Roosters hooker Jake Friend, Sharks playmaker James Maloney and Penrith skipper Matt Moylan are the new players named in Mal Meninga’s Four Nations Kangaroos squad behind senior incumbents.
There are also a few bolters in the shape of Raiders prop Shannon Boyd, Sharks winger Valentine Holmes and Cowboys centre Justin O’Neill while some familiar names such as Paul Gallen, Corey Parker and James Tamou have been overlooked. Controversial Sharks prop Andrew Fifita and Eels winger Semi Radradra have also not been selected due to ongoing investigations into off-field issues.
The spine is the accustomed Cameron Smith (captain), Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and Darius Boyd but the new names add depth in every key position.
O’Neill is the bolter in the outside backs with the likes of Will Chambers and Raiders pair Jarrod Croker and Joey Leilua overlooked.
Panthers lock Trent Merrin has been rewarded for his consistent season despite being overlooked for Origin duties with NSW this year while Tyson Frizell’s breakout year has seen him rewarded with a Test call-up.
Despite inconsistent seasons, Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson have been retained as a likely right-side pairing.
Australian Kangaroos Squad:
Cam Smith (c)