JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Papalii chooses Queensland in league tug-of-war


Chris Dutton

Josh Papalii playing for the Queensland under 18s in 2010.

Josh Papalii playing for the Queensland under 18s in 2010. Photo: Supplied

Josh Papalii admits there’s some risk in turning his back on New Zealand to pledge his commitment to Queensland, but the Canberra Raiders forward says he ‘‘had to go with my heart’’.

Papalii ended months of uncertainty when he announced today that his representative allegiance was with Queensland, not his country of birth New Zealand.

Stuck in the middle of a tug of war between state and country, Papalii spoke with league legends Mal Meninga and Ruben Wiki as well as David Shillington, Bronson Harrison and his parents before finally deciding this morning that he wanted to play State of Origin for the Maroons.

‘‘But I didn’t feel any pressure on the decision, Mal didn’t put pressure on me,’’ Papalii said.

‘‘I had to do what’s best for my family, Queensland is where I was brought up and I thought [choosing them] was the right thing to do.

‘‘I had to go with my heart ... it was a tough choice. I wish I never had to make it. If I could do both I would, but I can’t live two separate lives.’’

Papalii had to make a decision after being selected in New Zealand’s squad for next month’s Test against Australia in Townsville.

Meninga first went public about his hopes of luring Papalii into the State of Origin arena earlier this year.

But Papalii said the issue was never a distraction.

He had signed a letter of intent in August last year to play for New Zealand.

However, Papalii said ‘‘I didn’t know what I was signing’’.

‘‘It was the urge for wearing the black jersey and a few of us mates wanted to wear the New Zealand jersey.

‘‘But Queensland gave me my rugby league opportunities and that’s where I want to play now.’’

Papalii was born in Auckland, but moved to Australia when he was six and play junior rugby league with Souths Logan in Queensland.

When he arrived in Queensland, he originally wanted to play rugby union.

But Souths Logan gave him his rugby league start and that convinced Papalii that committing to Queensland was the right decision.

Papalii’s decision could have been influenced by the huge financial discrepancies between playing for the Maroons or the Kiwis.

State of Origin player payments could rise to $50,000 per game while New Zealand representatives get $5000 for each international Test.


  • eligibility for s.o.o selection should be decided by the birthplace listed on ones birth certificate.

    tiger town
    Date and time
    September 24, 2012, 1:54PM
    • It should be based on their passport

      Brad Grant
      Date and time
      September 24, 2012, 2:03PM
    • The current eligibility rules are fine - first senior game - have to have spent more than half of your life in Australia. Papalii qualifies for Australia and Queensland under these rules. As a NSW fan I have no qualms with Papalii playing for Qld.

      Phillip Quist
      The Dressing Room
      Date and time
      September 24, 2012, 3:27PM
    • It can't be that black and white. I was born in Brisbane, but I've lived in NSW since I was 5. I was never going to play Origin, but despite always playing in NSW I would've rather played for QLD.
      Papalii has been in QLD since he was 6. If heritage allows him to play for NZ, but he wants to play for QLD, he should have a choice. As long as his choice is final what's the problem?
      On the other hand, Josh Hoffman chose NZ, good on him.

      Date and time
      September 24, 2012, 4:09PM
  • This is no loss for the Kiwis. All this interest in him after one good performance against the Sharks! Would he really make the Queensland side at the present time...I doubt it!

    Date and time
    September 24, 2012, 2:27PM
    • Perhaps you should watch more Raiders games? Just because it was the first time Papalii has been mentioned heavily on a Channel 9 match doesn't mean he is a one game wonder - he has been one of the most consistent players for the Raiders since coming onto the scene early in 2011. Meninga has been interested in him since the beginning of this year. He could possibly be a smokie for Origin selection if he keeps up the good form in 2013.

      Phillip Quist
      The Dressing Room
      Date and time
      September 24, 2012, 3:25PM
    • Just to clarify... Papali has always played like He did against the sharks.. Just all you who jumped on the bandwagon wouldn't have known that as that would have been the first game you watched in 2 or 3 years,...

      Date and time
      September 24, 2012, 3:27PM
  • I wonder if SOO wasn't tied to country rep and money. Who he'd choose. Take the money out of the equation and see where any players loyalty truly lies. He signed a document pledging his allegiance to his country of birth NZ .. I like Thurstons idea for residents playing internationals having to have lived in the country for 75% of their lives.. Clean a lot of this garbage up and preserve Internationals as a spectacle and contest. Is it any wonder that Sky tv in NZ are about to pay a pittance for RL TV rights what do Kiwis have to look forward too .. Shame that RLin NZ lives and dies on the merits of its club NRL team. Outside of that they have token international one offs and much of their destructive players playing against them for Aus. Another free pass to Rugby Union, well done ARLC.

    Date and time
    September 24, 2012, 3:09PM
    • I am writing from Kenya and have been told by a Tanzanian friend that I qualify to play rugby league for Queensland. Octavian who was born and lives in Romania also qualifies. Nothing like the State of Origin.

      Date and time
      September 24, 2012, 3:21PM
      • Of course you are eligible my son! Please, sign here.

        Mal Meninga
        Date and time
        September 24, 2012, 5:03PM

    More comments

    Comments are now closed

    Related Coverage

    HuffPost Australia

    NRL Season 2015

    Round 1
    Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
    Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
    Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
    GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
    NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
    Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
    CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
    Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
    STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
    CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
    MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
    NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
    Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
    CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
    Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
    WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
    MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
    BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
    Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
    CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
    MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
    Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
    GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
    WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
    Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
    CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
    STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
    Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
    SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
    Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
    GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
    NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
    SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
    PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
    MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
    PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
    CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
    NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
    PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
    STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
    Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
    SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
    STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
    NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
    MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
    NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
    Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
    NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
    SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
    MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
    BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
    SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
    SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
    CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
    NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
    PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
    Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
    SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
    NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
    GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
    MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
    NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
    Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
    MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    WST 0vs NQL 8 Report Stats
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
    Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
    NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
    CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
    NQL 18vs MAN 14 Report Stats
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
    STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
    Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD 24vs MEL 2 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRI 44vs MAN 10 Report Stats
    WST 20vs GCT 27 Report Stats
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
    SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
    PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
    Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
    PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
    Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
    MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
    GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
    CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
    Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
    NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
    MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
    Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
    STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
    SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
    NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
    PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
    Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
    WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
    Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBY 20vs MEL 4 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
    Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
    MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
    Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
    WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
    Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
    CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
    Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
    CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
    Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
    GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
    MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
    Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
    CBR 20vs CRO 21 Report Stats
    NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
    STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
    Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
    BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
    Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
    MAN 12vs NQL 30 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
    BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
    WST 8vs SYD 33 Stats
    Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
    MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
    SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
    Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
    CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
    Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
    NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
    WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
    Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
    NZW 14vs CRO 18 Stats
    NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
    MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
    Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
    STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
    SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
    Mon, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
    GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 22
    Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
    MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
    Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
    NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
    CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
    PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
    Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
    MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
    NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
    Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
    CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 23
    Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
    NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
    Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
    Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
    WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
    PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
    SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
    Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
    CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
    CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
    Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
    CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 24
    Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
    STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
    Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
    SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
    Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
    CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
    NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
    SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
    GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
    MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
    MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 25
    Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
    SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
    Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
    MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
    Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
    PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
    NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
    MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
    Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
    WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
    GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
    Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
    CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 26
    Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
    BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
    Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
    SYD 30vs SOU 0 Report Stats
    Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
    PEN 30vs NEW 12 Stats
    STG 32vs WST 30 Stats
    NQL 42vs GCT 12 Stats
    Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
    PAR 24vs CBR 28 Stats
    CRO 12vs MAN 14 Stats
    CBY 26vs NZW 22 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 1
    Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
    SYD 18vs MEL 20 Report Stats
    Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
    CBY 11vs STG 10 Report Stats
    BRI 16vs NQL 12 Report Stats
    Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
    CRO 28vs SOU 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 2
    Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
    SYD 38vs CBY 12 Report Stats
    Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
    NQL 39vs CRO 0 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 3
    Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
    BRI 31vs SYD 12 Stats
    Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
    MEL 12vs NQL 32 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 4
    Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEDT
    BRI 16vs NQL 17 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    NRL Ladder 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D +/- Pts
    Sydney Roosters 24 18 6 0 291 40
    Brisbane Broncos 24 17 7 0 195 38
    North Queensland Cowboys 24 17 7 0 133 38
    Melbourne Storm 24 14 10 0 119 32
    Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 14 10 0 42 32
    Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 24 14 10 0 -7 32
    South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 13 11 0 -2 30
    St George-Illawarra Dragons 24 12 12 0 27 28
    View all

    Follow Us on Facebook

    Featured advertisers