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The case for adding a NZ team to State of Origin

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,831
I know it has already been tried in Super League in 1997 but the landscape is completely different now.

Adding a NZ team to Origin would work...

Reason 1
New Zealand have the quality and depth that would allow them to compete hard with NSW and QLD....

1. Manu / CNK / RTS (Quality and depth)
6. Brown / Foran (Quality and depth)
7. Hughes and Johnson (Quality and depth)
9. Cheese / JMK (Quality and depth)
FR. JFH and Leota are two of the best in the NRL

Reason 2
New Zealand is our third heartland after NSW and QLD and the game is growing in popularity there. Other than a second NRL team and getting the Kiwis to play at home more, this is a great way to get more NZ eyeballs on RL. Origin has a massive marketing budget that international RL just doesn't have. This is a fantastic way to build up the interest in a Kiwi rep team outside of the Warriors.

Reason 3
It would massive help the NZ Kiwis which would help generate interest in the international game. Gives NZ selectors four more games every year to build combos etc and gives

Reason 4
Origin will eventually lose its lustre if it doesn't evolve (I know, I know its king right now but it could get stale in the future). A NZ team builds on traditional rivalries that are already there. Acknowledges NZ as a key heartland, comes, with a ready made large Kiwi fanbase on both sides of the Tasman and could really fire up NZ seeing their side beat NSW and QLD and maybe even winning Origin titles. Essentially it breathes new life into the concept. Maintains the QLD v NSW rivalry but adds the trans Tasman rivalry element into the mix.

Now for those saying... no, let's just play more tests. I would love that too, but it's clear with the amount of footy being played that we'll never get an international window larger than 4-5 weeks at the end of the season. This is a chance to give the Kiwis more rep opportunities and build the status of rep football in the eyes of NZ players and fans.

Now, my proposal is not the NZ Kiwis playing Origin. It is a separate rep team, the NZ Origin team. The eligibility for the team will line up with Origin eligibility rules which means the Tongan and Samoans can play for NZ Origin (giving them access to Origin and engaging the Samoan and Tongan fans) but still playing international footy for the Island teams (Taumololo is a prime example of this).

The team would be run and selected by the NZRL so they can choose to keep the core of the Kiwis team together for the benefit of the international side and / or add the best NZ eligible Tongans and Samoans where it boosted the side.

Format:
Play each team home and away. QLD home is at Suncorp, NSW home at Accor, NZ home at Eden Park. Then a final which gets sold to the highest bidder (similar to how the third Origin game is sold at the moment.
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
4,768
If it happened it has the potential to completely ruin the PI teams. If I'm the NZRL running the team I'd be saying play for NZ origin you have to play Kiwis.
 

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,831
If it happened it has the potential to completely ruin the PI teams. If I'm the NZRL running the team I'd be saying play for NZ origin you have to play Kiwis.
I see what you're saying, however the NZRL don't control eligibility for either internationals or Origin so the best the NZRL could do is not select the non committed Island players and the side would still be world class.
 

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,831
Nah, leave origin be. Plus this would just make international football even more irrelevant than it already is.
You don't think this would make the Kiwis even better and build up games v Kangaroos even more? Would probably disadvantage England the most.

The reason I want it to happen is you always hear players and commentators refer to a players greatness through the lense of what did they do in the Origin arena and statements like... Manu has done everything in the game... has he? He hasn't won a World Cup with NZ...

It seems we need to give NZ players and fans more respect (with a move that also benefits RL greatly). I would love that to be through a better international scene, but Origin has a marketing budget like no other and it could be a stepping stone to greater things for international RL.
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
4,768
I see what you're saying, however the NZRL don't control eligibility for either internationals or Origin so the best the NZRL could do is not select the non committed Island players and the side would still be world class.
Yep, and that's what I would advocate. I don't care if someone chooses the islands, but once they do they're all in (aside from Isaako who played that one game for his dying Dad) and all out on NZ teams.
 

Brian potter

Bench
Messages
4,984
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face that origin should only be an annual one-off game leaving plenty of room to bring back the tri/4nations competition or the 3 test trans-Tasman series or some sort of extended 6 nations pacific cup tournament.
 

SpaceMonkey

Immortal
Messages
39,070
If this ever happened I’d want see the eligibility rules changed and made completely separate from international eligibility rules, so you don’t end up with the same NZ side every time and the Aus team always just being the best of the other two. Keep origin strictly to being about where a player first played at grade level. Nothing else.
 
Last edited:

snickers007

Juniors
Messages
1,525
The current 3 game series impacts 8 weeks of NRL. Keeping a similar cadence of games - your suggestion would impact 20 weeks of NRL. Reducing to 2 weeks inbetween games would still impact 14 weeks of NRL. Either way, the NRL season is completely secondary to Origin.

The only way this could work is in conjunction with a completely revamped NRL calendar (likely as a result of expansion), which include a dedicated Origin window in the middle of the season. Obviously this has wider ramifications too - including finding something for the non-rep players to do for 8 weeks, ensuring that the rugby league crowds and media stay engaged etc.

I'd need to see the above issues balanced before getting on board with the idea.
 

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,831
The current 3 game series impacts 8 weeks of NRL. Keeping a similar cadence of games - your suggestion would impact 20 weeks of NRL. Reducing to 2 weeks inbetween games would still impact 14 weeks of NRL. Either way, the NRL season is completely secondary to Origin.

The only way this could work is in conjunction with a completely revamped NRL calendar (likely as a result of expansion), which include a dedicated Origin window in the middle of the season. Obviously this has wider ramifications too - including finding something for the non-rep players to do for 8 weeks, ensuring that the rugby league crowds and media stay engaged etc.

I'd need to see the above issues balanced before getting on board with the idea.
I'd run the Origin comp over 7 weeks. Each team plays each other twice (h&a) and a final. Games are played every week on a Wednesday night.

3 week NRL mid season break which also allows for internationals for Island teams. Clubs are still only missing Origin stars for 3 rounds of NRL.
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
4,768
Here's an idea, let NZ play a 3 match series against Tonga in NZ every year and build their own origin!
Nah, Tonga's day is done, I'd rather we prop up Samoa (after all that team is mostly Aussies rather than NZers) than them anyway. Although it would be nice to smash them 3-0 every year.
 

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,831
Nah, Tonga's day is done, I'd rather we prop up Samoa (after all that team is mostly Aussies rather than NZers) than them anyway. Although it would be nice to smash them 3-0 every year.
Samoa's team is looking slicker all the time if you add RTS (said he's keen). What about that backline...

1. RTS
2. To'o
3. Chrighton
4. Tago
5. Tuilagi
6. CTH
7. Luai

Imagine if they could somehow convince Haas and Tino to join 😳
 

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,831
Nah, Tonga's day is done, I'd rather we prop up Samoa (after all that team is mostly Aussies rather than NZers) than them anyway. Although it would be nice to smash them 3-0 every year.
Do you think Katoa will choose Tonga, NZ or Union long term?

If the Kiwis can get him, he is the perfect age to be the heir to Jarome Hughes.
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
4,768
Samoa's team is looking slicker all the time if you add RTS (said he's keen). What about that backline...

1. RTS
2. To'o
3. Chrighton
4. Tago
5. Tuilagi
6. CTH
7. Luai

Imagine if they could somehow convince Haas and Tino to join 😳
Dead to me now. ;) (At least he was actually born in Samoa).

Do you think Katoa will choose Tonga, NZ or Union long term?

If the Kiwis can get him, he is the perfect age to be the heir to Jarome Hughes.
Didn't he already chose Tonga over NZ?
 

shadowformz

Juniors
Messages
31
This is a really bad idea. It would really impact international rugby league badly. Origin as the Pinnacle of our game is a thing of the past. Test matches between Australia and New Zealand is the future ( among others).
 
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