Tony Durkin: This rule needs to change and pronto

UNDERSTANDABLY, yet unfairly, Broncos winger Daniel Vidot is in a bind over speculation he is in the frame for Queensland selection.

Vidot is on the short list to replace Brent Tate for Origin III.

The impressive form of the 23-year-old in his first season with the Broncos clearly supports a call-up.

But as much as Vidot wants to play for Queensland - and Australia too, if that opportunity also arose - he also feels a depth of loyalty for Samoa, which he has already represented six times.

After all, his mum and dad were born there.

The issue facing Vidot is that if he plays for the Maroons in Origin III he will then be ineligible for Samoa, which, for the first time, will play in the Four Nations tournament at the end of the season.

Samoa has qualified as the best of the developing nations and will compete with Australia, New Zealand and England.

And with Vidot it is a case of once bitten, twice shy. Back in 2010 he was ruled ineligible to play a Test for Samoa when he declared his allegiance to Queensland after conjecture he was in the sights of the selectors.

Had he played for Samoa in that Test he would have automatically been disqualified from Queensland selection for two years.

This is a ludicrous qualification rule.

It is archaic and inflexible and - worst of all - is doing zilch to foster the game in developing nations.

The rule needs to be changed, and pronto.

And it can be reformed so simply.

If not selected for Australia in a Four Nations tournament or for the World Cup, unless he is eligible for either England or New Zealand, any player in the NRL with ties to another nation should be free to represent the country of their heritage.

With almost 40% of NRL and NYC players of Pacific Islander descent, and that number growing annually, surely it is a no brainer to allow them to represent their countries of origin.

Not only does this make the developing nations more formidable opposition, but it gives youngsters in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and PNG genuine NRL heroes to claim as their own.

YES, yes, yes

CONGRATULATIONS to Mal Meninga for not retreating on his edict to overlook Dane Gagai for the Origin series this year because of an indiscretion at an Emerging Origin Camp in January, despite the injury crisis facing the Maroons.

That is the strict management style that led Queensland to eight successive titles.

NO, no no

THE Fox Sports commentators might be excited, but 'refcam' is a dead-set dud.

Seeing the bearded, slobbering dial of Darius Boyd swearing in the face of the referee is not my idea of new-vogue entertainment.


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