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Fifita a redemption story: Meninga

NZN 29/04/2017 Scott Bailey and Steve Zemek

Andrew Fifita's return from Test exile is complete, with the Cronulla giant promoted to Australia's starting line-up on Sunday following Shannon Boyd's withdrawal from the Anzac Test.

Fifita had only been named in the squad earlier on Sunday to replace the injured Aaron Woods, but Fifita will now start Friday's Anzac Test against New Zealand in Canberra after Boyd was ruled out with a leg injury.

Manly's Jake Trbojevic has been called onto the bench, and Melbourne prop Jordan McLean is the new 18th man.

Fifita's return comes after coach Mal Meninga omitted the premiership winner from Australia's squad for last year's Four Nations tournament after his public show of support for his friend, one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge.

However, Meninga made it clear on Sunday he believed Fifita was ready to meet the behavioural standards he expected of his Test squad.

"Andrew has shown to all since last year's Four Nations tournament that he is ready to play for the Kangaroos again," said Meninga.

"The game made a stand regarding behaviour at the time and Andrew paid the price for that, missing the Four Nations tour.

"Our game has seen some wonderful redemptive stories throughout its history and I can only think this will be another one."

Fifita's recall comes just two days after Meninga dropped Canberra star Josh Papalii after he was convicted of drink driving.

Woods suffered what appeared to be a bad hamstring injury in Wests Tigers' loss to Cronulla on Saturday night, and will undergo scans on Monday to determine the extent of the damage.

However there was some good news for Meninga on Sunday when back up Test playmaker James Maloney escaped a charge over a tackle which put Tigers fullback James Tedesco out of the match with concussion.

Maloney is in the squad on standby for Johnathan Thurston, who was selected but is unlikely to take the field for the Test after missing the past three weeks with a calf injury.

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