NRL clubs set to cop 18th man Origin blow

·1-min read

NRL clubs are set to lose an extra player to State of Origin duties with both NSW and Queensland pushing for the 18th man to be paid a full match fee.

The Blues and Maroons have traditionally picked reserves from clubs with byes on the weekend before Origin games if there are no serious injury clouds hanging over the squad.

Players have also usually been released back to club duties if their team does play the week beforehand if it's not felt they will be required in Origin.

However, the implementation of the 18th man concussion substitute has drastically changed that, with a far greater chance of the reserve being used.

Both the NSW Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League met with the NRL's head of football this week on the matter, pushing for the concussion substitute to be paid the full $15,000 match fee given they are effectively another player this season.

The change would mean Parramatta, for example, would lose captain Clint Gutherson for their round-13 clash with Newcastle if selected as the Blues' 18th man.

NSW will announce their squad on Sunday night after the final game of the NRL weekend, while the Maroons will reveal their team on Monday.