Origin eligibility criteria is clear that a player born outside of Queensland or NSW must reside in one of those two states prior to their 13th birthday. It has now been confirmed that Mulitalo does not meet that criteria.
In considering a request by the QRL for an exemption to the rules the NRL determined that, other than being wrongly allowed to represent Queensland at age group level, there was little to differentiate Mulitalo’s case from any other player who has narrowly missed Origin eligibility criteria. Furthermore, the reason for Mulitalo representing Queensland at junior level was based on incorrect declarations.
For these reasons, the QRL’s request for an exemption to the rules has not been granted.
The NRL will now develop, with the States, stronger quality assurance procedures in the declarations made by players regarding their eligibility.
QRL STATEMENT (Robert Moore, Managing Director)
Any dispute or uncertainly about a player’s eligibility is ruled on by the NRL, and we accept the decision they have arrived at today.
While Ronaldo won’t be able to realise his dream of playing for the Maroons, he has a bright future in the game and we look forward to watching the continuation of his rugby league journey.
Dealing with an eligibility issue during an Origin series isn’t ideal for anyone, and we understand the frustrations of many. In our discussions with the NRL, we have made some suggestions about ways to tighten up the system at state and national level.