Thaiday still in hunt for Test jumper
AUSTRALIAN coach Mal Meninga has tipped Broncos veteran Sam Thaiday to bounce back from a disappointing month, claiming the under- fire forward is in contention for the World Cup.
Thaiday was last month dumped from the Queensland team for Origin II and III before it was revealed over the weekend that Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett will not offer the 32- year- old a contract beyond next season.
But Meninga will stand by Thaiday if his form warrants selection come October.
The Kangaroos enforcer played in the Anzac Test in May and Meninga says he deserves every chance to retain that position.
“He’s the incumbent,” Meninga said.
“If he’s playing really good footy for the Broncos and they go really deep in the finals and he’s instrumental in all that, then he’s always in the picture.
“I’m a fan of Sam’s ... he could probably play a bit better but I guess that’s what Wayne is trying to extract out of him.”
Meninga knows how resilient Thaiday is and expects him to prove that over the coming months. “Sam’s a proud guy so knowing him and how he perceives himself, he will want to play to the best of his ability,” he said.
It is unclear at this stage whether Thaiday will play on after his Broncos contract ends next season.
Some of the closest options for him would be the Titans and Cowboys, with Gold Coast coach Neil Henry admitting yesterday that he thinks Thaiday’s career is far from over.
“He’s certainly a player you’d look at because he’s a classy player,” Henry said.
“I think he can play another couple of years.”