Tyrone Peachey is in the selection mix for the Kangaroos’ Test match against the Kiwis at Mt Smart Stadium. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Tyrone Peachey is in the selection mix for the Kangaroos’ Test match against the Kiwis at Mt Smart Stadium. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Meninga considers high-risk Roos selection

IN the wake of the Prime Minister's XIII hard-fought 34-18 win over PNG, Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has revealed he's still tinkering with the final make-up of the team to play New Zealand on Saturday.

It seemed a lock that polarising playmaker Ben Hunt would be handed the utility No.14 jersey, and that could still be the case, with the Dragons halfback producing a polished display at dummy-half in Port Moresby.

However, Meninga has also hinted that he may in fact lean on hooker Damien Cook's stamina and opt to take on the Kiwis with four forwards off the bench.

"We know Damien can play 80. So if he can get through 80 minutes fit and healthy then that's good for the side," Meninga said.

"He may benefit from a little break, using his speed and his abilities.

"We're playing against big sides so do we pick a side to match their size or do we pick a side that's got good speed, good footwork and can take advantage of that lateral speed?"

If he does choose to take a utility player into the Mt Smart fixture, Hunt's competition is versatile NSW Blues strikeweapon Tyrone Peachey, who played in the second-row for the PM's XIII side.

If Meninga's post-match comments are anything to go by, Hunt is shading Peachey.

"I thought (Hunt) was great, especially off the back of momentum early in the piece," he said.

"He's a quality player. I thought he defended really well and I thought Peach was pretty good too."

The advantage of picking Peachey over Hunt is that he can play centre and in the back-row, and is a proven performer in every position of the spine.


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