Luai open to Meninga chat on Kangaroos

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Jarome Luai says he is open to discussing his Test allegiances with Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, revealing he hasn't completely closed the door on playing for Australia.

Luai's international preference has been one of the talking points of the State of Origin series, after previously stating he would prioritise playing for Samoa.

Under eligibility rules, Origin players are not bound to preference playing for Australia and can represent any country other than New Zealand or England as long as they meet relevant criteria.

Luai is eligible for Samoa through his parents' heritage, having immersed himself in the country's culture while growing up in western Sydney.

That has previously prompted him to say it is his preference to play for Samoa at this year's World Cup, after representing them five times previously.

But the Penrith playmaker is still willing to meet with Meninga and hear out his approach, with the Kangaroos coach adamant Origin players should put Australia first and keen to talk.

"I've seen some reports that he wanted to give me a buzz. I haven't said no to anything yet so it would be pretty cool to chat to him," Luai said.

"For sure (I would be open to what he says). You definitely have to respect someone like that and hear what he has to say.

"I've got full respect for what he is to the game."

Meninga has been vocal on his stance with Australian players, with New Zealand having previously been decimated by the Tongan revolution.

Josh Papalii is also set to represent Samoa at the end-of-year World Cup if it goes ahead, while Brian To'o could also choose to play for the Pacific nation.

Junior Paulo has also played from them previously, while other NSW forwards Daniel Saifiti and Tariq Sims are of Fijian heritage.

But it is Luai's preference that has captured most attention, with Meninga concerned even before the series began that players should only run out for emerging nations if not picked for Australia first.

And after his stellar Origin series for NSW, Meninga now considers Luai very much in the mix for a World Cup spot.

"To me that disappoints me (he wants to play for Samoa) because I firmly believe that Origin is a stepping stone to the Kangaroos. That's what it needs to be," Meninga told AAP last month.

"I'm not anti it, because my major role is to run the national program. And if Jarome plays for Samoa that is a good thing (for the world game).

"But I think Origin needs to be a stepping stone to the Kangaroos. That's what I am disappointed in.

"I assume that you want to play for QLD or NSW that your first preference would Australia on your contract."

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