Meninga wants Kangaroos to bring back fear factor

New Australian coach Mal Meninga wants the Kangaroos to regain the passion and pride in the jumper as he looks to return Australia to the top of world rugby league.

Meninga has replaced Tim Sheens as the head coach of the green and gold. The Kangaroos won the 2013 World Cup but have since slumped to three consecutive losses to New Zealand, with the Kiwis winning the 2014 Four Nations, and slipped down to second in the world rankings.

“They’re all great players. It’s just a matter of making sure that when they put the jersey on, they want to be successful,” Meninga said.

“If you’re the best player in your position, you’ll get picked in the Australian side.

“And you can be a bit of a bully from that sense, because I’ll [only] pick you if you want to play to the best of your ability in this jersey.”

The 2017 World Cup will be hosted by Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Meninga wants to turn the tide back against the Kiwis, who recently lost a 2-1 series to England.

“Leading into the World Cup next year, we want to be in a position where we’re feared again,” he said.

“[NZ have] got some great players playing in the NRL who are not scared any more, not daunted by the fact they’re playing against the Australian Kangaroos.

“From a psyche point of view, they’re very confident going into a game. We’ve got to turn that around. That’s my job.”

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