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Canberra star not fazed about no rep football

Joey Leilua of the Canberra Raiders (left) in action during their round 4 NRL game against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Friday, March 24, 2017. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Joey Leilua of the Canberra Raiders (left) in action during their round 4 NRL game against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Friday, March 24, 2017. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY DAN PELED

IF you reckon Joey Leilua should play for NSW or Australia that's fine, just don't tell him about it.

Leilua has catapulted to the upper reaches of rugby league in the past 12 months, winning Centre of the Year at the Dally M Awards last season and continuing that form in the early stages of 2017.

Despite his fine play, higher honours have been hard to come by.

Test coach Mal Meninga has continually overlooked him and indications from Blues coach Laurie Daley seem to suggest his exclusion from the Blues squad for this year at least.

Plenty of good judges believe Leilua could be the kind of attacking force the Blues need but the man himself doesn't want to hear about it.

"The selections and whoever is saying that I should be picked, I don't even care about it any more," Leilua said.

"It's not gotten to my head but it gets to me when people say 'you should be in it' and I just don't want to hear it.

"I don't know what's going on with those things. If I'm there, I'm there. If I'm not, I'm not, so I'm not worried about what's happening, or what's going to happen.

"For me, now, it's all about Samoa, they're who I'm playing for next. That's all I'm worried about.

"I just want to be the best in my position, that's what I'm trying to do."

The Canberra wrecking ball will form a key part of Samoa's quest to earn their first win over England this Saturday at Campbelltown.

Leilua was a standout in Samoa's 32-26 defeat to England in the 2014 Four Nations and the island nation will field one of the strongest sides in their history.

"England are a strong side but for us, we just want to play well," Leilua said.

"All over the field, defence, attack, get completing well and see what happens.

"It's always a great occasions to come into camp again and play with these boys.

"There's nothing like playing for Samoa. You're playing not just for yourself but for your family and your culture."

Leilua is expected to go head to head with St Helens star Mark Percival as Wayne Bennett's England look to build their combinations ahead of the World Cup at season's end.

Topics:  canberra raiders joey leilua nrl2017

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