Papalii opens up on 'hurtful' Kangaroos snub

Josh Papalii admits being hurt by his Kangaroos omission for the Rugby League World Cup but is focused on helping Samoa chalk up their first tournament win in Friday's quarter-final.

 

One year after pulling on the green and gold, Papalii will line up against Australia as Samoa look to cause an upset in Darwin.

Papalii was selected for the Kangaroos' mid-year Test win over New Zealand but was a late withdrawal after the Canberra forward was convicted for drink driving.

"It's got to hurt when you've been in a team for so long (and not) getting picked. Then again my form wasn't the best. I understand how that plays (out)," Papalii said on Wednesday.

"He is the coach. He selected his team, who he thought could win the World Cup. I was not in there.

Can Papalii exact revenge? Image: Getty

"I'm playing for Samoa now. That's who I have to play good for. That's how I see it."

Meninga considered giving Papalii a chance after selecting him for the Prime Minister's XIII game last month, but he missed the game because of the death of his grandfather.

Rookies Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Wade Graham and Felise Kaufusi were chosen ahead of him, and Papalii believes his off-field troubles may have counted against him.

"I was picked in the mid year Test but I missed out because of discipline issues. He is trying to set a good example for his team and I didn't fall under that," Papalii said.

"I was meant to go to PNG for the PMs XIII but lost my grandad before that game and I had to pull out. That was the last time I spoke to him."

Papalii insisted Samoa remains confident of beating Australia despite advancing to the knockout stage without a victory.

They qualified after squeezing out a draw with Scotland last week.

"Anyone who's going up against Australia is going to be underdogs," Papalii said.

"We haven't had a win and it'd be nice to get one in Darwin.

"We still have one more chance."

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