Comeback Scott a World Cup shot: Meninga

It may be mind games but Mal Meninga says he will consider Matt Scott for the 2017 World Cup if the veteran prop makes a remarkable injury return for North Queensland.

Kangaroos coach Meninga admitted he was still getting his head around the fact Cowboys coach Paul Green had named Test prop Scott on an extended bench for Saturday night’s NRL preliminary final against the Sydney Roosters.

However, Meninga was adamant 22-Test forward Scott would have to be in the World Cup mix if he finished the season for North Queensland.

Scott, 32, has not played since he suffered the injury in round two, which saw him require a knee reconstruction.

“It’s a good question. If he plays he’s got to be considered,” Meninga told Fox Sports’ Queenslanders Only.

“He has been a great player for club, state and country and he’s a great leader.

“You know he won’t let you down and players love playing with him.

“He’d have to come into calculations if he does play.”

Whether Scott plays or not, Meninga believes Green has achieved his aim by dropping the Scott selection bombshell.

“I love it. Whether he plays or doesn’t, they have already got the Roosters talking about him,” he said.

“It’s a distraction to get away from the team – Paul Green is a bit of a master of that.”

Queensland great Justin Hodges believed Scott would make an impact on the Cowboys even if he didn’t play in the grand final qualifier.

“Whether he plays or not it doesn’t matter, just having his presence there will mean more to them,” Hodges said.

“I think it will give the boys a boost.”

Roosters coach Trent Robinson warned the Scott selection may be “wasted energy” for North Queensland ahead of the grand final qualifier.

Asked if Scott’s selection had affected his preparation, Robinson told Fox Sports’ League Life: “Not at all.

“They are either playing mind games or he is playing.

“You are not going to put him in and test him this week – it’s a knee injury that has been around for seven months.

“If he’s in that brings a lot of experience to their team – if he is not in then that is wasted energy for North Queensland.

“But it doesn’t impact us. He is a great player, we know what he does, so we just have to be ready for it.”

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