Premiership star Maloney primed for Test spot
RUGBY LEAGUE: James Maloney has proved a grand final master - now give the man his Kangaroo jumper.
Unwanted by the Roosters at the end of last year, Maloney secured his second NRL premiership ring in helping steer Cronulla to its fairytale first NRL premiership on Sunday night.
Playing his third decider in five years, Maloney was outstanding in attack - almost twice setting up tries - and also kicked strongly and booted three goals from as many attempts.
Indeed, his early penalty goal proved the difference.
Now the 30-year-old is a chance for his maiden Australian Test jersey.
With the Kangaroos Four Nations team named today, Maloney is a big chance to beat Brisbane Broncos' Anthony Milford into the side.
Strong in his return to the NSW Origin side this year, Maloney has represented the Prime Minister's XIII.
And with coach Mal Meninga saying he always wants to pick teams on today, not the future, who better than the bloke who has added to his 2013 Roosters premiership.
While he has always been regarded as a larrikin, Maloney proved how serious he was about Sunday's decider by skipping his older brother Matt's wedding on Saturday, when he was to be a groomsman.
Indeed, how hard is it to believe that is the same bloke let go by the Tricolours? And years before that, Parramatta.
Meninga delayed the announcement of his Test squad until this morning.
Reports suggested the delay was to give the ARL Commission time to consider the selection of Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita.
Fifita scored the winning try in the grand final, but controversy followed after it was revealed he had been wearing a wristband with the name of his friend, convicted killer Kieran Loveridge, on it.