Meninga could walk away
MAL Meninga has revealed he will review his position as Australian coach amid fears the Queensland icon could be lost to the Kangaroos after the World Cup.
Meninga will launch Australia's World Cup defence in the tournament opener against England at AAMI Park, but whether he remains in the coveted role next year remains to be seen.
The 46-Test legend is contracted to the Kangaroos until the end of 2019 and has been a raging success in the role, steering the national team to seven straight wins - including last year's Four Nations triumph.
Meninga has relished the responsibility of cultivating the Kangaroos brand and building the credibility of the international game, but said he will decide his Test future after the World Cup.
"I don't know if I will go on (next year), I will see what happens," Meninga said.
"It just depends on what happens in life. I have to see what happens through this World Cup and what pans out.
"I have another two years after this, I have a four-year contract, but that doesn't mean to say ... I guess you never say never.
"I want to get through this World Cup first, that's where my focus is going to be."
It would be a major surprise if Meninga severed his Kangaroos ties midway through his first term as Australia coach. The 57-year-old is highly respected by Kangaroos players and has been an influential figure is restoring Australia's No. 1 Test ranking.
Meninga faces a sparse campaign in 2018, with Australia playing just one end-of-season Test against New Zealand next October.
The record-breaking Maroons coach has a busy schedule outside of his Kangaroos responsibilities.
Midway through this season he moved permanently to Canberra to be closer to his wife's family and has enjoyed his media role with Fox Sports.
Meninga has also been linked with NRL coaching roles. Last month, he was mooted as a possible coaching director at the Gold Coast Titans, who ultimately hired Penrith lower-grade coach Garth Brennan.
"The other thing about it, the Australian job is not a full-time gig," Meninga said.
"It's a designated position, so I only work a number of days each week.
"We'll see how things pan out through the World Cup and what happens for me personally and professionally for me down the track."
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant was heavily involved in Meninga's appointment as Kangaroos coach and hopes he continues in the role beyond the World Cup.
"Appointing Mal as head coach was a critical step - he has done a wonderful job in bringing a winning culture to our elite international teams both on and off the field," Grant said.
"This World Cup is another step towards that goal.
"But there's still much to do and naturally we want Mal to continue to lead in his role as head coach.
"We'll do all we can to ensure this happens."