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Meninga won't put pressure on Papalii

Raiders CEO Don Furner and club great Mal Meninga.

Raiders CEO Don Furner and club great Mal Meninga. Photo: Graham Tidy

Raiders legend Mal Meninga would love Josh Papalii to stay in Canberra, but won't be twisting his arm to backflip on his deal with Parramatta.

Contrary to reports he would be the ace up the Raiders' sleeve in convincing the emerging enforcer to turn his back on the Eels, Meninga said he hadn't spoken to Papalii about the switch, but would give advice if asked by the 20-year-old.

The Raiders remain hopeful they can convince Papalii to renege on his contract with the Eels before the round-13 deadline and agree to terms for an extended deal in Canberra.

Josh Papalii.

Josh Papalii. Photo: Colleen Petch COP

Papalii told his Raiders teammates not to believe everything they read, hinting he may be having second thoughts about joining the Eels.

The Raiders are seeking third-party sponsorships to increase their offer to Papalii, with Meninga making no secret of where he hopes one of the most damaging forwards in the NRL ends up.

''Being a Raiders man, I'd love to see Josh stay at the club and fulfil his potential there,'' Meninga said.

''They haven't had the success the club deserves, so it'd be good for him to be involved in a successful era for the Raiders.

''I don't think they're too far away from that, so it'd be nice for him to stick around.''

Triple-premiership captain Meninga rejoined the Raiders last year as a club ambassador, with his role including assisting with player retention and recruitment.

''If they [Raiders players] want to come to me and have a yarn about their career or footy, that's for them to initiate,'' Meninga said.

''I haven't had much to do with Josh from a career point of view.

''I've had a few talks about Queensland and how he's going, that's more casual than anything.''

The Queensland coach also cleared the air about Papalii's controversial switch from New Zealand to the Maroons late last year.

Papalii had signed a letter of intent to play for New Zealand after he had represented the Junior Kiwis, only to change his allegiance to the state he moved to at the age of six and where he played all his junior football.

''Contrary to belief, I asked what he wanted to do, and I didn't put any pressure on Josh at all to make that decision,'' Meninga said.

Meninga said Papalii's age meant he was going to be guided by the people he trusts and questioned the role his manager, Col Davis, played in the contract dilemma.

The NRL doesn't register contracts with rival teams until after round 13, a clause several players have taken advantage of in the past few seasons.

The most recent case is utility Tim Moltzen, who signed with the Dragons before changing his mind and remaining with the Wests Tigers.

Raiders captain Terry Campese hopes Papalii follows suit and becomes an integral part of the Green Machine's plans for years to come. ''It's not a positive for Parramatta until round 13 when it's a proper, binding contract,'' he said.

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Final
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
England 3 1 2 0 0 2
Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
View all
 
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