FAR & WIDE: Number Six

By STEVE MASCORD

ANOTHER West Australian hit the bigtime in the most recent NRL round but according to the WARL, it’s unrealistic at this stage to expect local products to stay loyal.

While the lure of State of Origin is big news when it comes to New Zealanders and Pacific Islanders, one of the less publicised aspects of the situation is that players from the developing states who might one day form the basis of an Origin second division are also being blinded by the bright lights.

Victoria’s Young Tonumaipeahas already played Origin Under 20s for NSW and South Australia’s Brenton Lawrence recently said the situation was confusing.

On Friday, Freemantle-born Aaron Whitchurch made his debut for Brisbane.

“As part of our 2020 plan for the game in Western Australia, we aim to one day have a team in State of Origin,” West Coast Pirates boss John Sackson told Far & Wide.

“It’s a grandiose plan but you’ve got to aim for the full progression, from the SG Ball side we’ve currently got right up to the highest level.

“Eight players from our SG Ball side are playing in the Toyota Cup this year.

“I look forward to the day when the efforts of those who are running the game in the developing states are properly recognised. There’s a lot of talent out here – it just needs to be nurtured.”

While Far & Wide would love to see the other states – combining pros with local amateurs – play in curtain-raisers to all Origins, Sackson says he can’t blame youngsters for adopting an eastern state as their “origin”.

“At the moment, we can’t give them any more,” he said. “If a West Australian junior goes over and makes a success of himself and plays State of Origin, I’m over the moon.”

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THANKS to our good friend Dan Andruczyk  for the news of league history about to be made in Poland!

By the time you read this, the adventurous Great Britain Pioneers touring club will have played two games on Polish soil as well as conducting a coaching clinic. The final match of their tour is this weekend.

Aside from running internationalrugbyleaguescores.com, Dan – an Australian nuclear physicist with a Polish background – is doing a lot of the hard work in Poland. Well done!.

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SOME readers were wondering why Los Angeles wasn’t mentioned as a possible venue for the expanded World Club Challenge when we mentioned the issue last week.

We hear that Super League and NRL clubs, bluntly, aren’t taking the interest from the Premier Sports Group at all seriously.

The Americans will have to do some hard lobbying if they really want to stage a tournament in California.

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FAR and Wide is now on Twitter! Follow us at @RLWfarandwide. In the first week of operation, we reported news from Malta, Samoa, Canada and the United States.

You can also email your news to: farandwiderlw@gmail.com.

Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK

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