Semi Radradra is set for his Kangaroos debut.
Semi Radradra is set for his Kangaroos debut. Mark Kolbe

Roos glad to have ‘true-blue’ Semi

Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith has made it blatantly clear rookie winger Semi Radradra is welcome and deserves his place in Australia’s Test side to play New Zealand in Newcastle on Friday night.

Debate has raged about Australia selecting the Fijian-born Radradra (pictured) at the same time it is trying to grow the game internationally.

But Smith left no doubt the 27-year-old from Suva, who has scored 53 tries in 58 games for Parramatta, was a true-blue “Kangaroo” when the team assembled in camp in Sydney.

His selection in rookie coach Mal Meninga’s first Test side meets all the criteria and Smith said he and the other players were happy to have Radradra in the team to tackle the Kiwis.

“I spoke to him at recovery and he’s obviously very excited to be in camp with the team,” Smith said.

“The selectors picked him on eligibility and the rules and his declaration that he wanted to play for Australia.

“He’s the best winger in the competition at the moment.

“As the captain of this side my job is to play footy, not to make the rules up in the competition.

“Whatever rules the administration makes, we will all abide by them.”

Radradra is one of four rookies selected to make their Test debuts, joining winger Blake Ferguson, interchange forward Josh McGuire and North Queensland’s Michael Morgan who will be bench utility.