Roos coach Meninga wants formal international schedule
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has called for a formal international schedule of rugby league fixtures to be drawn up, as he still awaits word of Australia's next match.
After Australia's World Cup win in England last year and the emergence of the Pasifika teams, Meninga said he was "crossing his fingers" the code could capitalise on the interest generated by the tournament.
But almost two months into 2023, Meninga still doesn't know when the world champions will play their next game.
The next World Cup will be in France in 2025, but Australia has no major tours or tournaments confirmed in the intervening years.
Other sports, including cricket, have a future tours schedule and Meninga would like to see rugby league follow suit.
"I think schedules are the way to go," Meninga told AAP.
Meninga would like to see some major nations tour France before the 2025 World Cup and an Oceania tournament involving Australia, New Zealand and the Pasifika teams.
Rather than getting frustrated or disappointed by the lack of international fixtures, Meninga understood the game in Australia had more pressing issues than arranging international matches.
"It's not a priority at the moment," Meninga said.
"Obviously the collective bargaining agreement is taking front and centre so at this stage we've got no idea what's happening around the international program.
"We've had no word out of the NRL or the International Rugby League board, so at this stage it's all up in the air.
"But I'm sure it will be all sorted soon.
"I haven't heard anything yet about what the future might bring, but on the back of what we saw over in England, I feel that we can make rugby league a more professional and global sport than what we may have thought."
Samoa provided one of the most compelling storylines of the World Cup by making it through to the final against Australia, with over 67,000 attending the match at Manchester's Old Trafford.
Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and fellow rugby league minnows Lebanon all got to the quarter-finals.
Meninga was philosophical about Australia missing out on some players for the World Cup such as Kangaroos stalwart Josh Papali'i, who opted to represent Samoa, and Roosters star Victor Radley who played for England.
"If you're passionate about the green and gold and you're passionate about playing for Australia, that's the first thing I want," Meninga said.
"But if you're passionate about playing for your ancestral nation, that's great as well.
"Because it actually encourages a better competition as seen by the World Cup last year with Samoa coming in."