Maroons aim to steal Papalii
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 6:46p.m.
By Shaun Summerfield
The New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is on high alert as the Maroons look to nab a player they see as a future Kiwis star.
Queensland coach Mal Meninga makes no secret that he wants to sign up 20-year old Canberra player Josh Papalii, who hit the headlines after out-muscling sharks hardman Paul Gallen.
For two years he hasn't given up on trying to turn the junior Kiwi into a cane toad.
“The Queensland Rugby League have invested plenty of time and money into him, he's playing really good, I haven't been trying to coerce him - it's his choice,” says Meninga.
“He's luring him into his little web, he's sly old Mal, but hopefully Josh will see sense and pick the right one for his future,” says NZRL high performance manager Ruben Wiki.
The 20-year-old’s humbling of Sharks hardman Paul Gallen in week one of the NRL playoffs only increases the hype around Papalii's future, and despite him signing a letter of intent to be a Kiwi, former New Zealand and Queensland coach Graham Lowe says Meninga is doing the right thing.
“His take on it all, being persistent, is just part of being a good coach, you just don’t take no for an answer, but at the end of the day it's up to the player - if Mal chucks him a Queensland jersey, all he's got to do is chuck it back,” says Lowe.
But getting anything to Papalii won't be easy.
“You want Josh, you’ve got to come through me buddy,” says Wiki.
The battle could be all over in mid October if Papalii is picked to play in Queensland for the Kiwis' one-off test against the Kangaroos.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
While Coliseum say they're focused on football, could they c...
The way we watch televised sport is about to undergo a major...
Taranaki Rugby Union CEO says ticket scalpers are making add...
Miami Heat's Mike Miller hit a three point shot with one sho...
World number one Novak Djokovic says the biggest mind games ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.