BONDI BEAT: September 2016

By STEVE MASCORD BECAUSE next year’s World Cup is in Australia, expect officials to pull out all the stops to have as many NRL stars sprinked across the teams as possible. The new CEO of the tournament, Andrew Hill, has been working on eligibility rules for years and walking a diplomatic tightrope in his dual […]

FAR & WIDE: Eligibility, United States, Philippines, Canada

By STEVE MASCORD NIGEL Wood, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League and chairman of the Rugby League International Federation, recently held a media briefing and there were were some interesting revelations. Firstly, Wood says the residency threshold allowing players to represent a country in which they reside is likely to be increased from […]

Far & Wide: Welcome, Wolfpack

By STEVE MASCORD IT’s the first Trans-Atlantic sports club in history – welcome to rugby league, the Toronto Wolfpack. Toronto mayor John Tory was on hand for the gala launch last week of a truly historic venture – a place in England’s National League One next year. As an expansion franchise, this makes the New […]

DISCORD 2013: Edition 19

By STEVE MASCORD DON’T be surprised to see a host of players switch allegiances away from Australia after the State of Origin series – and then switch right back in time for next year’s interstate encounters. Discord hears the Tonga-Samoa game struck quite a chord with many players of island heritage last month. They all […]

BONDI BEAT: May 2013

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S a simple question which could do with answering: if a player represents New South Wales or Queensland this year but misses out on the Australian team, can he represent another country at the World Cup? The absence of qualifiers for all but two countries involved in RLWC13 has allowed a large […]

Matai Is International Man Of Mystery

By STEVE MASCORD THE World Cup eligibility of Manly centre Steve Matai remains a mystery after he failed to apply for dispensation to play for Samoa this Saturday. Matai was touted as one of the NRL stars who was about to change allegiance and represent Steve Price’s Samoans against Tonga in the mid-season international at […]


By STEVE MASCORD FOR all the – extremely justified – claims that the British game takes international competition more seriously than rugby league in Australia does, we have something this weekend that you don’t. It’s a weekend with no club football at all, with a focus on representative games. This is something that many of […]

DISCORD 2012: Edition 48

By STEVE MASCORD GIVEN the space this column has devoted to State Of Origin eligibility over the past 12 months, it’s as plain as the nose on the face of someone with quite a big nose that we have to address the ARLC’s decision on the issue this week. The first aspect of the decision […]


By STEVE MASCORD THIS time last year, Darren Lockyer and Jamie Peacock were tackling each other in the Four Nations. Yesterday, they met in London to tackle the vexed issue of rugby league’s eligibility rules. Of course, the retired captains of Australia and England (Peacock is still playing for Leeds) had a little prompting from […]