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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Cherry-Evans in frame for Australian recall: Meninga

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said Daly Cherry-Evans might have played himself back into an Australian jersey, after his stunning comeback performance in Queensland's Origin III win.
The Manly playmaker was instrumental in squeezing the life out of NSW at Suncorp Stadium with his deft kicking and game management helping to keep the Blues pinned in their own half.
"It was great to see, his control was excellent, his management was excellent, his kicking game was the best I've seen from anyone at that level for a long, long time to be honest," Meninga said.
"I think at the end of the day that was the difference, that constant pressure on the Blues' try-line in the first half.
"Manly won't make the eight you wouldn't think, so it's another few important weeks for Manly and Daly as well, but it puts him in the forefront."
Cherry-Evans made his Maroons return this year after three years of being overlooked by selectors. He has not played for Australia in four - since the 2014 Four Nations tournament. 
The Kangaroos merit side will be announced on Sunday and unsurprisingly, Meninga confirmed there will be a strong Blues element after their Holden State of Origin series win.
The national coach struggled to narrow down who he thought was the most impressive out of the 13 debutants for NSW.
"Tommy Trbojevic had a terrific series and you saw him stand up and be one of the better players in game three," Meninga said.
"I like [Josh] Addo-Carr I thought he had a great series, Latrell Mitchell played really well, [Jack] de Belin in his first series was really good as well. 
"[Angus] Crichton off the bench too, I thought they handled it all really well, it's a really good experience, and I thought Boyd Cordner led the side well and [Tyson] Frizell."
After being consigned to the Intrust Super Cup earlier this year, Canberra Raiders lock Josh Papalii has not only played his way back into form but possibly a green and gold jersey, having missed out on World Cup selection last year.
"At No.13 I think he's excelled and been one of the best forwards in the competition at the moment on form," Meninga said.
"I thought he was used sparingly through Origin, but I think he made enough of an impact through those three games to warrant being on the selection table.
"The good thing about Papa is he's got flexibility, he can play edge, he can play middle - in the middle suits him because he's got a big motor.
"Before this year you would have thought he would play left or right edge, but the 13 seems to suit him, he's got a good motor, good footwork and he can play big minutes."