Slater a Roo on merit

Sunday Herald Sun - - Racing -

BILLY Slater is on the verge of earn­ing a Test re­call af­ter three years out of the Aus­tralian side while Ori­gin player of the se­ries Dane Ga­gai has all but de­manded se­lec­tion, ac­cord­ing to Kan­ga­roos coach Mal Meninga.

The duo were picked as part of an in­au­gu­ral Kan­ga­roos Ori­gin merit squad, with nine Ma­roons in the 17-man squad. The team is based solely on Ori­gin per­for­mances.

“It’s an­other bit of theatre around our sea­son. I’m hop­ing it will grow a few legs around ac­knowl­edg­ing who we think played re­ally well and adds pro­file to the Kan­ga­roos.”

Slater’s ir­re­sistible per­for­mances since his Ori­gin re­call in game two de­manded se­lec­tion.

“Cer­tainly the way he is play­ing and the way he has played, he is back in the pic­ture,” Meninga said. “We put Teddy (Tedesco) on the wing. With Billy’s form you couldn’t deny him the full­back spot but Teddy’s se­ries was fan­tas­tic.”

Meninga said Ga­gai was on the verge of a Test de­but.

“He would be one of the first picked,” Meninga said.

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