Brisbane forward Josh McGuire has his NRL coach Wayne Bennett in his sights after putting his hand up for Samoa’s May 6 Test against England.
After outpointing the man who denied him a Kangaroos jersey, Josh McGuire now hopes to claim an even bigger scalp playing for Samoa: Wayne Bennett.
Incumbent lock Trent Merrin kept his spot for next week’s trans-Tasman Test, leaving form Brisbane No.13 McGuire on the outer.
McGuire seemed to have the last laugh when he won his personal duel with Merrin in Brisbane’s 32-18 NRL win over the Panthers at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.
McGuire said there were no hard feelings after Four Nations hero Merrin again got the nod from Meninga.
“When you go into any game you want to play better than your opposite number (but) it wasn’t personal,” McGuire said.
“He (Merrin) is a quality football player and deserves his jersey – he played well in the Four Nations.”
McGuire has now set his sights on earning bragging rights over his Brisbane coach Bennett.
McGuire said he would be available for Samoa’s May 6 Test against England – coached by none other than Bennett – at Campbelltown Stadium.
“I would definitely want to win. It would be good to get one over him to have bragging rights when we come back to training,” McGuire laughed.
Queensland State of Origin forward McGuire is eligible for Samoa thanks to his mother’s heritage and has played six Tests for the island nation since 2010.
Under revised eligibility rules, players can nominate a tier-one nation – Australia, New Zealand or England – and a second tier nation such as Samoa.
They can switch between their two countries multiple times within a World Cup cycle.
McGuire was proud to represent Samoa but said his main goal was Australia’s World Cup campaign at the end of the year.
“It is good opportunity to play for my mum’s side – I am proud of all my heritage,” McGuire said.
“But hopefully I play Origin and push for a World Cup spot.
“But it’s very hard to get into the (Kangaroos) team – they won the Four Nations.”
McGuire said he wouldn’t try to persuade Brisbane teammate Anthony Milford to play for Samoa next week.
Milford is still yet to decide whether to run out against England after missing out on the Kangaroos squad.
The Brisbane five-eighth is reportedly torn over whether to play for Samoa for the first time since the 2013 World Cup because the Broncos “pay the bills”.
“He will make his own decision,” McGuire said. “We would rather have him than not.
“But I think if everyone gets through medicals everyone will put their hand up.”