Mixed reaction from Kikau about Origin eligibility rules change
March 31, 2021 6:36 am
Fiji Bati and Penrith Panthers enforcer Viliame Kikau has expressed his interest to play for Queensland in the State of Origin if the eligibility rules change.
Kikau is the latest Pacific Islander to put his hand up to play Origin.
The former Marist Brothers High School student who has played 11 Tests for Fiji, would be eligible for Queensland after playing his first junior league in Australia in Townsville before playing under 20s with the Cowboys.
Speaking to news.com Kikau says Origin has always been around the radar, so if the rules change and he gets the opportunity, it would be good.
He says a lot of people have asked him about Origin, but with the rules he can’t play.
However, Kikau says looking from the other perspective, you wouldn’t want to change what Origin is all about, because it’s about the guys born in NSW and Queensland.
Kikau says obviously, it means a lot to players born in NSW and Queesnland just like it does for his and others playing for their island countries.
The debate around the criteria for Origin has intensified after Cowboys Tongan lock Jason Taumalolo showed his interest in representing the Maroons this year.
Taumalolo is currently ineligible to play Origin because he has played for top-tier nation New Zealand, even though he lived in Queensland before his 13th birthday.
However, with 50 per cent of the NRL now filled with Polynesian players, the argument has been made for the Origin arena to include the game’s best players.
It comes as ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys is entertaining an overhaul of the Origin eligibility rules to cater for players like Taumalolo.