Mal steps down from coaching to phone every Kangaroo overlooked for selection

Dane Eldridge Columnist

By Dane Eldridge, Dane Eldridge is a Roar Expert

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    Mal Meninga has resigned as Kangaroos coach to concentrate on personally informing every human omitted from his World Cup squad.

    The decision comes after he was unable to guarantee completing the 24 million individual conversations before the tournament begins in three weeks time.

    Initial reports stated Meninga would take on the two roles, believing he could juggle both pitying millions and supervising Josh Dugan.

    However, he ultimately opted to relieve himself from coaching a team coached by Cameron Smith, effective immediately.

    The supercoach’s newfound personal touch follows criticism from Sam Thaiday, who was left out of the Kangaroos squad because he isn’t a fullback.

    The veteran was disappointed not to receive the news first-hand, rather than by the deafening silence of his phone.

    Thaiday voiced his sizzling displeasure towards Meninga via his Instagram account, which many believe was a hack by Wayne Bennett.

    Showing immense class, the coach was remorseful and immediately apologised to Thaiday for not receiving the press leak.

    He then offered the backrower a role for the tournament as an absent consultant, provided he has no interest growing the global game with Tonga.


    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    But most importantly, Meninga pledged forthwith to inform everyone on selection decisions – and by everyone, he meant everyone.

    However, he could only keep his promise to Thaiday by stepping away from an annual schedule ‘jam-packed’ with a test match and weekly 30-minute spots on Queenslanders Only.

    Meninga has already begun his crusade of widespread rejection, starting at the top of the phone book by axing Aaron Aaronson before working all the way through to Ziggy Niszczot.

    Pundits were left amazed by the news, with many stunned there is someone who still owns a phone book.

    Meninga has also enlisted the services of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ensuring all overseas Australian nationals will receive the news they won’t be playing in a tournament they’re probably not aware of.

    Once finished, the former Maroons coach will begin the process of informing those overlooked for the 2021 squad, provided he is still alive.

    Across the ditch, David Kidwell has welcomed the news of Australia’s upheaval as an advantage on the eve of the tournament.

    The Kiwis coach says he is enjoying a much smoother preparation, with his players saving him similar hassles by proactively abandoning him en masse.

    Dane Eldridge
    Dane Eldridge

    Dane was named best and fairest in the 2004 Bathurst mixed indoor cricket competition. With nothing in the game left to achieve, he immediately retired at his peak to a reclusive life ensconced in the velvet of organised contests. Catch the man on Twitter @eld2_0.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (37)

    • October 6th 2017 @ 6:50am
      terry tavita said | October 6th 2017 @ 6:50am | ! Report

      a tad of petty venom in that narrative..

    • October 6th 2017 @ 7:32am
      Bamboo said | October 6th 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      This has to be a new low.

      Not even funny.

      • Columnist

        October 6th 2017 @ 7:35am
        Dane Eldridge said | October 6th 2017 @ 7:35am | ! Report

        Thanks Bamboo! Always good to set new standards

        • October 6th 2017 @ 7:35pm
          terrence said | October 6th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

          Currently, coach Meninga is only half way to William Zillman. Why did he listen to Dave Kidwell and Wayne Bennett on how to tell players and to go in alphabetical order!, “Hi < I’m Mal Meninga, the Australian coach, sorry to disturb your well earned break but…we have decided to go in another direction this world cup, and this time you…”

          Great article Dane, keep em coming!

          • October 9th 2017 @ 10:59am
            Chook said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            Coach Meninga?? No one could acuse him of that

    • Roar Rookie

      October 6th 2017 @ 8:13am
      Paulo said | October 6th 2017 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      Actually I quite liked it and am taking it for what it is. A light hearted tongue in cheek peice. Dont take it too seriously.

      On the flip side, Third-man Thaiday probably should have a got a call, but to throw a tanty on social media should also have been below him. If you want respect, you need to show some class.

      • Columnist

        October 6th 2017 @ 8:38am
        Dane Eldridge said | October 6th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        Thanks Paulo! You’re right, this all could’ve been resolved with greater communication. And/or more whispers

    • October 6th 2017 @ 9:23am
      Paul said | October 6th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      Not funny? I thought it was a beauty.

      The true story behind two grown men being unable to communicate effectively to each other and Dane’s solution to the problem. Love it.

      • Columnist

        October 6th 2017 @ 9:26am
        Dane Eldridge said | October 6th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        Thanks Paul, all it takes is a phone call or 24 mill

        • October 6th 2017 @ 9:59am
          Paul said | October 6th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

          I wonder if Alfie’s waiting for a call?

          • Columnist

            October 6th 2017 @ 10:24am
            Dane Eldridge said | October 6th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

            Is Alf running the water for Mal? AKA Playing halfback?

            • October 6th 2017 @ 10:37am
              FnQ said | October 6th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

              most likely for England

          • October 7th 2017 @ 6:06pm
            dave said | October 7th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

            Alfie langer was never the same after he had ogled the great Tina Turner when she sang her great song “simply the best” at a NRL grand final.

    • Roar Guru

      October 6th 2017 @ 10:17am
      Nat said | October 6th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      So I just finished my call with Mal after my brief stint with Valleys 3rd Div 3 years ago. He was understandably apologetic and knew I was disappointed but encouraged me that my rep career may not be over due to my slightly above average ‘Kick it touch’ form and several defections from current players to dominant PI nations. Here’s hoping.

      • Columnist

        October 6th 2017 @ 10:22am
        Dane Eldridge said | October 6th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        Super stuff, Nat. Great to hear. I’m yet to hear from Mal myself. I’ve got an angry Insta post ready to go, but I’m gonna hold off now based on your news

        • October 6th 2017 @ 10:41am
          FnQ said | October 6th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          I’m waiting by the phone. Got my Acme Thunderer ready.

          • October 6th 2017 @ 11:01am
            TezzaPel said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

            Not the Acme Thunderer! Went through four of them during my years as an Aussie Rules Umpire. Always carried a spare in the roll of my sock in case the pea went bung (and it did on a few occasions).

            • October 6th 2017 @ 11:23am
              FnQ said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

              Good Irish joke in that. To be sure. to be sure

            • Columnist

              October 6th 2017 @ 11:25am
              Dane Eldridge said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

              Dunno what that is, but man, it sounds high-tech

              • October 6th 2017 @ 11:34am
                FnQ said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                Could use just one to replace the whole bunker system

        • Roar Guru

          October 6th 2017 @ 11:14am
          Nat said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          I got ya Dane. I let Mal know about your article (because, you know, he’s not a reader) and he’s just got to schedule a press conference time so he can make the call in front of the press. I just hope he doesn’t give you the ol’ “I can’t do this” after considering all the politics in coaching a footy team.

    • October 6th 2017 @ 10:58am
      TezzaPel said | October 6th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      Great stuff Dane. Loved it. Have never played league (Aussie Rules was my game), but I don’t expect a call as my phone number is on the Do Not Call Register. Could you let Mal know that I am not able to be contacted?

      • Columnist

        October 6th 2017 @ 11:26am
        Dane Eldridge said | October 6th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        Will pass that on for you, TezzaPel. He’ll probably just call you to confirm

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