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Kangaroos Squad Mal Meninga World Cup Teams Nation Eligibility Joseph Suaalii Roosters Young Gun News Highlights

Kangaroos trainer Mal Meninga has dropped his biggest pick hint yet, revealing Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii is a “real pick option”.

Meninga has a tall order ahead of this year’s World Cup as a number of players choose to represent their nation of heritage as opposed to the Kangaroos.

Maroon’s marksman Josh Papalii will reportedly represent Samoa, joining Jarome Luai and Brian To’o, while Felise Kaufusi, Siosifa Talakai, Daniel Tupou and Kotoni Staggs will represent Tonga.

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But in a huge push, the Kangaroos will add the Tricolors’ 19-year-old Flyer to the Australian squad – should he choose to represent his country of birth.

Suaalii is currently in his first full season in first grade and was drafted into Brad Fittler’s blues roster where he has scored 13 NRL tries to date.

“I’m a fan of Joseph, absolutely, and he’s spot on, especially as the Roosters continue their run to the Finals,” Meninga told SMH.

“He’s definitely a real pick. He’s just a talent. He’s always been a talent. I like his courage.

“I remember ‘Izzy’ (Israel Folau) joining at a young age, as did ‘GI’ (Greg Inglis).

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Meninga also referenced reports that suggested Australia’s rivals were chasing the young savage, revealing it was “hardly a shock” that the Wallabies could make a game.

“I’ve read reports of the wallabies staring at him, which hardly comes as a shock. They wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t looking at league players like him and wanting him to convert,” Meninga said.

“We do the same. Because Joseph has played Union before, that only made it inevitable. He suits us perfectly.”

The Kangaroos’ reigning wingers from their last game of 2019 are Josh Addo-Carr and Nick Cotric.

With Cotric unlikely to feature and Addo-Carr on the sidelines for selection, Suaalii could find himself in green and gold.

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Suaalii made his intentions clear earlier in the week and made it clear that he would like to attend the year-end showcase.

“To be honest, I haven’t thought about it too much, but I want to be at the World Cup,” said Suaalii.

“I’m trying to make it into this Australian team and if I’m lucky I’ll make it into this Samoan team too.

“If I’m chosen for one of them, it would be an honor. When I play at the World Cup, I’m happy.”

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