Kennedy pleads allegiance to QLD

The Origin debate has again reared its ugly head again, this time, involving Roosters prop Martin Kennedy, who was born in Lismore, NSW, but played his junior footy in QLD.

For Kennedy himself however, he vehemently said that he is a: “A Queenslander through and through”, in what only solidifies his passion for the state of QLD and Origin.

Despite the controversy however, the ARL has not ruled out the possibility that they would force Kennedy to represent NSW in Origin, rather than QLD.

The reason why this has become a hot topic, is that Kennedy has lived in NSW for 14 years, and he was born in Lismore, which is on the NSW/QLD border.

Perhaps the main thing to consider however, is that Kennedy sees him as a Queenslander, and wants to represent QLD.

“My whole life I have wanted to play for Queensland. It would be ridiculous in my eyes to play for NSW,” Kennedy said.

“I’m a Queenslander through and through. I grew up in Queensland, I went to school in Queensland, I played all my footy in Queensland.

“I know a few things make me eligible for NSW, but I am a Queenslander.”

It was his 8 years of living in QLD however, that had a lasting effect on the booming prop, who says that he has no intentions of donning a Blues jumper.

This isn’t half-baked. You are either a Queenslander or you’re not and I am,” Kennedy said. “It was only when I went to Queensland that I started playing footy.

“I had 12 months of playing with my mates in NSW but it was in Queensland when I started to play seriously.

“I was born in NSW but my early years were on the farm in northern NSW. When you are young you really don’t know who you want to play for.

“My idols are Shane Webcke and Steve Price.

“If you grow up in Queensland, Queensland player are your idols.

“My greatest achievement before playing first grade was making the junior Queensland sides. All the junior rep teams I made were in Queensland.

“I moved to Queensland when I was 10 and didn’t come back until I signed with the Roosters when I was 18.

“I also played with the Ipswich Jets when I was 17.”

Having played in the Arrive Alive Cup earlier on in his career, he made the NSW Schoolboys side, and admits that it was strange to don the Blues jersey.

“It felt different,” Kennedy said.

Even his parents want him playing for QLD.

“For sure,” Kennedy said.

Geoff Carr, the ARL’s Chief Executive spent most of yesterday taking the time to ensure that Kennedy’s past does indeed mean that he qualifies as a QLD Origin player, thus determining which state he should represent.

“We want to triple check his Queensland Schoolboy records to make sure we cover every game he played,” Carr said.

“We don’t need to rush a decision. We have until City-Country [May 6].

“We know he has represented Queensland under-17s but that isn’t State of Origin. He has also represented NSW Schoolboys. Martin has lived in both states so there are qualification issues.”

“For now though, Kennedy just wants to play strongly for the Roosters. “There is only one bloke I am looking to impress and that is [coach) Brian Smith,” he said. “Origin is a long way away. I just want to play footy.”

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