Rugby league: State of Origin will benefit Kiwis players, says NZ Rugby League boss

He's the jewel in Tonga's crown, but Jason Taumalolo has reignited the debate as to who should be eligible to play in Australia's biggest rugby league showpiece - State of Origin - and it's dividing opinion 

The Origin eligibility criteria is being reviewed. Currently, if you've played for another tier one nation - New Zealand or England - Origin is a no-go. 

And that's Taumalolo. But that could change. 

Former Queensland coach Sir Graham Lowe believes Origin should remain an all-Aussie affair. 

"New South Wales vs Queensland in Origin is a stepping stone to playing for the Australian team," Sir Graham told Newshub.

But rule changes would open the floodgates to anyone as long as they have lived in Queensland or New South Wales before the age of 13.

It doesn't sit well with Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga.

"It shouldn't even be a debate. I've always said if you play Origin you should play for Australia."  

But New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Greg Peters sees the positives, even for Kiwis. 

"It's another opportunity for our Kiwi players, if that was possible, to play at a higher level," Peters told Newshub. "Also from a high-performance perspective obviously, develop their skills.”

The changes could see the likes of Brandon Smith play for the Kiwis and State of Origin, having lived in Australia for long enough. 

That's good said Peters, as long as it doesn't impact the international scene. 

"[If] international football shifts to another part of the year, then that potentially gets rid of any clash, because you can do both."

It's a workaround that could see a very different State of Origin we've become used to.