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Mulitalo pledges his allegiance to New Zealand

20 Nov 21, 2:07PM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

Ronaldo Mulitalo’s dream of playing State of Origin for Queensland was taken from him earlier this season when he was prohibited from playing for the Maroons after initially being selected in their squad for Origin two.

Mulitalo has represented Queensland in the past in various age groups, but unfortunately for the Cronulla winger, he was found ineligible for State of Origin selection when it was revealed that he moved to the sunshine state from New Zealand at 13-years-old and 10 months.

The eligibility rules state that a player must have moved to either New South Wales or Queensland before their 13th birthday to be able to represent that state at a professional representative level.

As Mulitalo can not play for Queensland he will now represent his native home of New Zealand.

Speaking to David Riccio from the Daily Telegraph, Mulitalo said: “Whether I get selected or not for the Kiwis, I don’t know, but I will always show respect to the jersey I wear,’’

“I’ll be as proud and passionate as any Kiwi.

“It’s been a hard six months, juggling where I sit in terms of all this. “But this is where I am and the World Cup next year is my next goal now.

“I really want to be a part of something special with New Zealand.’’

We are just under 12 months away from the Rugby League World Cup and the 22-year-old will be hoping he is selected to compete for the game’s biggest prize in England next year.

Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has recently spoken about the upcoming World Cup and the depth his side will have heading into the tournament.

“We have listed this wider squad, so players are aware that the upcoming preseason and following season creates an enormous opportunity for them and this Kiwis team,” coach Michael Maguire said.

“I am sure we will unearth some new Kiwi talent in the next 12 months, and we may even uncover more current names not listed.

“Nevertheless, this depth is encouraging.”

The updated fixture list was recently revealed for the World Cup next year and New Zealand are one of the favourites to take home the coveted trophy.

Back-to-back defending champions Australia are favourites to take out their third straight tournament, but have some tough competition as nations such as England, Samoa and Tonga are the dark horses that could make this the closest and most exciting Rugby League World Cup in history.

One thing is for sure though, throughout 2022 Ronaldo Mulitalo will have a chip on his shoulder as he looks to be selected to represent New Zealand at Rugby League’s greatest event.

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