State of Origin: Victor Radley’s New South Wales eligiblity, explained | Sporting News Australia

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Roosters lock Victor Radley burst onto the scene as part of the club’s back-to-back premiership-winning sides in 2018 and ’19.

He’s since developed into one of the team’s most important players, although his short temper and bruising style of play has often found himself on the wrong side of the NRL Judiciary.

Since his early days in the competition, the Roosters junior has been floated as a potential option for the Blues in State of Origin.

MORE: 2024 NRL live ladder | Every NRL club’s updated injury list Every NRL fixture and result for each club

We take a look at the 26-year-old’s eligibility for New South Wales:

Is Victor Radley eligible for State of Origin?

As it stands, Radley is NOT eligible for State of Origin.

The middle forward ruled himself out when he committed to playing for England, the country of his father’s birth, at the 2022 World Cup.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he told NRL.com at the time.

“This was a gut feeling that it’s what I want to do – and with the World Cup coming up in England at the end of this year, it was now or never.

“If I ended up sitting there watching the World Cup and knowing I could have been playing for England – that wouldn’t have felt good.

“I’ve got years of Yorkshire blood in me and it’s coming out and it feels like the right thing to do.

“I know how passionate England are and I want to be there for that.”

Under the current eligibility rules, Radley isn’t permitted to play for New South Wales because England is considered a tier-one nation when it comes to international rugby league.

The same system that labels Samoa a tier-two nation allows the likes of Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to play State of Origin.

Will Victor Radley ever play State of Origin?

While he’s not currently able to play for the Blues, a change to the eligibility rules could open the door for the firebrand.

Following Radley’s decision, Wayne Bennett argued the case for those in his position to be allowed to play Origin.

“Victor Radley should be allowed to play for NSW and also play for England,” he said.

“He will never play for Australia – he made that choice. But he still ticks all the boxes to play Origin because he grew up playing his football in NSW.”

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