ARL to play hardball over Origin disputes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

ARL to play hardball over Origin disputes

Joe Barton 08/04/2011 04:04:41 PM Comments (0)

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr is adamant players will not be allowed to pick and choose who they represent in State of Origin.

Despite grey areas muddying the recruitment of players such as Queensland superstar Greg Inglis in recent years, Carr maintains the eligibility rules are set in concrete and the ARL won't bend them to satisfy player preference.

"Origin has got strict rules and what you want to do and what you think you want to do has nothing to do with who you are eligible to play for," Carr told AAP.

"No, there will not (be any leniency shown to players who have a preference to which state they play for).

"The rules are concrete in that regard."

Carr's strong comments come in the wake of Sydney Roosters prop Martin Kennedy admitting his choice is to represent Queensland, despite being born and raised in Lismore, while young Gold Coast prospect David Mead has indicated he would follow suit.

Mead, a Marist Brothers Lismore junior who was born in Papua New Guinea and moved to Northern NSW as a 10-year-old, wants to emulate countryman Adrian Lam and pull on a maroon jersey.

The 22-year-old, who starred for the Kumuls in the 2008 World Cup, played all his junior rugby league in and around Lismore - but his case becomes murky due to his high school, Kadina High, not fielding a rugby league team.

Instead, the lightning-fast winger, who has scored 14 tries in 33 NRL games, lined up for the school's rugby union team before making his mark on rugby league in the Queensland Cup - scoring 28 tries in the Tweed Colts' 2007 premiership-winning team.

Blues coach Ricky Stuart recently travelled to Papua New Guinea and admitted that in the rugby league-mad country loyalties were decided at an early age, it would be difficult to sway Mead if he had picked Queensland.

"I have never, ever seen such interest in Origin as you see in Papua New Guinea ... Over there you've got two types of people - Queenslanders and New South Wales fans and it doesn't matter where they're born because you aren't going to change them," Stuart told AAP.

"That's a decision for him. I wasn't aware (he's more interested in playing for Queensland) but that's his choice."

Carr said no decision had yet been made on who Mead will represent.

"Nobody has asked about him," he said.

"We will investigate it if anyone puts in a request, but at this stage that has not happened."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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