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Fresh faces for Kangaroos as DCE gets first shot at halfback

Sea Eagles playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans will get first crack at the hotly-contested halfback spot for the Kangaroos, after being named in a side which includes seven debutants for Australia's World Cup-opener against Fiji. 

Cowboys youngsters Murray Taulagi, Jeremiah Nanai and Reuben Cotter have all been rewarded for breakout seasons which included playing State of Origin, and will debut alongside Titans captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Roosters back-rower Angus Crichton and Maroons representatives Harry Grant and Pat Carrigan.

Cherry-Evans, who is one of seven players named in the team who also took the field in Australia's last match back in 2019, has been named ahead of Panthers ace Nathan Cleary, with coach Mal Meninga opting to rest all of his Panthers and Eels players who took the field in the NRL Grand Final earlier this month.

“This is an extremely strong team and suits what we are trying to achieve over the whole tournament,” Meninga said.

We have three pool matches and I aim to play every player during the pool matches.

Mal Meninga

“The Grand Final players will not play against Fiji, while a number of the players we have named have not played in weeks. It’s important to give them match time as we look at our combinations.

“All of the players who will not play against Fiji will play the next match against Scotland.”

Kangaroos Debutants - Jeremiah Nanai

Fullback James Tedesco will captain the Kangaroos for the first time in what will be his fifth Test in green and gold, having previously represented Italy in 2013 and 2017. 

Jack Wighton is the only player named on the bench with prior international appearance.

The Kangaroos are wearing assigned squad numbers for the duration of the tournament, as opposed to numbers relating to the position they are named in. 

Kangaroos team

1. James Tedesco (capt.)
9. Josh Addo-Carr
8. Latrell Mitchell
4. Valentine Holmes
23. Murray Taulagi*
7. Cameron Munster
2. Daly Cherry-Evans
18. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui*
3. Ben Hunt
5. Jake Trbojevic
17. Angus Crichton*
22. Jeremiah Nanai*
11. Cameron Murray

20. Harry Grant*
16. Reuben Cotter*
13. Pat Carrigan*
10. Jack Wighton

12. Matt Burton (18th Man)
19. Campbell Graham (19th Man)

Coach: Mal Meninga

*Denotes Kangaroos debutant

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.