27 Sep 2012

Papalii picks Maroons over Kiwis

7:14 am on 27 September 2012

The Canberra back-rower Josh Papalii says Queensland coach Mal Meninga had no influence on his decision to play for the State of Origin side rather than the Kiwis.

Named in the Kiwis train-on squad for next month's Test against Australia in Townsville after playing for the Junior Kiwis in 2011, the 20-year-old is instead turning his attention to the green and golds and the Maroons.

His switch is another blow for the Kiwis and international rugby league, after North Queensland prop James Tamou also rejected his country of birth to turn out for NSW and the Kangaroos earlier this year.

Papalii, who moved the Australia when he was six, says it was a tough decision to make.

Papalii says he spoke a lot with former Canberra player and now Kiwi official Ruben Wiki and says in the end he was supportive of his decision.