9 Dec 2008

Meninga indicates Queensland will take precedence over Australia

5:59 pm on 9 December 2008

Job favourite Mal Meninga may be ruled out of the vacant Australian rugby league team coaching role.

Queensland Rugby League managing director Ross Livermore says Meninga's told him he'll stick with coaching the Queensland State of Origin team if he has to choose between the two jobs.

Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr says he felt Meninga would have to give up coaching Queensland if he was chosen to take over the national team to avoid concerns about selection bias in the Kangaroos.

Meninga has been favourite candidate for the Kangaroos job after incumbent Ricky Stuart stood down after being fined for his abuse of match officials in the wake of the World Cup final loss to New Zealand.

But Meninga recently signed a new three-year deal to coach Queensland which is understood to be worth significantly more than he could earn guiding Australia.

He also has the chance next year to make history by steering Queensland to a record fourth straight Origin series win over New South Wales.