AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 20: Head Coach Mal Meninga of Australia looks on after the International Test match between Tonga and Australia at Mount Smart Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

World Cup-winning Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has called on the NRL to add international games as regular annual fixtures in the wake of a successful tournament that saw Australia emerge world champions.

While the rhetoric around Test football is always positive following international tournaments, in the past it's regularly been forced into the background. But after Samoa's impressive run and a number of other captivating performances from lower-ranked teams, Meninga says the time is right to build on that momentum.

“People want to play for their country, that's what they want to do,” Meninga told SENQ Breakfast.

“Let's hope the game realises how important the international game is for rugby league.

“Hopefully, they'll find a schedule for us and we can move forward with making our sport a global sport.

“We can't let this chance go by. We've got to have a four-year schedule from World Cup to World Cup. You can then start to build everything around that.”

Meninga faced regular criticism for much of the tournament, seemingly unable to settle on a starting line-up until the semi-finals. He attracted plenty of attention for his decision to run with three halves at the cost of a back-up dummy-half in the quarter-final against Lebanon.

But Meninga has since revealed that the apparent indecision and uncertainty was part of the Kangaroos coaching staff's plan all along.

“We had a plan right from the beginning,” Meninga said.

“We knew all the players (in the squad) were going to play and that combinations might be affected by that.

“Our spine played five or six games together, so all the analysts got that wrong.”