Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith is standing with new coach Mal Meninga in saying there’s no room for rookies in next month’s rugby league Test against New Zealand.
Smith and Meninga have been talking team selection as Australia looks to end the Kiwis’ three-game run of wins when they meet in Newcastle on May 6.
The Test rake agreed with his coach that the short preparation meant the Kangaroos needed experienced heads.
Melbourne, for example, play the Titans on the Gold Coast on Sunday May 1 in the NRL, five days before the Test.
“It is a big ask, particularly for this match given the limited preparation,” Smith said.
“To ask a young guy to get up for his first or second Test match with only two training sessions together it’s difficult.
“This Test match is hard to prepare for so I do lean the way of Mal’s thinking of selecting experienced players.
“There’s a lot of guys playing who are in good form so we’re quite lucky.”
Smith and Meninga have steered the Queensland State of Origin team to unparalleled success since the coach took over the Maroons in 2006, winning eight straight series against NSW until 2013.
Despite their ties Smith said the Kangaroos wouldn’t be another version of the Maroons and Meninga would draw on his own Test experience.
“It won’t be Queensland feel, it’s another step up from the state level, we’re talking about the national team here,” Smith said.
“Mal will obviously have his own influence on the way the team operates and the way we prepare and what his thoughts are on how we approach Test matches.
“He’s the only guy who has had four Kangaroos tours so he’s got a fair bit of experience at international level.”