Ronaldo Mulitalo, the Sharks winger, has said that missing out on his potential State of Origin debut two years ago was “heartbreaking.” However, he has since moved on from the controversial decision and is now supporting his teammate Nicho Hynes ahead of his first game for the Blues.
Mulitalo was set to play in game two of the 2021 series but was withdrawn from the Queensland squad due to an eligibility stuff-up. Despite representing his state in the under-18s and under-20s, documents emerged which showed that he didn’t meet the criteria to play due to being born in New Zealand and moving to Queensland at 14. State of Origin rules stipulate that a player must have moved to either Queensland or NSW before their 13th birthday, which robbed Mulitalo of a dream debut.
Mulitalo was left heartbroken by the decision, but he turned it into a positive by forcing his way into the New Zealand team at last year’s World Cup. He has moved past the incident stating that it’s a part of his journey as a player, and there is no point dwelling on the past.
While he missed out on his debut, Mulitalo is excited to see Nicho Hynes finally get his chance for the Blues after several close calls. The reigning Dally M Medal winner will come off the bench in Adelaide and is likely to spend some time in the unfamiliar role of dummy-half, but Mulitalo is confident that Hynes can handle whatever is thrown his way.
Mulitalo says, “Nothing seems to affect Nicho,” adding that Hynes has everything in place to make sure he doesn’t fall flat on his face. Mulitalo is supportive of his teammate and feels that he deserves the opportunity to play for the Blues. He is excited to see Hynes run out on Wednesday, but as a Queensland fan, he wants him to go well but not too well.