Mal Meninga Photo: Getty Images
Australia coach Mal Meninga has warned his players to rise above any on-field provocation during the Four Nations and wear the iconic green and gold jumper with distinction.
In addition to there being one referee and no seventh tackle restart rule, there is also no sin-bin ruling for punching unlike the NRL where 10 minutes on the sidelines are obligatory when the fists start to fly.
Meninga made it clear when he named his Four Nations squad that players of good characters are a necessity.
Mal Meninga speaks to players during a training session ahead of the Four Nations at St Georges Park Photo: Getty Images
Andrew Fifita, Greg Bird and Semi Radradra were not considered due to off-field incidents this year.
Although he fully expects his players not to take a backward step during their matches against Scotland, New Zealand and England, Meninga wants to win the Four Nations with a team that shows Australia in a positive light.
"The player that plays for their country has to be worthy of wearing an Australia jersey," Meninga told AAP.
"You have to be an ambassador and a role model. It's a privilege to wear the Australian jumper and shouldn't be taken lightly.
"You carry an expectation and responsibility with that, not only off-field but on-field as well.
"I want my players to hold their heads high, love the game and have a fair bit of humility when they play. It's something I think is really important."
Semi Radradra faces the media Photo: Channel Nine
Although 24-hour news cycles and social media now put high-profile sports stars under the microscope when they step out of line, Meninga said it shouldn't be used as an excuse for poor behaviour.
"That's their normal life now, it's something the modern generation of players have got used to," he said.
"They accept it, take it on the chin and keep doing the things they do well."
For all the latest and best Triple M Footy news, download the Triple M App