Jai Arrow fiasco has furious NRL clubs calling for Origin change

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Jai Arrow was sent home from the Queensland State of Origin camp after inviting a woman to the team hotel against health orders.
After Jai Arrow was booted from Queensland's Origin camp last week, some clubs are calling for the lengthy team camps to be shortened. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

A number of influential league figures are banding together in a bid to shorten State of Origin campaigns and reduce the chances of a Jai Arrow-like drama in the future.

At least five clubs are in unison over calls to limit camps to six or seven days rather than the current nine or 10-day gatherings.

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They have spoken amongst each other and are set to officially voice their concerns over the off-season.

Club bosses are concerned lengthy camps drag the whole Origin period out unnecessarily, leaving players mentally and physically drained.

It also leads to more downtime where incidents like Arrow's Covid breach or the Blake Ferguson-Josh Dugan drinking episode a few years ago are more likely.

The Rabbitohs are filthy over the Arrow situation and are demanding to know why security and protocols around the players were so lax.

They are not absolving their player of blame but are understandably angry to be without his services due to something outside their control.

Clubs essentially hand over their elite players to the NSW and Queensland camps each year and have little contact or say while they're away.

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That could all change if certain club powerbrokers get their way.

"There's no doubt the players are well looked after in these camps but it does take a toll," one club official said.

"Do they really need to be away for 10 days for all three games?

"Clubs already take a huge hit during the Origin period and deserve a bit more of a say in how things are run."

Players on notice as they head north

The NRL faces a number of nervous weeks as it sets about moving the bulk of NRL teams to Queensland to ensure the Covid-threatened season continues.

Twelve NSW-based sides face an unknown period of time up north – and one off-field incident could be enough to bring the whole thing crashing down.

NRL player have reportedly been put on notice and warned against breaching strict coronavirus protocols in Queensland. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
NRL player have reportedly been put on notice and warned against breaching strict coronavirus protocols in Queensland. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Queensland Government has shown it is not scared to make a tough call if required and won’t hesitate to act if strict Covid guidelines are breached.

If the competition was to stall, it would cost the game $25m a week.

What could possibly go wrong with 360 players cooped up for two months?

Piggy trots off social media

Former St George Illawarra hooker Mark Riddell abruptly culled his Twitter account on Sunday after an ugly back and forth with senior News Corp journalist Phil "Buzz" Rothfield.

Rothfield had a crack at 2GB's Piggy in his Sunday Telegraph What's the Buzz column over Riddell's refusal to divulge details of Paul Vaughan's barbecue despite living across the road from the now former Dragon.

That promoted Riddell to return serve on Twitter, posting a tasteless rant targeting Buzz.

It followed several days of bizarre posts where Riddell declared lying was okay if it was to protect mates, while also suggesting a woman's sons were too soft for league and instead should play union after she questioned his stance.

We're not sure if his employer 2GB tugged his collar or there was a threat of legal action, but the outspoken Riddell removed himself from Twitter and has since fallen silent.

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