Sparks fly over Tamou's switch

BRONCOS fullback Josh Hoffman admits his team feels bitter towards controversial rookie Kangaroo James Tamou but says the New Zealand-born prop will be "just another Australian" when the Anzac Test kicks off.

Tamou's declaration that playing for Australia would be the pinnacle of his sport made waves on both sides of the Tasman, especially after the North Queensland Cowboy had previously pledged his allegiance to the silver fern jumper.

New Zealand high-performance manager Tony Kemp labelled Tamou's decision to play for the green and gold "a joke" while Kiwis captain Benji Marshall yesterday accused Tamou of being lured not by a State of Origin jersey, but the payment that comes with it.

Hoffman chose to strike a more conciliatory tone at the team's training camp outside Auckland, perhaps not surprising considering the Test debutant was born and raised in Queensland and, like Tamou, could have represented either country. "There is a bit of bitterness in the camp. But we aren't going to go out there and concentrate on James as they have other great players," Hoffman said.

"I think the decision that he made is 100% his decision, and no one else can criticise what he's done. Once he's out on the field come game day, we'll treat him as just another Australian, another opponent."

The Kiwis can console themselves in winning the battle for Hoffman.

The talented Brisbane custodian grew up in Mackay but said he had long dreamed of pulling on the black jersey and representing the country of his father's birth.

"As a little kid growing up, I always wanted to get out on the field and do the haka," he said.

"I think that's where it all started."

Hoffman also said he could empathise with Tamou about the lure of Origin.


Friday night: New Zealand v Australia at Eden Park, Auckland, 6.15pm (AEST)

Topics:  kangaroos rugby league

Bushfire out of control north of Grafton

No Caption

Rural Fire Service and National Parks firefighters in action

Council's strategy to reduce impact of Maclean's bat problem

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons talk at the bottom of Hillcrest where the bats population has taken over the trees. Clarence Valley Council has received a grant from the state government to manage the bat population in the area.

New seats stop school kids from 'getting splattered by bat poo'

Natalie returns home to perform at the Country Muster

Natalie Davidson will perform at the Clarence Valley Country Muster on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There will be one local face on stage at this years country muster

Local Partners

Hear Ken Done speak at Grafton gallery

Fresh from judging this year's Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, legendary Australian artist Ken Done will give a talk at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

2016 a life changing year for Kasey Chambers

Kasey Chambers will perform at the Grafton District Services Club on November 5.

"I feel like I have a new voice in my life."

Huge lineup of live entertainment this Jacaranda weekend

The Rocky Horror Dinner and Show is set for the Grafton District Service Club on Saturday night.

Entertainment hots up as Jacaranda fever strikes

Sister's leukaemia fight inspires Courtney to get UGLY

Courtney and Siobhan Hoy.

Top prizes include two days labour from Grafton Ghosts captain-coach

The Bachelorette fans rally around devastated Matty J

The Bachelorette runner-up Matty Johnson.

CALLS for reality dating show's runner-up to be the next Bachelor.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

2016 a life changing year for Kasey Chambers

Kasey Chambers will perform at the Grafton District Services Club on November 5.

"I feel like I have a new voice in my life."

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Maclean's highest house sale this decade

SOLD: Ray White real estate agent Alan Bruchert has just put a new sticker on Maclean's most expensive house to sell in a decade.

Unique riverfront home sells for more than $920,000

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?