SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Viliame Kikau of the Panthers makes a break during the round two NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Penrith Panthers at Bankwest Stadium, on March 20, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Penrith star Viliame Kikau has revealed his desires to play Origin, with the only issue is being he is currently ineligible for selection.

Kikau has represented Fiji at test level which rules him out of selection discussions under the current rules.

However, ARL Commissioner Peter V’landys is inspecting a possible change to the State of Origin prerequisites that could see Kikau play for Queensland.

Fellow Pacific Islander Jason Taumalolo expressed interest in representing the Maroons in this year’s series last week, sparking debate over selection criteria for representative football.

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Taumalolo lived in Queensland until the age of 12 but has played for New Zealand, meaning he is unavailable for selection.

Fox Sports have reported that Origin has long been on the mind of Kikau.

“That (Origin) has always been around the radar, so if the rules change and I get my opportunity it would be good,” Kikau said.

“I want to play my best footy here with Penrith, but if the rule changes and the opportunity comes by then I’m willing to have a crack.

“A lot of people have asked me about that, but with the rules I can’t play.

“I also haven’t talked to an islander who has played Origin just to ask exactly how they felt.”

There is some fight back on the idea of Origin selection opening up, and Kikau can understand why some want the game’s biggest spectacle left alone.

“Looking from the other perspective, you wouldn’t want to change what Origin is all about,” he said.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 14: Viliame Kikau of the Panthers makes a break leading to a try scored by Waqa Blake of the Panthers during the NRL Semi Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium on September 14, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“It is all about the guys born in NSW and Queensland.

“Obviously, it means a lot to them like it does for us playing for our islander countries.”

Players who have represented nations other than Australia playing Origin isn’t unprecedented, with Penrith’s Jarome Luai playing for Samoa and named in the NSW squad last year.

However, Samoa aren’t listed as a top-tier nation and therefore don’t restrict players from representing them and either Queensland or NSW.

Luai is firmly in the camp that Origin is what it is and should stay that way.

“Looking at the rules, if you have played for New Zealand you can’t play Origin and it would be pretty weird if they switched that up,” Luai said.

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA – JULY 13: Jarome Luai of the Panthers is tackled during the round 18 NRL match between the Panthers and the Sharks at Panthers Stadium on July 13, 2018 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“I think it would wreck a lot of things that they have built on in Origin.

“I’m not sure where they are going to go with it, but I know a lot of people would like to see Taumalolo in a Maroons jersey.”

After receiving an insight into Origin while in Blues camp last year, Luai is desperate to play on the game’s biggest arena.

“I think now that I’ve been in that camp, the Blues are definitely on my radar,” he said.

“It is one of the biggest accolades in the competition.

“Hopefully I can keep improving and one day tick that box of playing Origin.”


  1. Leave the rules as they are. Origin is a step towards representing Australia, so I don’t think it should be changed. For a long time I have believed that an NZ side made up of NRL based players should be included in origin because the NRL competition isn’t about just NSW & QLD anymore. The make up of the competition has changed over time and I reckon the Kiwis would be a very formidable team in an Origin Tri-Series.

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