Returning Kangaroos prop Paul Gallen has welcomed coach Mal Meninga’s challenge for him to bring the hard edge to the Australia side that has been missing in previous Tests.
Gallen returns to the Test arena for the first time in two years in Friday night’s trans-Tasman clash with New Zealand in Newcastle.
In naming his first Test team last week Meninga said the Cronulla skipper would bring the fury to the national side that has been absent in three successive losses to the Kiwis.
“Mal is a player I looked up to when I was young, and know really well. He is the sort of coach you want to play for and the fact that he has picked me for that is a huge boost,” Gallen said.
“I have a big job to do on Friday night and fingers crossed I live up to his expectations and the team’s expectations
“You want Mal to have trust in you and that is my biggest challenge this week to play that role and if I do get to play for the Kangaroos at the end of the year he knows he can trust me.”
Gallen will likely miss the the end of year Four Nations tournament in England if he does retire at season’s send.
The 34-year-old said that was a decision he would make later in the year.
“I’m going to see how the next couple of months pan out, I haven’t thought too much about it, it is not a big deal at the moment to be honest,” Gallen said.
“I will probably get through Origin and make a decision then.”