Coach Mal Meninga hails next generation of Kangaroos stars ahead of Tonga Test


“It’s been a changing of the guard, there’s no doubt,” the coach said on Wednesday.

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“But they’ve all got a lot of experience. They’ve all got a lot of experience in the NRL and starting to poke their heads through in [State of] Origin as well.

“They understand the big-game atmosphere and the more games they play at this level, obviously the better they’re going to get, the more comfortable they get.

“So yeah, it is a changing of the guard but the expectation’s still the same. We are the Kangaroos, the Australian side. We want to be successful.”

The Eden Park contest will be the Kangaroos’ last before selectors choose the squad for their first European tour since 2003.

Three Tests are planned against England and some mid-week games.

Young blood: Cameron Murray is tackled during the training run.Credit:Getty

Meninga, whose new-look outfit completed their second field session of the week at QBE Stadium on Wednesday, said the emergence of younger stars bodes well for the future.

“These players are the best running around in the competition in my view and the selectors’ view,” he said.

“If it’s a view to the future, yeah, because of the age group as well, that helps us.

“We’ve always said that if they perform at this level, they go back to their clubs and perform at that level and get interstate experience, they play in the finals, that all counts in a positive light.”

AAP

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