Vagana emerges as rugby league mediator - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vagana emerges as rugby league mediator

By Joe Barton 13/10/2010 06:06:00 PM Comments (0)

Samoan rugby league great Nigel Vagana has emerged as the surprise option to defuse the international eligibility drama surrounding Daniel Vidot and Josh McGuire.

The highly-rated Queensland hopefuls are still aiming to turn out for Samoa in Saturday night's Test match against New Zealand, despite suggestions it could end their State of Origin dreams.

But it is Vagana, the veteran of 240 NRL games, who could provide the voice of reason for the under pressure youngsters.

Vagana, who played 38 Tests for the Kiwis and twice for Samoa, is being used as the mediator between the International Rugby League Federation and the Samoan team by Australian Rugby League chief Geoff Carr.

"I'm not sure what his actual position in the team is, but he is Samoan rugby league," Carr told AAP.

"He's the elder statesman there, he's a Samoan who played for New Zealand and Samoa.

"Nigel, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the senior people in the league and I've spoken to Nigel Vagana already and explained the (international) rules to Nigel."

Samoan coach Steve Price said the team hoped to make a decision on Canberra's Vidot and Brisbane Bronco McGuire by Thursday after more information came to light.

"There's been a little bit of talk (in Auckland), but we'll find out more about it (on Thursday)," Price explained.

"At the moment I'm not in a stage to discuss it as I'm not fully aware of what is happening, but we will find out more (on Thursday)."

But Carr reiterated he would be offering no more advice to Price or Samoa.

"Not from us, no, there won't be any more discussion," he confirmed.

"I've had that discussion but it's not my decision, it's the players'.

"My obligation is to make sure the player is aware of the ramifications of the rules.

"And we have informed all parties that it's a full international and the decision on whether the player plays is up to the player themselves."

Although contrary to media reports, the promising Queenslanders would not be sacrificing their Origin careers by choosing to open their representative careers in Samoan colours.

Instead they would simply be asked to follow the lead of Jarryd Hayne, Adrian Lam, Brent Kite, Jim Dymock and Willie Mason, who all represented smaller nations before playing Origin and for Australia, of requesting a change to their international eligibility.

"If they do play for Samoa, that's their country of election," Carr added.

"Under the rules of the international federation, the election period is between World Cups.

"So they're both Samoan until the next World Cup, or two year period (whichever comes first), where they'll be playing for Samoa until they seek a renomination."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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