Eels pair in Meninga's Kangaroos sights

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Australia coach Mal Meninga will have Junior Paulo at his disposal for the Kangaroos and he has left the door ajar for NSW outcast Reagan Campbell-Gillard to feature at the World Cup.

Paulo was one of a cohort of players who qualifies for Pasifika nations yet to make a call on his availability for the World Cup in England later this year.

Jarome Luai, Brian To'o (both Samoa) and Felise Kaufusi (Tonga) have already declared allegiances for their ancestral countries.

Meninga told AAP that Canberra's Queensland State of Origin prop Josh Papalii was expected to follow suit but he would have Paulo, who played all three Origin games for NSW, on deck for the Kangaroos.

"Josh has indicated he wants to play for Samoa and Junior has opted for Australia," he said.

"Junior and Reagan had a terrific start to the year and that's why they got picked in the Origin team and their back end to the year will be really important (to get selected).

"Regan only played one Origin game but he's definitely in contention."

Meninga, who will be hoping to be the first Australian coach to win back-to-back World Cups since Bob Fulton, said he would put stock in finals form for the Kangaroos' first game in three years.

"I think club form plays more importance," he said. "You want to take good and fit healthy players. Origin is a good indicator but the back end of the year has a significance."

Meninga said Canterbury winger Josh Addo-Carr was firmly in his thoughts despite being overlooked by NSW coach Brad Fittler for all three games of this year's Origin series.

The Origin series gave Meninga a good perspective on how he might pick his gameday 17 with the Kangaroos coach keen to pick a utility who could play hooker or in the spine.

"That's the modern game and we want to keep up with those trends," he said.

"We want that No.14, like a Ben Hunt, Nicho Hynes or AJ Brimson.

"Those players are really valuable on a tour particularly overseas because you have to cater for injuries."

One versatile player Meninga will be keeping an eye on is Kalyn Ponga.

The Newcastle and Queensland fullback is currently wrestling with a decision over whether to cut his season short following repeated concussions.

Meninga said he would only consider Ponga for selection if he was given the all-clear by the Knights and wouldn't place pressure on the fullback to get himself ready for what shapes to be his first outing in the green and gold.

"If he's healthy he's certainly in consideration, but there's a doubt around him because of his health," he added.

"Kalyn is an intelligent man and he will make the best decision and I'm sure the club will make sure they take the decision that's in his best interest."

Australia will be based in Manchester, training out of Manchester City's Etihad Campus.

They begin their defence of the World Cup against Fiji at Headingley before facing Scotland and Italy to round of their Group B games.

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