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NRL 2022: Mal Meninga strikes back at kangaroo defectors, calls for origin inquiry

Meninga has a simple message for Australia’s band of World Cup breakaways.

Roosters young gun Joseph Suary dropped a World Cup bombshell by becoming the latest NRL topliner to attack Meninga’s national team on Wednesday, pledging allegiance to Samoa.

Suaalii joins NSW Origin trio Jarome Luai, Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton, who also refused to play for Australia’s Samoa national team.

Former Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita, the first major defector at the last World Cup, shook Meninga when he advised his Test coaches on his plans to represent Tonga on the eve of the tournament.

Suaali’i contacted Meninga to inform him of his decision. The Australian coach said there was one silver lining from the World Cup tug-of-war: it would weed out those who didn’t really dream of wearing green and gold.

“I’m happy where I am. We pick teams, but all those players say they want to play in Australia,” Meninga said.

“If they make the decision that they want to play for their ancestral country (Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, etc.), that’s good for me because they leave with the green and the gold and guessing themselves Do they want to be here or with other football teams?

“We are happy with the fact that the people we have selected want to play for Australia.

“People in green and gold jerseys explain well that they are playing for their country and are the type of person I want.

“When you pick an Australian team, do they want to be there and play for their country?”

Meninga says it’s time for ARL Commission boss Peter V’landys to conduct a forensic review of the eligibility rules to ensure that those who play State of Origin want to represent Australia.

“We have to look at how we organize everything, the eligibility rules,” he said.

“Like Origin, we need to start clean again and build a foundation and a foundation.

“Those born in Australia, New South Wales or Queensland are eligible and we’ll look at all the different considerations behind it.

“It’s not messy, but from my perspective and the kangaroo’s point of view, we had a pretty good idea of ​​what comes first.

“We are open to players playing for whom they want to play, but we have to start picking the Australian team that wants to win the World Cup.

“We do not want to jeopardize Australia’s chances by allowing players (from New South Wales and Queensland) to play in other countries.”

first published as NRL 2022: Mal Meninga strikes back at kangaroo defectors, calls for origin inquiry

NRL 2022: Mal Meninga strikes back at kangaroo defectors, calls for origin inquiry

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