugby League World Cup.
A former one-time Samoan representative, Mulitalo was part of the Queensland squad during the 2021 series as a late replacement for Reece Walsh, however, he was also forced to withdrawn from the game after it was revealed he didn't live in the state before his 13th birthday.
That ultimately robbed the Cronulla flier of his Origin debut, and while he told Fox Sports he is now at peace with that, there should be no problem representing Queensland or New South Wales while playing for other nations.
“I think for myself I have moved away from it a bit, I am happy for those boys to be able to do that if it helps them in whatever capacity,” Mulitalo told the publication.
“As long as they are happy with their decision, and obviously the NRL and governing body decide the eligibility rules.
“But if it is there and it's available for them, then why not, it is a good pathway for them and for what those boys did for our small country Samoa, it's awesome.
“It was nice to see and see the support from everyone around the world.
“Obviously my journey with the Kiwis, it was a bit different, some people wanted me there, some people didn't, but I am just really happy to be where I am at at the moment and I'm not one to judge people where they lie in their career.”
Mulitalo explained that a lot of the New Zealand players have 'given up' Origin to wear the Kiwis jumper.
“I know for New Zealand, so many of those Kiwi boys have given up Origin to be able to play for the Kiwis... that's a credit to them and there are so many boys who have represented them for so long," he said.
“Like Dallin (Watene-Zelezniak), he's probably been raised in Sydney most of his life and he's one of the world's best wingers, he could easily play Origin in that arena and thrive.
“But for him to be able to give Origin up and go play for the Kiwis, it means much more than just a jersey I think.”
There has been no timeline set on a decision being made over the future of State of Origin rules, however, it's unlikely they will be changed for the 2023 series.