Eels winger Semi Radradra in action for the Kangaroos against New Zealand in May.
Eels winger Semi Radradra in action for the Kangaroos against New Zealand in May. DARREN PATEMAN

Smith hopes to see banned duo back with Kangaroos

RUGBY LEAGUE: While he backs the Australian Rugby League Commission's hard-line stance over the non-selection of Andrew Fifita and Semi Radradra, skipper Cameron Smith is hoping both will wear the Kangaroos jersey again.

Fifita was not considered for the one-off Test with New Zealand in Perth on October 15 or next month's Four Nations tournament in England after courting controversy for writing a message of support for convicted one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge on his wrist strapping.

Radradra pleaded not guilty to domestic violence charges but management was concerned it would prove a distraction for the Fijian-born winger.

"Those two guys, they have issues away from football that they need to sort out,” Smith said.

"I think it's the correct decision that's been made by the NRL for those guys not to be available for this tour. And the (Rugby League Players Association) have backed it as well.

"I'm hopeful that they'll have the opportunity to represent Australia again because they're both very talented footballers - we've seen that this season.

"I'm sure that if they work hard, then they'll get an opportunity to play again.”

Coach Mal Meninga showed with this squad that he is not picking players on reputation after leaving out veterans Paul Gallen and Corey Parker.

Smith said that showed that anything could happen and come next year's World Cup, we could be seeing a number of new players in with a chance of playing for the Kangaroos.

"Twelve months away, we're not sure where all these players are going to be at physically and form-wise,” Smith said. "You need to be playing well, first and foremost.

"The best thing about Mal is he likes stability. I like stability. If you can have a successful tournament this year, then I'd like to think we can go on and keep this group together and start building.”



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