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Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga hasn’t given up hope on the end-of-year tour to Great Britain despite the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the sport.
Australia were due to go on their first full tour of Great Britain since 2003 in October and November, with matches also set to be played against English Super League sides.
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Could Kangaroos tour still happen?
NRL: Australian head coach Mal Meninga calls himself an optimist but he believes there’s a chance the Kangaroos could still tour later in the year.
But that now looks highly unlikely given the global pandemic. Europe has been hardest hit by the virus and is now considered the new epicentre with large parts of the continent virtually shut down.
The NRL is also expected to run into the southern summer if it gets back on the field, with a grand final day of December 13 now the most likely scenario.
However, Meninga said he was still hopeful the tour could go ahead, particularly if the NRL couldn’t get back on the field by the September deadline but conditions improve.
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“We’ve still got maybe the window in October and November to play some rugby league,” Meninga told Fox League Live.
“If the competition can’t get up and going in September but we’re recovering all around the world and we’re recovering here, and the players are training.
“I’m the eternal optimist, always have been and always will be.
Mal Meninga talks tactics with Kangaroos players last October.Source:Getty Images
“I’m hoping we may even have an Origin series through October and maybe a Test series through November to lift the spirits of players and fans and our commercial partners as well.” Meninga said he believed English authorities also wanted the games to go ahead if possible.
The rugby league immortal’s plan does fit with numerous others, given the desire for State of Origin to still be played in an altered schedule.
Any Origin matches could be used as trials for Kangaroos selection, while Meninga would still have last year’s Oceania Cup squad to use.
All 19 members of that squad are still available, while Meninga also picked a Junior Kangaroos side to play at the end of last year to help blood players for future tours.
Originally published asMeninga optimistic about rescheduled Origin series and Kangaroos tour
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