Mal Meninga predicts bright future for current Australia team

Josh McAllister
Australia Mal Meninga International Rugby League calendar

Australia boss Mal Meninga has predicted a bright future for his current side, claiming their World Cup victory is only the beginning for his young squad. 

The Kangaroos won their third straight title with a 30-10 victory over Samoa at Old Trafford to secure the delayed 2021 World Cup in England.

It sees them lift the trophy for a record 12th time, with six tries on the day including braces for Latrell Mitchell and captain James Tedesco.

Meninga named 13-uncapped players in his 24-man squad ahead of the tournament, including NRL superstars Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Harry Grant. 

Speaking following the World Cup final victory, the head coach warned: “This is only the beginning for this team.

Mal Meninga: This is only the beginning for this team

“I can assure you that all these guys are going to be together for the next three, four, five, six years.

“If you go back to the 1970s we’ve got a 90 percent winning record. It’s been a dominant time for an Australia team and I think we accept that really well as a group of players.

“The expectation is that we win tournaments, so it’s not a burden to us. We carry that with great humility and respect. We understand that all but our most ardent supporters don’t want us to win, but we accept that and we get on with business.

“It’s been, in my experience, one of the happiest groups that I’ve been involved in. Teddy (James Tedesco) made a really good speech at the start about us all being connected and I think we achieved that really well. 

“I’m excited for the players. I’m really happy with whole group.

“This is their moment. And not just for their last seven weeks, the reason they are here is because they’ve played well over a long period of time.”

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