- Mar 4, 2008
Outside of last year and this year the 18th, 19th, 20th, etc. have always been released back to their club for the weekend's fixtures... unless they are legitimate cover for a starting player under an injury cloud.
If your 18th man is so vital to the starting 17 then they should be in the team anyway or get permission from the club to keep him in the squad... if Dearden is legitimate cover for Munster being under an injury cloud... then fine, that's always been the case and Slater would rightly refuse to release him.
Origin teams have been fine utilising bye players or releasing players back to their club for how many years up until last year... why disrupt the actual NRL comp further than what they already do when it hasn't been an issue up until NRL needing an 18th man to be named.
Hynes sitting out 3 games last year because NSW have to name an 18th man, that didn't play a second of the entire origin series is ridiculous.
Why not have NSW and QLD name a full squad of 22 and then release 18-22 back to their clubs, like it's been for years, and if for some reason you're unlucky enough to lose all 5 of them to injury then that's just unlucky (but just bring another player in... like it would've been all the way up until last year). If everything goes to plan through to next Wednesday then Dearden won't play a second of actual footy and the origin series will continue on... like it always has.
NSW will be in the same position where they have to release their squad players back to club land as well, so it's still even on both sides.
Yes and no.
With the lowering of the requirements to activate your 18th man, there is more chance than ever they get in the game.
Besides in the Cowboys case they didn't name Dearden on Tuesday, so even if Billy released him he couldn't play