Simmering State of Origin tensions are set to be reignited after Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga revealed Paul Gallen and Corey Parker were in the mix for the end-of-year Four Nations.
But Meninga did not believe interstate rivalries would be a problem for Australia.
Queensland veteran Parker revealed tensions between the Origin teams were at an all-time low after last week’s game three controversy in Sydney.
NSW skipper Gallen put Maroons noses out of joint by turning his back and leading his team away when Queensland captain Cameron Smith raised the Origin trophy at ANZ Stadium.
The pair are now on a collision course after Meninga said he would consider both veterans for Australia’s Four Nations campaign in the UK starting in October.
Parker will retire at season’s end.
And Gallen will hang up his representative boots in 2016.
As a result, Meninga had been expected to name a Four Nations squad with a nod toward next year’s World Cup.
But the Kangaroos mentor said veterans Parker and Gallen were “in the picture” for the end-of-year tournament.
“Paul and Cozza are still available,” Meninga said.
“If they are playing well at the end of the year, they are in the picture.
“You are never dead in the water selection-wise, in my eyes.”
Meninga said interstate rivalries would not be a factor in his Australian squad.
“Players will move on. I don’t anticipate any problems whatsoever,” he said.
“When you play in the green and gold you play to the best of your ability – it’s not about where you are from.”
Kangaroos skipper Cameron Smith backed Meninga’s call to pick veterans like Parker and Gallen on form for the Four Nations.
“Mal said he won’t be picking for the future, he will be picking the best players for the job,” he said.
“If Paul and Corey are available and the best men for the job then they will be there.”
Smith could have been forgiven for still being angry over Gallen’s Origin snub in Sydney last week.
But he said it was time for Origin players to move on from the controversy.
“I have been playing for the Kangaroos since 2006 and I have never had any issues with a team uniting (after Origin),” he said.
“All affiliations are left at the door to be honest.
“For me Origin finished nearly a week ago.
“There have been some things said post match but we need to move on now.”