RLPA player of the year James Tedesco was left out but the man Meninga called was incumbent winger Blake Ferguson.

The Blues back had been a regular in the green and gold for years.   

“The only player I rang was Blake Ferguson,” Meninga said.

“He was upset. He wasn’t in the best of form.”

Meninga said he believed the selections were balanced with several players able to fill many positions.

“This squad has the right mix of youth and experience, as well as an overall balance across the positions for a World Cup campaign,” Meninga said.

“It was selected based on form, performances in the State of Origin series as well as previously in the green and gold jersey.

“We have a number of players who can play multiple positions and that will be an advantage over the course of what we hope will be six matches.”