Kasiano not picking allegiance before final

Last updated 05:00 30/09/2012
Sam Kasiano
Getty Images
DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Bulldogs prop Sam Kasiano has put off a decision on his international allegiance - to New Zealand or Australia - until after the NRL grand final.

Relevant offers


Bid for second New Zealand NRL team gets boost with feeder team announced Benji Marshall hopes to return to Kiwis squad as NRL launches season in Auckland Warriors' Sam Tomkins ready to prove his worth at Auckland Nines tournament Two major prizes for Canterbury Rugby League at NZRL awards Silver lining for Kiwis as Anzac Day test to be played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium NRL season launch invitation confirms Shaun Johnson's arrival as genuine star Auckland Nines may hurt NRL teams' premiership hopes, says Cooper Cronk Simon Mannering takes Kiwis Player of the Year gong at NZ Rugby League awards Former Melbourne Storm CEO Brian Waldron speaks out on salary cap saga Warriors captain Simon Mannering to miss Auckland Nines

Blockbusting prop Sam Kasiano has fended off fresh requests to commit to the Kiwis or Kangaroos before tonight's NRL grand final as New Zealand's world cup-winning captain has warned of a losing battle in the fight for key players unless a financial counter can be found to Australia's State of Origin cash carrot.

Kasiano, the Auckland-born NRL prop of the year, is a certainty for Kiwis selection tomorrow, having previously signed a non-binding letter of intent stating his wish to represent his nation of birth.

But whether he actually lines up in the black jersey in the October 13 Kiwis v Kangaroos trans-Tasman test remains a mystery, with Kasiano and his management refusing approaches from the New Zealand Rugby League and the ARL Commission in the lead-in to tonight's NRL grand final in Sydney.

Kasiano, aged 22, has been a star for the Bulldogs this year in their run into the season finale against the Melbourne Storm.

"He is going to make a call before the teams are announced on Monday," his manager Damien McGregor-Lowndes said. "The Kiwis will no doubt look to name him. And as it stands, they have no reason not to name him. But we will be trying to ensure people will be informed before the teams are named publicly.

"Nothing will be announced before the game . . . he really just wants the focus to be on the grand final."

The battle to secure Kasiano has reignited league's international eligibility argument which flared again when James Tamou was poached to the New South Wales State of Origin squad and into the Kangaroos.

Nathan Cayless, who led New Zealand to historic world cup victory over Australia in 2009, said the likes of Tamou, and perhaps now Kasiano, would continue to adopt the green-and-gold battle colours unless the Kiwis countered the $A50,000-per-game players received for competing in the State of Origin.

“It would be disappointing if Sam Kasiano didn't play for New Zealand because I understand he's been earmarked for it and has been in the system for the last couple of years,” Cayless said.

“But in saying that the carrot that's there, to play State of Origin, is a pretty big one at the moment.

“State of Origin is a massive industry and unless the NZRL do something to provide as much of an incentive to play for New Zealand in terms of the representative payments there'll be that discrepancy between playing State of Origin or for your country.”

Ad Feedback

A source within the NZRL had earlier said that the sporting body had hoped to be informed of Kasiano's eligibility yesterday.

Australian media have also reported that Kasiano's manager has sought clarification from the ARL Commission about mooted changes to Origin eligibility rules. One suggested change would would prevent NSW and Queensland from selecting any player who did not reside in the respective states before the age of 15.

Kasiano was 16 when he moved to Queensland.

- Sunday Star Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content