In a decision that is sure to once again, bring the Origin eligibility debate to the foray, Titans second-rower Ryan James has pledged his allegiance to NSW in Origin, despite having already played for QLD.
Whilst he is still too young, and not completely developed as a player to make Origin this year, or for the next few, James had no qualms whatsoever, in pledging allegiance to the NSW Blues for Origin.
As a student at Palm Beach Currumbin High School, James has a case to play for either QLD, or NSW, after being born and raised in the Tweed Heads area, right on the border of NSW and QLD.
The goal for James however is to play for NSW, and he has been earmarked by current NSW coach Ricky Stuart, as a future Origin player for NSW.
“I only played for Queensland under-18s because of where I was at school,” James said, “To be honest, I didn’t like putting the jersey on, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
“Technically, I probably qualify for Queensland because I played my first senior football on the Gold Coast, but all my other footy was south of the border and that’s why I want to play for the Blues.
“I still live near Tweed Heads and cross the border every day to get to training.
“Growing up, Ryan Girdler was my hero.
“I’ve always cheered for the Blues.”
Despite the allegiance however, James is taking one step at a time, and taking nothing for granted, happy with the role that he currently plays.
“It’s not really up to me,” James said. “I’ve just got to play to the best of my ability and hopefully the selectors will like what they see.
“At the moment, I’m only concerned about doing my job for the Titans each week.”