Aaron Woods had the time of his life on last year’s Four Nations tour. He has four games left, including two at his beloved Leichhardt Oval, to prove to Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga that he deserves to hold his place in the Australian squad.
“A lot can change,” Woods said. “It’s up to Mal and what he wants to do. I have played under Mal before and he knows what you can do.
“It was the time of my life on that Four Nations tour last year. First time being coached by Mal and it was really good fun.
“It would be awesome. I would really love to be there again. At the end of the day, it is who is playing good footy. It is a World Cup year.
“He is going to have a really good squad.”
Meninga is known for his loyalty to those who have done the job in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is wedded to the group who won last year’s Four Nations.
Woods’s greatest challenge may come from not playing finals football. He was a mainstay of the NSW side in this year’s State of Origin series, but Wests Tigers’ poor season could ultimately cost him a green and gold jersey because many of those competing for the same position will be involved in the finals.
Kangaroos front-row contenders abound in the top eight. Jordan McLean, Dylan Napa, Josh McGuire, Andrew Fifita and Jake Trbojevic are among those in the thick of contention.
Woods has four games left to justify his selection, starting this weekend when the Tigers host Manly at Leichhardt. It will be Woods’s penultimate game at the ground in a Tigers jersey — yesterday he insisted his move to Canterbury was still on despite the Bulldogs’ well-documented salary cap problems.
Woods also praised his friend and future Canterbury teammate David Klemmer for the way he handled an ugly confrontation with a fan in the Bulldogs dressing shed after their loss to Parramatta last week.
“I was proud of Dave,” Woods said. “If anyone wants to come inside those sheds you have to respect the rules. The old Klem would have reacted.”