Mal Meninga
Mal Meninga Warren Lynam

Meninga makes a cash call

QUEENSLAND State-of-Origin coach Mal Meninga has called for more money to be put into grassroots rugby league and more effort to go into the recruitment of referees.

Speaking at a leadership breakfast in Mackay yesterday, Meninga said attracting young players to the game in the face of strong marketing pushes from the AFL and soccer was one of the biggest challenges the code faced.

"It's about continuously putting programs and processes in place to make sure the game keeps getting better," he said.

"We're going through great change in our game ... it's about knowing where the money is being spent.

"That's the biggest challenge - to make sure grassroots and regional areas are well catered for."

One of the biggest issues that came out of the 2012 NRL season was the standard of refereeing, compounded by a series of controversial decisions by video referees.

Meninga questioned who would want to be a referee given the focus on their performances.

"I don't think there is enough emphasis put on referees and the recruitment of them - that includes certainly within the playing ranks as well," he said.

"If they could come up with more constructive ideas instead of bagging them all the time, and be more constructive on how we could improve the referees systems - not so much the referees themselves - that's probably the better way to go."

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