3 Oct 2012

Kemp says ARLC must do more to stop Kiwi player drain to Origin

8:33 am on 3 October 2012

The New Zealand rugby league manager Tony Kemp says making players ineligible to play State of Origin if they move to Australia after the age of 16 won't solve the problem of potential Kiwis stars choosing to play for the Kangaroos.

The issue has gained prominence recently with the Queensland and NSW coaches trying to lure young New Zealanders to commit to Australia for a chance to play Origin and the potential $50,000 per game that comes with it.

The Kiwis scored a major coup yesterday with the Bulldogs NRL prop of the year Sam Kasiano spurning the lure of Origin to represent his country, but Kemp says the problem is far from over.

He says to fix the problem is to have a pathway for New Zealanders from teenagers up to senior level, as the Kiwis hopefuls from age 16 have to come through the Australian system, and the residency requirement would only solve part of the issue.

Just last week the Canberra forward Josh Papalii chose Origin over the Kiwis as did the North Queensland prop James Tamou earlier this year.