Radradra, Gallen in Mal’s first Test side

Semi Radradra is set to make his Australian debut in the Anzac Test when coach Mal Meninga names his first Test team on Tuesday.

Paul Gallen will also be in the side to play New Zealand at Newcastle in two weeks.

Despite an entire round still to play before the May 6 Test at Hunter Stadium, Meninga will name his team five days earlier than scheduled in a bid get a jump start on preparations.

Parramatta star Radradra has earned a spot on the left wing after controversially nominating to play for Australia earlier this month through residential qualification.

He has previous played four Tests for Fiji in 2013 and 2014.

Debate has raged over whether the Eels winger should be allowed to pull on the green and gold after being told he was ineligible to play State of Origin because he hadn’t played rugby league before the age of 13.

But Meninga has made no apologies for considering the two-time Dally M Winger of the Year.

“If he’s the best left winger running around in Australian rugby league and he’s eligible to play for Australia, that’s what should happen,” Meninga told AAP.

“That’s the Australian jersey, you’ve got to give it to your best players. The ones that deserve it.”

Meninga hadn’t spoken with Gallen since taking over the top job in December, however the pair broke bread at the NSW Blues dinner on Wednesday night.

Gallen’s massive effort in Cronulla’s win over Penrith confirmed his place in what would be his first Test since 2014 due to a combination of a drug suspension and injuries.

Darius Boyd will line up at fullback and Greg Inglis at centre, with Josh Dugan on the other wing despite an underwhelming effort in the corresponding Test last year.

Michael Jennings, Justin O’Neill and Josh Morris are the contenders for the other centre spot.

The other contentious positions are the back-row and the interchange bench, although Cowboys pivot Michael Morgan is likely to fill the utility spot.

Australia will aim to end a three-game losing streak to the Kiwis, currently the world No.1 Test team, that stretches back to the mid-year Test in 2014.

Likely team: Darius Boyd, Semi Radradra, Michael Jennings, Greg Inglis, Josh Dugan, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (c), James Tamou, Greg Bird, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Michael Morgan, Paul Gallen, Trent Merrin, Matt Gillett.

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