The Storm star’s quality was never in doubt. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
The Storm star’s quality was never in doubt. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

How Bellamy revived Munster’s Roos career

MAL Meninga says he had no hesitation bringing Maroons star Cameron Munster back into the Kangaroos jersey after Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy green-lighted his Test return.

Munster, 24, will wear the green and gold No.6 in Australia's upcoming Tests against the Kiwis and Tonga in New Zealand.

The Rockhampton rocket's elevation to the famous five-eighth duties come a year after he found himself on shaky ground within the Kangaroos.

Munster's off-field behaviour during the World Cup prompted Kangaroos coach Meninga to send him home for a dressing down by Bellamy.

Whatever Bellamy said worked, with Munster rebounding to cement the Queensland No.6 jersey and Melbourne's player-of-the-year award this season.

 

Munster still plays with his heart. (Matt King/Getty Images)
Munster still plays with his heart. (Matt King/Getty Images)

 

Meninga said Bellamy's honest words with Munster helped turn around his career.

"He had a conversation with Craig Bellamy," Meninga said. "He's had a terrific year on and off the footy field.

"I was talking to Craig and he's matured a tremendous amount through the year.

"He had to because Cooper Cronk wasn't there any more and he's playing a position he probably doesn't want to play in. He wants to play fullback.

"He's matured a lot and handled his rise really well all year."

 

The Maroons star’s quality was never in doubt. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
The Maroons star’s quality was never in doubt. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

 

While he produced a memorable NRL season, Munster finished it on a low point when he was sin-binned twice in Melbourne's grand final loss to the Roosters last Sunday.

His second stint in the bin came after he kicked Roosters centre Joseph Manu on the ground, a brain snap which threatened to crush his Test dreams.

Instead of being suspended, Munster was fined $1400 for the incident and will partner Queensland No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans in the Kangaroos spine.

"We saw by their connection in the third Origin game where Cherry came in and blew everyone off the park with his game," Meninga said.

"Cameron combined with him really well in Game Three. Hopefully we can see a bit more of that in the next few games.

"Cherry has been terrific all year and a great leader for the Manly club who have been in turmoil for the last 12 months."

 

Daly Cherry-Evans will also get his chance. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Daly Cherry-Evans will also get his chance. (AAP Image/Darren England)

 

Munster's World Cup drama last year included a heated confrontation with teammate Ben Hunt in Darwin.

Hunt, also in the Kangaroos squad for the New Zealand tour, expected Munster to bounce back from his grand final embarrassment.

"He'll turn up and play really well," Hunt said. "Munster is not the kind of guy who will carry his divots with him.

"I know he'll be disappointed with it but he'll move on and I know when we get to New Zealand he'll turn up and play pretty good."

 

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