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The debate over State of Origin eligibility forced the Australian Rugby League Commission to implement rules back in 2012 that made a clearer statement on where players' representative futures lied. 

In recent times we've seen on-the-cusp players like Luke Keary and Korbin Sims create headlines over their Origin eligibility with both now available for the state in which they were not born.   

No longer does the state in which a player was born in matter entirely, but rather the area growing up playing rugby league. 

While Parramatta Eels prop-forward Daniel Alvaro insisted he is not near that level of representative football just yet, his journey throughout his junior rugby league career paints a similar story and one that a handful of players are forced to deal with each season.

Born in Sydney, the 23-year-old played rugby league in the Southern Highlands town of Mittagong before being recruited by the Brisbane Broncos in 2009.  

"There was a Broncos scout that lived in our area and a mate I know was picked up by them a few years before me and said come up," Alvaro told

"We started doing sessions with the Broncos in junior academy stuff and naturally they put us in their systems equivalent to Harold Matthews (Cyril Connell) and SG Ball (Mal Meninga Cup) down here.

"I moved up there after I finished school and then got picked for Queensland under 18s."

After idolising the likes of Andrew Johns and Nathan Hindmarsh growing up, the thought of pulling on a Maroons jersey at 17 years of age brought about an odd feeling but Alvaro felt he needed to take any opportunity available at the time.

"It was weird at first but then as soon as I got into camp I just blocked it out and thought this is where I am for that week," he said. 

"It's a hard one for players like me because when they're picking those junior rep teams it can be a big stepping stone for you to get better as a player. 

"When you go interstate there is less chance you're going to be watched by the other competitions back in Sydney.

"The guys picking NSW are obviously looking at the Matts and SG Ball so when you're younger I think you have to do the best that's going to improve your footy and that's how I looked at it.

"I was still stoked to be a part of the side after being in Queensland for a couple of years so I got to know a lot of the boys well and was happy to play with them."

Alvaro joined the Broncos shortly after Sims, who has now declared himself a Queenslander despite being born in Gerringong and brother Tariq a proud Blue. 

"He (Sims) did the similar thing to me and was with the Broncos as well but moved there a lot younger than I did," Alvaro said.

"He would've had a lot more influence in that environment so if that's what he chose to do then good luck to him."

Alvaro however won't be following suit and more recently was named in the final Country line-up that loss to City earlier in May.

"I sort of feel eligible for both but no one has ever asked, I just have gone where I've been picked," he admitted.

"But I'm a Blues man at heart. 

"I didn't think I was in the mix at all [for Country] so it was a pretty big surprise to get picked – I thought I was being stitched up. 

"I had always wanted to play for Country growing up so to get the chance was unbelievable."

Currently there are a number of players across both states in similar positions with former Queensland legends Wendell Sailor and Adrian Lam both having sons Tristan and Lachlan now eligible for the Maroons under the father-son rule – despite playing their junior football in New South Wales. 

Several members of both the Queensland and NSW residents this season were forced to throw on the wrong colours for the annual fixture. 

"Everyone is different with it," Alvaro said.

"Sometimes you've just got to do anything to get in and be part of those teams for the chance to further your career."

This article originally appeared on

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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