The current State of Origin eligibility rules have been called into question by many fans during the Rugby League World Cup.
Samoa and Tonga’s rise to International prominence has seen a segment of people call for more strict State of Origin eligibility guidelines with in turn has caused others to advocate for an even more inclusive set of rules that would see players from both tier one and two nations qualify to play for New South Wales or Queensland.
While the current regulations do cater to those on both sides and are designed to try and benefit the game as much as possible if this debate rages on then there is another radical option that the NRL could consider to appease everybody.
This option would change the State of Origin eligibility rules so that only players born in New South Wales or Queensland that have pledged their allegiance to Australia can participate.
However, a Pacific Origin series would be introduced and feature those who represent other nations.
Some may suggest that instead of doing this Tonga and Samoa should play each other in a three-match series but the issue with that is that it would have to be governed by the International Rugby League which means that the NRL would be hesitant to allow it, but if you have an Origin-style concept with original teams and players from all of the Pacific Islands, then the NRL could have full control.
Doing this would quell fears from State of Origin traditionalists that the exhibition series won’t be what it once was while giving progressive fans and supporters of the Pacific Island nations their Origin series that would likely result in sell-out crowds and a ton of revenue generated for the NRL.
This would also mean that something many fans have been wanting for a while would have to be introduced and that is a midseason representative break that would see the NRL season put on hold until both Origin series have been completed.
Unfortunately, this concept is something that to public knowledge is not being considered by the NRL but could soon become the logical option if the debate of eligibility does not simmer down.