Legend Mal Meninga eager to face St Helens on Australian tour in 2020

Mal Meninga
Mal Meninga

Mal Meninga's love affair with St Helens is still far from over, judging by a desire to face his old club as part of Australia's 2020 tour of Great Britain.

Mighty Mal, now the Kangaroos head coach, only played a season for Saints in 1984–85, but being one of the privileged few journalists to see most of his matches during his time at Knowsley Road in a dual role as sports editor of the St Helens Reporter and editor of the Rugby Leaguer, I can vouch for the WOW factor he brought to the club as trophy-starved Saints went on to win the Lancashire Cup 26-18 against arch-rivals Wigan at Central Park and followed it by clinching the Premiership crown when defeating Hull KR 36-16 at Elland Road - the home of Leeds United.FC

Who will ever forget the way he almost contemptuously swatted aside one challenge from the up-and-coming Shaun Edwards in the county cup encounter in October 1984 and seven months later produced a lung-bursting near length-of-field dash to score a crucial second-half try against the Robins.

News of Meninga's 'dream' was revealed by England boss Wayne Bennett on his whistle-stop visit to the UK earlier this week.

Bennett said: ''I was speaking with Mal the other day and he revealed he was keen to come here and revisit the Kangaroo tradition and play some midweek games.

“He said he had talked to the St Helens owners about the possibility of playing a game at the Totally Wicked next year.

“They will play the England Knights as well which will be great for them.”

Meninga played 31 times in his solitary season at Saints and scored 28 tries and landed eight goals - exploits which still live in the memory of my generation.