Meninga welcomes Dugan, Ferguson reunion
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has no concerns about Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson's reunion after the two were picked to play for Australia against New Zealand in Newcastle on May 6.
Meninga was happy to see that the two backline stars had moved past their tumultuous behaviour exhibited earlier in their careers when they were both sacked by the Canberra Raiders in 2013.
They will now combine on the Kangaroos' right edge, with Ferguson one of four debutants named by Meninga.
"They have come out the other side and they're in terrific form for their clubs. They have both turned their lives around which is fantastic. They're not only good footballers but good people which I think is a quality of a Kangaroo," Meninga said.
"Deep down they have always been good people but they went in a poor direction during some stages of their career and in their lives. People go through that whether they're playing professional sport or not.
"They have had to find their own way. They have always had true heart in them and I knew that when they did play for the Raiders. They're now better for their experiences and that then transfers on to the footy field."
Meninga said Ferguson's form for the Roosters warranted selection and that the fact he and Dugan were great mates would work in the Kangaroos' favour.
"We took that into consideration around combinations, that they are mates. They have played together numerous times and I'm pretty sure they'll look forward to playing with each other in the Kangaroos jersey," Meninga said.
"Blake's form has been pretty good and we now have some big bodies out wide. We're starting to rebuild this footy team and Blake has a future in the game particularly internationally as well."
Meninga said young Brisbane Broncos winger Corey Oates and Panthers winger Josh Mansour had also been considered for selection.
"We talked about Corey because his form is tremendous. He still hasn't played at Origin level but he's in the picture and deservingly so. Josh Mansour is another example as well on the left wing," Meninga said.
"We have some thinking to do down the track. If we get injuries this weekend then we will have to obviously re-evaluate the team but he's certainly in the picture for the Four Nations."