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Who I’d pick for the Kangaroos if they were playing right now

Who I'd pick for the Kangaroos if they were playing right now


The last time the Australian Kangaroos took the field for an international match was against a Tongan Invitational side in early November, 2019 when Australia lost by 16 points to 12.


For trivia buffs, Broncos weapon Kotoni Staggs was a late inclusion as halfback for Tonga, while former Dragons BBQ wiz Paul Vaughan came off the bench to score one of Australia’s two tries. If the postponed World Cup goes ahead in November next year, and if Australia chooses to play, it will be three tears between drinks for the Kangaroos.

Who will be in the Australian team if it ever gets back on the park?

It will depend upon the water yet to flow under the bridge in terms of form and injuries. However, I note that the Australian Schoolboys 2021 merit team was named this week so why not jump on the bandwagon and name the 2021 merit Kangaroo team?

Note that the only criteria I have used to select the team is that the players must be available for selection in round 25, so players currently injured (e.g. Josh Addo-Carr) and suspended (e.g. Junior Paul and Latrell Mitchell) weren’t considered. I also didn’t consider either Jai Arrow or Apisai Koroisau after their State of Origin shenanigans.

Here’s what I came up with:


1. James Tedesco (captain)
Doing his utmost to keep the Roosters season alive and deserves to hold his spot despite strong competition from Turbo who will still be in the team.

2. Alex Johnston
In the form of his career and has run in 27 tries in 19 games.

3. Tom Trbojevic
The form player of the competition who can make the opposition look very ordinary whenever he has the ball.

4. Mat Burton
The most exciting back to emerge this season who seemingly is the complete footballer.

5. Brian To’o
The hardest working winger in the game who is relentless in returning the ball and knows the way to the try line.


6. Cameron Munster
Still the best 5/8 in the game and noted big game performer who deserves to hold his place in the team.

7. Nathan Cleary
The best game organizer in the competition as well as being a tough competitor and top class goal kicker.

8. Josh Papalii
There’s no stopping big Josh when he decides to rumble and has developed into a forward leader.

9. Damien Cook
Still no better hooker in the game and can bust a defence wide open just as easily as setting the backs alight.

Damien Cook

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)


10. Payne Haas
A freak of a player with power and speed to burn and seems to be improving each time he runs out onto the field.

11. Angus Crichton
Has taken his game to another level this year and one of the best left edge forwards in the game who combines ball skills, tough carries and punishing defence.

12. Cameron Murray

13. Isaah Yeo
Creative and tough, has good footwork and a high work rate, and provides a perfect link to the backs.

14. Daly Cherry-Evans
Has really hit his best form during Manly’s resurgence this year and will be able to cover both the halves and hooker from the bench.


15. Kurt Capewell
Skillful with the ball, good footwork and a tough, 80 minute performer who can play in either the second row or centre.

16. Cameron Welch
Top-level forward who relishes in the hard going and has a very effective offload.

17. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
A destructive ball carriers in the game a punishing defender with a big motor, and has the mobility to play either in the middle or an edge.

So what do you think? It looks to me like a lot better team than the one to last take the field for the Kangaroos. A terrific spine, point-scoring weapons all over the backline, a tough and mobile pack and a powerful and versatile bench.