The ongoing debate around State of Origin eligibility is set to continue a little longer, with ARLC chair Peter V'landys telling fellow commissioner Wayne Pearce to conduct a review of Origin eligibility rules ahead of the 2023 series.
NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler recently advised he'd support the decision provided players could prove they'd been playing in Australia since the age of 13, claiming players shouldn't be punished for having the desire to represent their heritage.
Traditionalists argue that Origin's roots as an Australian selection trial should keep it free from the incursion of foreign players. Those laws have been preserved in certain forms, with players unable to play State of Origin if they've appeared for New Zealand or England at international level.
Pearce, who will conduct the review, has told NewsCorp that there is a realistic possibility that players of New Zealand or British descent could enter the Origin arena – provided his review supports such a change.
“My personal view is that the Origin concept has evolved,” Pearce said.
“There are now so many international players in the game that Origin should no longer be seen as a pathway to representation for Australia – on the proviso that players fulfil the criteria of eligibility for State of Origin.
Victor Radley has become a focal point of the discussion, with his decision to represent England ruling him out of further selection despite being a member of Fittler's extended Origin squad this year.
But the rule change could also make players like Jason Taumalolo eligible, given he moved to Townsville aged 13 and has represented Australia at Schoolboy level. He has since represented New Zealand but currently plays for Tonga.
But like most things in the NRL at the moment, any potential review is being held up by the constant delays in CBA negotiations.
“We haven't started the review yet because we've been working through the CBA,” Pearce said.
“We'd started one, but with all the dramas last year we didn't get to completion.
“We have to get together with stakeholders to work out what will effectively be the best outcome for the game. We have to look at the potential downside (of opening eligibility).”
Peter V'landys expects any outcomes to be resisted, but is maintaining a pragmatic approach.
“It's a very polarising issue,” V'landys told NewsCorp.
“The Origin review will happen and we will seek everyone's views and come to a landing.
“But a lot of people didn't want changes to the rules last time, so it won't be an easy process.”