"A positive thing for the game": Thorn welcomes State of Union concept

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brad Thorn believes a State of Union could be a valuable addition to the rugby calendar.

The concept, similar to that of rugby league's State of Origin, would likely see Queensland and New South Wales representative sides go up against each other.

It's a plan that rugby Australia included as a possibility when presenting an offering to potential broadcasters earlier this week.

The concept has had some mixed public reaction but Reds forward Angus Scott-Young backed the idea wholeheartedly when speaking on Tuesday.

Eligibility of players and ways to include stars who might not ordinarily qualify for the two states are still to be ironed out, something that would be bedded down once a broadcast deal is locked in.

Thorn played 11 State of Origins for Queensland between 1996 and 2005 and said it could be a welcome innovation for rugby.

"It'd be a bit funny," he said.

"Some of our guys - different from the Broncos, Lazzo (Glenn Lazarus) would go play for New South Wales but it wasn't actually the Queensland Broncos but the Brisbane broncos and whatever.

"That'd be an interesting one.

"That's probably a positive thing for the game, it's an exciting thing, see how it goes.

"There'd be some good hype about it."

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Some of the critics of the concept have questioned its originality but Thorn pointed to the fact that AFL had a representative concept well before rugby league's State of Origin was born in 1980.

"Initially rugby league, I'm pretty sure they got that from AFL, the State of Origin," he said.

"It came to league and, boom, it's been this epic contest, the showpiece of the game.

"It'd be good to see how that will play out."

Depending on how eligibility works, the concept could see Reds players like Harry Wilson and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto playing for NSW while current Waratahs captain Rob Simmons and back Karmichael Hunt would be among those to switch to the northern side of the border for an origin clash.

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