Meninga seriously considering Kennedy as an Origin bolter

His allegiance sparked another full-scale war between NSW and QLD, but now, in light of all that, Roosters prop Martin Kennedy is a surprising candidate for an Origin berth in 2011.

After starting the season tremendously well for the Roosters, he is being purported as a potential QLD prop for 2011, in what will only further irritate NSW fans.

“Martin has made a big contribution to the forward pack at the Roosters and he’s definitely in the mix, we’re keeping an eye on him,” Meninga said.

“I’m very impressed with Martin – that’s why he was part of the QAS (Emerging Origin) squad this year.

“I thought he was very good last year for the Roosters and he’s started in even better form this year.”

Despite having incumbent props available in Matt Scott, Ben Hannant, David Shillington and Petero Civoniceva to choose from, for Meninga, if Kennedy continues to play the way he is, his form might be too good to pass up for the series.

“I’m extremely happy with the front row talent we’ve got for Queensland and there will be competition, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“Martin is doing everything his coach has asked him to do, he and other guys are smart enough to know if they get off to a good start with their clubs and their clubs do well, it holds them in good stead for Origin selection.”

Incumbent QLD second-rower, and Broncos stalwart Sam Thaiday, says that he quite enjoys seeing the new and young players emerging, and he would be a welcome addition to the side.

“It’s great to see these young front-rowers who want to play for Queensland,” he said.

“Martin Kennedy is now part of that future. He’s been playing some great footy for the Roosters.

“I think Benny (Hannant) would have the upper hand at the moment because he’s been in the team in the past and Mal has stuck by blokes who have performed for him in the past.

“But Kennedy’s time will come and he could be the bolter this year.”

Hannant, who played in Game 2 last year, knows that he is under pressure from the young live-wire prop.

“He is in great form, it’s great to see a young bloke like him coming through and stepping it up and it’s a good challenge for someone older like me,” he said.

“I’m happy with the way I’m going.

“The main thing is staying injury-free and playing my role at the Broncos. If I’m on the park come Origin time hopefully I can put my hand up and get picked.”

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