Luai clears air over ‘out of context’ Origin video

He’s arguably the hottest Blues rookie in recent memory, but Jarome Luai has continued to cop a torrent of judgment north of the border ever since he was first included in an NSW camp last year.

The point of contention? An old video dating back to 2017 of the Panthers five-eighth admitting he supported Queensland over NSW.

The video was posted on YouTube four years ago during the Rugby League World Cup while he was the youngest member of the Samoan squad at just 20.

Luai, now 24, was born in Sydney, however, he qualified to play for Samoa through his grandparents.

In the clip Luai is asked a series of short questions in quick succession and when asked, “NSW or Queensland” the Panthers star replies, “Queensland”.

The clip surfaced last year when Luai was bought into Fittler’s Origin camp but did not feature on field.

Ahead of his inclusion in the starting lineup for the series opener, the clip has again made its way from the recesses of the internet and into the hands of Queenslanders.

But, speaking to Nine’s Danny Weidler, Luai sought to clear the air of the clip once and for all.

“I think it’s a bit out of context,” Luai said.

“The question was, ‘Who do you think would win?’, and that was the era of Thurston, Cronk and Smith. I didn’t see them losing. So, that was my tip for them to win.

“I bleed blue, baby.”

Asked directly if he ever held ambitions to play for Queensland, Luai was firm.

“No [I didn’t want to play for Queensland],” he replied.

“I couldn’t even play for them anyway. I think people are just taking it the wrong way. I hope I’ve cleared that up.

“They [Queenslanders] can do [say] whatever they want.”

Luai has enjoyed a stellar 2021, partnering Nathan Cleary in the control room of the Panthers’ unbeaten run.

Passionate on the field, some of Luai’s detractors have come to question some of his antics on the field. But the Panther said he was just passionate for the game.

“I don’t think so,” Luai replied when asked if he were arrogant.

“I think it’s more of being grateful out there and making the most of my opportunity. Who knows when your career is going to end, so play it like your last game.”

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