Semi Radradra playing for the Kangaroos in May 2016.
Semi Radradra playing for the Kangaroos in May 2016. DARREN PATEMAN

Radradra won't be considered for Roos after defection

SEMI Radradra's defection to French rugby has cost him any chance at Kangaroos selection in the near future as Mal Meninga takes a stand against rugby league deserters.

Meninga fiercely maintains he has no regrets in selecting the Eels powerhouse for an Australian debut last season on residency grounds, despite outcry over Radradra turning his back on his native Fiji to do so.

Since then Radradra has lurched from one controversy to another. In November NRL CEO Todd Greenberg ruled him out of selection for the Kangaroos Four Nations tour - a stance Meninga supported - as Radradra was due to answer domestic violence charges in court.

The 24-year-old will front court again on February 13 having pleaded not guilty to the charges, but his decision to join Top 14 powerhouses Toulon in 2018 has already resulted in Meninga rule him out of Kangaroos contention.

"No, I won't be (selecting Radradra)," Meninga told

"If a player decides to go to another code, they'll be in extreme doubt in my eyes.

"Semi is committed to another sport, and generally speaking we want to be developing and putting time into players that are staying in rugby league."

Radradra will not be considered for either Australia's mid-year Test against the Kiwis or the end-of-season World Cup, though his commitments with Toulon would have likely taken him away from the code before the tournament kicks off in November.

International rules do not require a player to have a registered contract with their nation's domestic league - which is how England's stars play in the NRL - but Meninga has indicated he will only consider Australian-based players for national duty.

Meninga's stance also looms as a warning for players with both representative and code-hopping aspirations such as recent Test debutant Valentine Holmes, who took part in NFL trials alongside Kiwi man mountain Jason Taumalolo in December.

Seven years ago it was Meninga who picked Israel Folau for Queensland after his shock switch to AFL was announced before the 2010 State of Origin series.

But the Australian coach's new edict follows the NRL's beefing-up of contract rules that prevent players from trialling for AFL and rugby outfits mid-contract, with Taumalolo and Holmes' NFL ventures sparking moves for similar clauses around American football.

Under rejigged eligibility rules, Radradra can still represent his native Fiji at both the World Cup and in the future.

The second year of Radradra's $1.5 million Toulon deal is an option in his favour, which could potentially allow him to return to league at the end of 2018.

But Meninga was non-committal on whether he would welcome the Parramatta winger back into the Australian fold if he resumes his NRL career.

"That depends if he comes back, that's another of those hypotheticals," Meninga said.

"It depends on who's playing, we don't know that two years down the track with hypotheticals.

"The rules have changed now. If we don't pick him for Australia, Fiji can pick him."

As for suggestions the endless sagas around Radradra's future and off-field behaviour have tainted his Australian selection, Meninga was bullish.

"There are no regrets there," Meninga said.

"We picked the team at the time, and it's very easy to make comments in hindsight.

"(Radradra's charges) are still up in the air; obviously he's going to rugby so that has an impact on him being selected for Australia again.

"But we can't predict what's going to happen in the future and people that criticise that decision realistically aren't being fair.

"I don't think that's fair to make that comment, 'Do you regret picking him?' That's unfair."