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New South Wales Blues, Victor Radley, Brad Fittler, Paul Kent, Queensland Maroons, England, defection, NRL 360

NRL 360 host Paul Kent believes Victor Radley’s refusal to play for England proves the starting jersey means more to Maroons players these days.

Kent has criticized the New South Wales team for not caring as much as their Queensland rivals after last week’s dramatic defeat.

Australian-born Roosters star Radley – who was in the Blues squad for the second game – made a surprise announcement at the weekend that he will represent England later this year.

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As England is a rugby league tier one country, it means he cannot play for NSW or Australia.

Blues stars Brian Too and Jarome Luai have been allowed to play for Samoa because it is a tier two nation.

Brett Anasta asked Kent on Monday night if Ridley’s decision added to the argument that the New South Welshmen don’t have the same love for Queensland.

“I think so. I think he was in the origin camp for Game II. I know I offended some people, but that’s the truth,” Kent said.

“Queenslanders talk about Queensland first, Australia second. Now we’ve got guys talking about England first, Samoa first, Tonga first and the Blues second.

“They see origin not as a dream, but as a stage to play origin.

Victor Radley, and Paul Kent on NRL 360.Source: Getty Images

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“Their starting ambition is to get to the level of playing in that tough bowl game, but I don’t think they sleep at night, Benny Elias said, they sleep in a Blues jersey, I don’t think these guys sleep. In their blues jersey, I don’t.

Kent has taken aim at Blues coach Brad Fittler for not instilling that mentality in his current squad.

“I think this is expected of the coach. During Phil Gould’s years as NSW coach, they just had a Bill of Rights, which made them know what the NSW team was about – the starting point.

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“At least if it didn’t match what Queensland were doing about the jerseys they did. I think it was the same when Ricky Stewart was NSW coach, I don’t think it is now.”

“Andrew Jones’ commitment, Ricky Stewart, Laurie Daley when they were in a Blues shirt you never asked. But when you look at this team, I just don’t see it and I think he needs to put it on the coaching staff.

That’s what Queensland do, every year they go and promote what it means to wear the Queensland jersey.

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