Billy Slater is vehemently against allowing Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo to pull on a Maroons jersey for State of Origin.
Queensland great Billy Slater is vehemently against allowing Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo to pull on a Maroons jersey for State of Origin following reports the NRL is considering changes to eligibility rules.
Reports surfaced late on Sunday that Taumalolo’s manager, Chris Orr, had approached Queensland coach Paul Green – who worked closely with the forward at the Cowboys – to put forward Taumalolo’s services for the upcoming series.
In addition, The Daily Telegraph reports that NRL commissioner Wayne Pearce is in the midst of conducting a review of current eligibility criteria after NSW coach Brad Fittler floated the idea last year.
That could potentially see Pacific Islands Test matches moved to the end of the season to allow stars like Taumalolo play to Origin — provided they lived in NSW or Qld before they turned 13.
But one of the greatest to ever don the Maroons jersey is less than impressed by the move, not even if it could help his state.
“I don’t think so,” Slater replied on WWOS Radio when asked about Taumalolo’s reported bid.
“I think Origin picks you. You shouldn’t have to sit down and think about ‘do I want to play?’.
“Origin picks you and that’s the reason why It is so big, powerful and passionate. So, I’m against changing the rules and allowing Englishman, New Zealanders – let’s build the international game. Tonga has done a fantastic job there.
“Origin works for a reason. If you tinker with that, then you risk losing it.
“Origin is Origin. Leave it alone.”
Taumalolo has represented New Zealand 10 times and Tonga 11 times since he made his representative debut in 2013.