CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 29: Jason Taumalolo of Tonga looks on during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Scotland and Tonga at Barlow Park on October 29, 2017 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The NRL has intervened on Queensland’s ambitious plan to poach Jason Taumalolo and unleash the Cowboys sensation on NSW in this years State of Origin series.

The Courier-Mail revealed the Queensland Rugby League approached NRL bosses over summer to inquire about the prospect of Taumalolo quitting Tonga (a second tier nation) to play for the Maroons this season.

After renouncing his ties to New Zealand two years ago, the former Dally M winner could have been an origin option, with his destructive ball-running skills being some of the best in the competition.

The 25-year old has previously donned the green-and-gold jumper, playing for the Australian Schoolboys as a 16-year old before being picked for the Junior Kiwis.

But Queensland’s bid to clear Taumalolo for Maroons selection was vetoed by the NRL, which ruled the Cowboys forward ineligible for Origin because he played 10 tests for New Zealand, a tier-one rival to Australia.

Former Queensland enforcer Tonie Carroll played for both Australia and New Zealand between 2000-2005, but NRL bosses are determined to clean up the code’s representative eligibility mess – shutting the Origin door on Taumalolo.

An NRL spokesman confirmed Taumalolo will never be able to play for the Maroons, despite living in Queensland for 12 of his 25 years.

“Under current RLIF (Rugby League International Federation) rules around eligibility, players cannot represent two Tier One nations,” the NRL spokesman told The Courier Mail.

“If Jason Taumalolo were to play for Queensland, he would need to make himself available for Australia.”

Queensland coach Kevin Walters said Taumalolo would have been a revelation in Maroon but is confident in his next wave of young forwards.

“We had some interest but Jason isn’t available,” Walters said.

“You want the best player playing Origin, but they need to be eligible and available.

“He would have looked good in Maroon, certainly, but we have plenty of good forwards to choose from.”

For now, Taumalolo is focused on getting the Cowboys back into premiership contention following the retirement of Maroons maestro Jonathan Thurston.

“we can definitely still get the job done with the amount of talented young players we’ve got at the club,” he said.

“Everyone brings something different to the table, that’s what I love most for our club in the post-JT era.”


  1. I’d love to know your rationale Don? You give me one example of the blues getting away with something and I’ll give you plenty of where the toads got away with loads more. You can’t be that one eyed or naive can you?

  2. Don, what are you smoking? can’t recall NSW ever recruiting internationals. Geez, it really is a different world up there in good old boy town – aka Queensland, isn’t it?. Now get back to work, those bananas won’t bend themselves.

  3. Isdonisgood, what it all boils down to is ratings!
    SOO actually picked up a notch last year because the Blues were finally able to win for once. Now the way I see it, is the NRL want to keep that interest peaked so let’s change the rules (to suit ourselves ) so NSW get some more runs on the board. There’s always controversy every year but the good news is, the Blues run is just a flash in the pan. It won’t last long. They’ll be back on the grog, breaking curfew and whatever else they get up to before you know it, they just can’t help themselves.
    The Mighty Maroons will be back on top before you know it.

  4. NSW were always going to win that series last year, i don’t rate Fittler at all to be honest, he did nothing that other coaches would have done, hopefully NSW win again.

    My opinion , if NSW had have won the SOO as many times has QLD, origin would be dead, it’s the chip on the shoulder v’s the big league, dare anyone to say otherwise.

    I don’t like Fittler being coach, Daly should have been reappointed, but it is what it is, and i’ll support Fittler all the way.

  5. Everybody including the NRL know that Queensland boarder is near Macksville where soufffths New South Welshman declined to stand up for his ancestry land rights and turn the NSW Boarder on the Sydney side of Macksville .into Queensland. 🌞

  6. You’re on drugs penso, Daley was a joke who had no idea what he was doing. Freddy at least has them showing pride in their jersey. Daley let idiots like fatfita tell him how he was going to run the team.

  7. It’s a long time ago and maybe it’s a bit of a stretch, but I seem to recall that under the rules at the time Steve Rogers, when Origin first started, was probably a Queenslander because even though he came from NSW he played his first (albeit brief) senior footy on the Gold Coast after he turned 16. (Conversely, on the same basis I think Rod Reddy should have played Origin for NSW.)

  8. Last year was so good Woodduck , that you wanted Pearce put back in as halfback.
    Still, putting JT in is no different to Queensland playing A.Lam ( the New Guinea test captain ), A . Langer ( when he was playing in England & no longer qualified to play SOO ).
    Also as many have said , poaching NSW juniors at 14/ 15 years old . So they could play for Queensland in the future. Even though Inglis didn’t even qualify for Queensland then, as he still played for a Newcastle HS team at 16.
    Queenslands thoughts have always been , don’t worry about any SOO crap. Get any NSW players or whoever you can to play for Queensland.

  9. Can’t agree with you there Penso. Fittler did what Daley couldn’t and picked some fresh, young players. Daley trotted out the same guys game after game, expecting that things would change. Guys like Fergo, Hayne, Dugan, Woods, Pearce. Some, if not all of these guys were playing well enough in the NRL to probably get picked again, but Fittler drew a line in the sand and said they have had enough chances and went with new guys. Addo-Carr, Roberts, Crichton, Cleary, RCG, De Belin, Mitchell, Cook, Peachey. How many of those guys do you seriously think would have been picked under Daley?

    Fittler might be a bit left of centre and come across as a complete clown on TV, but his footy brain is quite good.

  10. So you can’t remember James Tamou, Akuila Uate, Ken Nagas, Peter Sterling, etc.

    Have you suffered a serious head trauma? Perhaps suffering from Alzheimers. Either way you should probably get that selective memory loss checked out.

  11. GI wanted to play for QLD. Just like Sterlo wanted to play for NSW. You guys seem to whine endlessly about the players you think should play for NSW but are strangely queit about all the QLDers and pacific Islanders you’ve poached into the blue jersey. Get over it, only NSW has forced a guy to be a blue that wanted to be a maroon. Luke Keary. QLD has never forced anyone into wearing the maroon jersey.

  12. COTGDR (Clown Of The Great Dividing Range) All I said was Cleary was lucky to get a run as he only came back from a long lay off with injury about a week before Origin was picked and seen as though Fittler wanted form players then Pearce was leading the Dally M’s by a mile had he not got injured a week or so out from the Origin sides being picked Fittler probably would of went with him. At the end with Pearce becoming injured it came down to Reynolds or a fresh face rookie with a club team mate 5/8 along side Cleary that being Maloney that got him into the team, rather than Reynolds.

    As for Langer being picked from England, well I see nothing wrong with that. He is a Queenslander playing in another part of the World who previously played many many Origins, Playing in England does not stop him from being a Queenslander.
    Taumalolo does not want to represent Australia so The NRL have banned him from Queensland. That is fair enough.💪🐔👍

  13. Qld tried that one too and it got them nowhere. Sterlo was only born in Toowoomba because his old man was stationed in the air force there at the time. Apart from an accident of birth he’s a Wagga Wagga boy through and through. Where it used to get complicated was with a player like Martin Kennedy who grew up on the NSW north coast but moved with his family to Qld when he was about 12 or 13.

  14. The NRL made a point of stopping players who go to England, & are playing there from playing in SOO for those years. But poor old Queensland had the rules bent for them . To allow Langer to play that year. As they didn’t have any good halfbacks playing here at the time. That was the whole point of what I wrote. Queensland always wants the rules bent for them to allow them to choose any player they like. So why shouldn’t they be allowed to choose JT? Bend the rules again .
    Same with Inglis. It’s not who you wish to play for. It’s who you qualify to play for. Except when Queensland have the rules of qualifying bent for them .
    I guess I had to explain for you , as you & Woodchuck don’t seem to understand the concept of actually having to qualify for a certain state. Before being able to play for them.
    Hope you understand now? Queensland selectors have no idea, that’s for sure.
    Notice you didn’t want to mention Adrian Lam , the New Guinea test captain playing for Queensland? That was even to rediculous for words , for you guys to reply to.

  15. If Cleary played for the Roosters now or ever had, you’d think he was the greatest thing since sliced bread & a SOO certainty.
    JT doesn’t qualify for SOO as he’s played for New Zealand. That’s why he can’t play for Queensland Timber Le Coq…
    Guess you missed that part.

  16. Just to make that even clearer for you Woodstack . JT can’t play for Queensland , as he can’t play representative games for more than one tier one country. He already played for New Zealand . It’s not just if he has played for a foreign country . He could play for Queensland, if he’d only played for Tonga. A second tier country in League. Certainly a foreign country though.
    Get it right Woodenhead.

  17. Cleary does not play for the Roosters so I guess you stuffed up their dreaming up stupid points that are not relevant to the story Clown Of The Divide.
    My statement regarding Taumalolo does not want to represent Australia for dummies like yourself means just that. He has already played for NZ and is illegible for Origin duty was a given. we on this site aren’t all stupid like yourself clown.🤣😆😂😁

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