We’ve received some enquiries from fans in relation to the new eligibility criteria for Origin games.
For some time the debate over eligibility for City v Country and NSW or Queensland State of Origin (‘SOO’) has emerged as an uncertain area of the game.
After considerable discussion, the below criteria has been agreed by the boards of the NSWRL, CRL, QRL and subsequently fully endorsed by the Australian Rugby League Commission.
The newly agreed criteria is more heavily focused on birth place, school and playing records at a junior age rather than just at 16 years of age.
It is important to note that the NZRL is supportive of this initiative and plans are well underway to implement a Junior and Senior State of Origin style concept in NZ as early as 2013 to ensure the continuance of the current NZ representative pathways and opportunities for Kiwi and dual-eligible players.
Approved Amended Rules:
For selection in the U/20s and U/18s SOO for 2012 and beyond, the following criteria will identify a player’s eligibility for such and subsequently, for senior SOO representation:
1. If a player has already represented Rugby League at SOO U/18s or Senior level, City or Country at Senior Level or, Senior National level, then that stands, if not, then the following points 2-7 require answers and a majority will determine eligibility. In a case where there is not a clear majority, the player may ask to have his eligibility determined by a criteria sub-committee with representatives from QRL, NSWRL, CRL and the NRL, chaired by the NRL.
2. In which State of Australia was the player born?
3. In which State of Australia did the player play Rugby League for the majority of years from U/6-U/18 inclusive?
4. In which State of Australia did the player spend the majority of years at School i.e. Yrs K - 12?
5. In which State of Australia did the player first play Rugby League in a State run Jun rep competition at U/15s or above.
6. For which State of Australia did the player first play School State Representative Rugby League?
7. If none of 2-6 above answer as NSW or QLD, in which State of Australia was the player first registered to play Rugby League within a State-Based competition?
In relation to the upcoming 2012 U/20s SOO:
1. Players are required to be eligible for either NSW or QLD based on the above criteria to ensure players from WA, SA, TAS, and VIC who play in the SG Ball and Mal Meninga Cup with heritage from these States may also be considered; point 7 above.
2. Players are required to qualify via their age i.e. not have turned 20 years of age in the preceding year (until midnight on the 31st of December i.e. turning 20 years of age in 2012)
3. Players are required to have reached the age of 17 before the date of the match (minimum age for debut).
4. Players are required to have a Registered NRL Playing Contract to ensure the NRL Rules and Schedules of Judiciary, Code of Conduct, Illicit Drugs, Gambling etc are enforceable.
5. Players are required to have not previously represented at Senior SOO or Senior National teams.
6. Players are required to be eligible and have nominated to be eligible for selection for Australia.
Eligibility Explanatory Memo.doc 22/03/2012 Page 3 of 4
Note: The above will ensure a player who may have played NYC in 2011 and is now in the top squad of the NRL for 2012 or a State League team but not a seasoned NRL player is still eligible and any players who may have spent 2011 in NYC or the State Leagues but are still eligible by age, are available for selection.
7. Given NZ will not begin their proposed version of the U/20s SOO until 2013 in line with their proposed senior SOO comparative, it is proposed that all ‘dual-eligible’ players (i.e. NZ and Australia) be advised of the following:
Players who are eligible and qualify for the 2012 U/20 SOO and are selected and play in either 17 man team for NSW or QLD, will not be eligible for selection in a NZ junior team in that calendar year i.e. if they wish to play for either NSW or QLD as an U/20s player they will not subsequently be considered by NZ for other than a senior representative team i.e. not an age division team. This will ensure the Eligibility Rules are strong and encourage players to make a decision as for whom they wish to represent. This has been agreed by NZRL.
STATE OF ORIGIN ELIGIBILITY