Schofield has accused Meninga and the Kangaroos of "running scared" because they won't face Great Britain or a resurgent England in a Test match until 2020.

Schofield has claimed that Australia is worried after a recent loss to New Zealand and that after the retirements of captain Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Jonathan Thurston, they have no playmakers to replace them.

But Lam has defended Meninga and says the Kangaroos boss is doing a lot for the international game.

"I think Garry’s saying that because he sees, and everyone sees, that Australia have lost a lot of their experience," he told Inside Sport.

"They can see there’s no Cameron Smth, Cooper Cronk and Jonathan Thurston, so he’s seen as an opportunity to have a dig. I don’t mind it because I like a bit of talk in international rugby league.

"But I don’t think it’s exactly true, what he’s saying, but I like the banter because it gets people talking and interested in the international game. He’s right, we need to play more international matches.

"But if it wasn’t for Mal Meninga this year Australia probably wouldn’t have had a Test match. It was the first time that Australia played Tonga in Auckland. So he got that game [organised] and it was an unbelieveable match, amazing, and that’s Mal Meninga’s doing.

"The Kangaroos took a pay cut to make it happen. When Garry’s saying that on the side, it’s not quite true because Mal’s doing so much on the side to make rugby league at the international level get exposure."

Schoefield has tipped the world champions will struggle in the future without veterans Cronk, Thurston and Smith to call on.

But the with likes of Nathan Cleary, James Maloney, Luke Keary, Cameron Munster and Michael Morgan available for selection, as well as Kalyn Ponga coming through the ranks, Lam says the Kangaroos have strength in depth.

"There’s a whole heap of halves coming through," he said.

"We’ve still got Daly Cherry-Evans that’s got five, six years left. The list goes on. But I like the banter. It’s good that England’s been successful, it’s good that England’s winning and there’s a fresh feel about the national side."