The Australian Kangaroos have been dominated by NSW-based players with 15 players from the state chosen in the 19-man squad to face New Zealand and Tonga in end of season Test matches.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga announced the team today which also included six debutants who all represented the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues in this year’s State of Origin series – Josh Addo-Carr, Nick Cotric, Payne Haas, Cameron Murray, Paul Vaughan and Jack Wighton.
Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues skipper Boyd Cordner will once again captain the side with Test matches scheduled against the Kiwis in Wollongong on October 25 and Tonga at Eden Park on November 2.
The squad also includes seven players who played in the NRL Grand Final last night including Cordner, Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco from the Sydney Roosters, and Cotric, Wighton and Josh Papalii from the Canberra Raiders.
“We have an extremely healthy mix of incumbent players as well as a number of players who are yet to represent their country,” Meninga said.
“This is extremely important for us as we are already building for an important next few seasons – with a Kangaroo Tour followed by the World Cup.
“We have an established group of players who have been successful in the jersey and we now have some new faces who have either excelled in the State of Origin series, in the Premiership, or both.
“These two Test matches will be extremely exciting and encouraging from my point of view.”
The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues made it back-to-back Origin series this season for the first time since 2004-5. The squad also became the first team to win after losing the opening game of the series since 2005.
The series went down to the wire with fullback James Tedesco – who was named the Wally Lewis Medallist and the Brad Fittler Medallist for his standout performances – scoring the match-winning try within the final minute in front of his home crowd at ANZ Stadium.
The full Kangaroos squad is listed below:
Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)
Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters)
Nick Cotric (Canberra Raiders)
Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)
Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters)
David Klemmer (Newcastle Knights)
Latrell Mitchell (Sydney Roosters)
Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders)
James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)