Ex-Kiwi slams Tamou selection

Former New Zealand captain Hugh McGahan has slammed Australia‘s selection of James Tamou for Friday’s ANZAC Test.

Tamou, 23, was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand and played for New Zealand Maori in 2009 and 2010, but was tempted to switch allegiance at the beginning of this season by New South Wales coach Ricky Stuart, meaning he is eligible for both State of Origin and to play for the Kangaroos.

A former Sydney Roosters junior, Tamou made his NRL debut with North Queensland Cowboys in 2009 and has since established himself as a solid first team prop forward.

McGahan, a former loose forward, played 53 tests for New Zealand, captaining his country 17 times, and won the prestigious Golden Boot award in 1988.

He told Australian magazine Rugby League Week: “It’s crazy – it makes a joke of the game at international level.

“It’s just plain silly for a bloke to go from being a Kiwi one year to an Aussie the next and a lot of people in the game must be wondering what’s going on. I bet there are plenty of Aussie front rowers who aren’t impressed either.”

But Kiwis skipper Benji Marshall says retribution against Tamou won’t be on the agenda at Eden Park tomorrow night. Last year, Isaac Luke was cited for a nasty challenge on Rangi Chase, who switched his allegiance to England ahead of the Four Nations.

Marshall said: “We probably got caught up in a little bit of scuffling and our attitudes weren’t good enough (during the Four Nations), in terms of discipline. We can’t afford to get caught up in that again.

“I mean, we are representing our country and the expectation from home is massive. We just have to fulfil that and not let each other down.”

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