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Meninga won't pick NSW rookies

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/04/2016

Mal Meninga will stick with an experience-first policy for next month's mid-year rugby league Test against New Zealand.

The move will all but end James Tedesco, Matt Moylan and Bryce Cartwright's hopes of making their major representative debuts, with Meninga suggesting he will only select them if injuries hit senior players.

None of the trio have played Origin or finals football, and Meninga said they would have to cut their teeth for NSW before wearing the green-and-gold.

"In this particular game I don't think we can speculate on new talent," Meninga told News Corp Australia.

"We've only got a five-day turnaround, so combinations and cohesion is really important if we are going to be successful."

The same rule is unlikely to apply to North Queensland second-rower Gavin Cooper though, who has the backing of the Australian coach given his combination with Johnathan Thurston and 12 finals appearances in his 10-year career.

The Kangaroos host world No.1 New Zealand in Newcastle on May 6 in what will be their first Test since losing to the Kiwis in the annual mid-year fixture last year.

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