The last minute injury to fullback Reece Walsh appeared to give 21-year-old winger Ronaldo Mulitalo a chance of making his Queensland debut. However, his dream has been snatched away from him by ridiculous eligibility rules.
Mulitalo, who was named in the side set to play in today’s Origin Game II, represented Queensland at Under 16s, Under 18s and Under 20s. Today, he was dreaming of finally pulling on the Maroon jersey as Queensland look to stop New South Wales from claiming the series.
In a cruel twist of fate, it was argued that he only became a Queensland resident after his 13th birthday making him ineligible according to the rules. Thus, his dream was snatched away from as he found himself replaced by Xavier Coates on the wing.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Cronulla winger said: “It has gone from the best day of my life to the worst day of my life.”
It has been a heart breaking series of events for the 21-year-old and plenty of the game’s biggest legends have defended him and highlighted just how ridiculous the rules are as they spoke to Nine’s Wide World of Sports, Match Results & Live Scores.
State of Origin legend Johnathan Thurston said: “His dream of playing in the Maroons jersey has been ripped from under him. It’s been a hectic 24 hours for the young kid and we still haven’t given up hope of him playing in the series.
“The kid is heartbroken…he was a broken man this morning.”
Even New South Wales legends came to the Queenslander’s aid. Peter Sterling echoed the emotional strain it will have put on the young back: “It’s heart breaking. You can’t do this to the young man.”