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Australian Test coach Mal Meninga has flagged the possibility of changing the criteria around shoulder charges in the off-season in light of Billy Slater facing the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night.

In a marathon hearing at the NRL's Moore Park headquarters, the panel of three former players cleared Slater of a shoulder charge in his cover-defence tackle on Sharks winger Sosaia Feki.

Meninga is a member of the NRL's competition committee that looks at adopting or amending the game's rules to fit in with the shifting landscape of rugby league.

"The act itself, the shoulder charge, what Billy did was in the true character of our game. Our game says to our players that they've got to prevent teams scoring tries," Meninga said on Wednesday at the naming of the PM's XIII for the annual Papua New Guinea match in Port Moresby.

"I think in the aftermath, once the emotion was kicked out of this, he deserved to play.

"Then we can look at the rules and regulations around the shoulder charge particularly in the act of scoring a try – I think that needs to be reviewed probably with a different formula for next year."

From a personal viewpoint, Meninga said he was pleased that Slater could end a great career in the greatest game of the season.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"He's been a great ambassador for our game," Meninga said.

Slater is retiring after Sunday's grand final against the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium. He is among seven incumbent Test players not available to Meninga for his October 13 and 20 Tests against New Zealand and Tonga respectively.

The other players not named from the last time Australia played – the World Cup final in December – are Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith (retired), Michael Morgan, Matt Gillett, Wade Graham, Josh Dugan (injured).

Meninga told NRL.com that from the 20 players in his PM XIII's game on October 6, nine will "most likely" be in his Test side.

"So I've got 10 players left to pick, but remember there were no Souths players, Storm or Roosters players available for PNG," he said.

"And I've also got players like Josh McGuire and Tom Trbojevic coming back from injuries and I think they will be available for selection."

Meninga said one of the most hotly contested positions in the Test side were the wingers.

But he said Blake Ferguson, who was overlooked for the NSW Origin side this year, was in contention for a recall to the Australian team.

"We'll discuss this all next week but we've got five guys who are playing really good footy in contention for wing like Dane Gagai, Fergo, Josh Addo-Carr, Tom Trbojevic and Valentine [Holmes], who was our World Cup winger.

"Look Blake is always a chance when he's playing so well. He's been outstanding in the finals."

Ferguson is not the only looking to break back into the representative fold.

Prop Aaron Woods was also not a part of the Blues campaign in Holden State or Origin but is making his fifth appearance in the PM's XIII.

Daly Cherry-Evans is trying to regain a Test spot he lost in 2014 and Meninga has made the Manly skipper the PM's XIII captain.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was an unexpected but welcome VIP guest on Wednesday at the naming of both the Kangaroos and Jillaroos, who play the PNG Orchids as the curtain-raiser.

ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie said it was a special occasion on two fronts, considering the PM's XIII trip was into its 13th year.

"It's the first time we've had a Prime Minister's team for our women players, and it's the first time since it all began in 2005 that the Prime Ministere was actually here to announce it," Beattie said.

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