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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 NSW or Queensland State of Origin (‘SOO’) and City v Country has emerged as an uncertain area of the game.

A subcommittee with representatives from the NRL, NSWRL and QRL were asked to look at a suitable criteria to confirm eligibility. After considerable discussion, the below criteria has been agreed by the boards of the NSWRL, QRL, CRL and subsequently fully endorsed by the Australian Rugby League Commission.

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 SOO selection at Senior, U/20s or U/18s level for 2013 and beyond, the below criteria will identify a player’s eligibility.

  • Were you born in NSW or QLD?
  • Have you resided in NSW or QLD since prior to your 13th Birthday?
  • In which State of Australia did you play Rugby League for the majority of years from U/6 – U/18 inclusive?
  • In which State of Australia did you spend the majority of years at School? (ie K-12)
  • In which State of Australia did you first play Rugby League in a State run Junior Representative competition at U/15 or above ? (eg Harold Matthews/Cyril Connell)
  • For which State of Australia did you first play School State Representative Rugby League?
  • Did your father play SOO and if so for which State?

If a player has already represented Rugby League at SOO U/18s, U/20s or Senior level, City or Country at Senior Level or, Senior National level, then eligibility is confirmed. The attached flowchart has been published to explain the new eligibility criteria and can now be used to confirm SOO eligibility. In a case where there is not a clear majority, application must be made to the NRL who will facilitate a review of your circumstance and provide an eligibility outcome.

Note: Players who are eligible and qualify for the 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.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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