Slater a Roo on merit
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.