New Australian coach Mal Meninga has nominated Matt Moylan and James Tedesco as possible bolters for his first Kangaroos Test side.
Meninga will take the reins of the Kangaroos for the first time in the Anzac Test against New Zealand on May 6 in Newcastle.
Wests Tigers fullback Tedesco and Penrith counterpart Moylan continued their trajectory as two of the rising stars of the NRL in 2015 and, if they maintain that, Meninga said they would well and truly come into contention to meet Four Nations champions the Kiwis at Hunter Stadium.
In a further example that Meninga won’t be playing favourites with his former Queensland Origin charges when it comes to the green and gold, the former Test great said he expected Josh Dugan to come into the selection frame also in his new role as a centre with St George Illawarra.
“There are incumbents, but if Billy (Slater) is playing well or if someone like Tedesco or Moylan is coming through and deserves to be fullback, we can put Greg (Inglis) at left centre and Darius Boyd plays on the wing,” Meninga told AAP at Fox Sports’ season launch on Monday.
“Josh Dugan is playing in the centres, he is playing right centre so that could be a position for him and the Morris boys (Josh and Brett) are there too.
“They have handled that at rep level really well. But if Dugan is the best player at right centre he will be selected.”
When asked if Tedesco, and Moylan, who missed much of the latter half of last season with an ankle injury after starring for Penrith early, would be ready despite their lack of State of Origin experience, Meninga said: “Absolutely.
“There is a plethora of fullbacks coming through the NSW system and certainly the Australian system.”
Inglis played at fullback in Australia’s last match, the 26-12 loss to the Kiwis in the Anzac Test in Brisbane last year, after Slater was ruled out due to injury.
Dugan struggled playing out of position on the wing. Alex Johnston was on the other wing. Boyd was unavailable through injury. Michael Jennings is one of the incumbent centres after Inglis was shifted to No.1. Will Chambers was the other centre.