We've already put the date in our diaries.
The rivalry between the Kangaroos and Kiwis is surely one of the fiercest in international sport – so when the two face off in their upcoming Rugby League test match, we expect nothing less than fireworks.
The Aussies will face New Zealand at WIN Stadium on Friday 25 October, and the 19-man Australian squad is sure to have Aussie fans excited, with seven players from the recent Roosters v Raiders Grand Final selected.
Sydney Roosters Grand Final-winning skipper Boyd Cordner will once-again captain a squad stacked with in-form players and seasoned representative stars.
As expected, the champions are well-represented with Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco all in the mix alongside Cordner. They’ll be joined by Nick Cotric, Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii from the Canberra Raiders, who are sure to be hungry for victory after suffering such a narrow Grand Final defeat.
The excitement keeps coming, with six uncapped players named also named in the squad. Following brilliant seasons, Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr, Raiders winger Cotric, Broncos young-gun Payne Haas, Souths forward Cameron Murray, Dragons prop Paul Vaughan and Raiders full-back and Clive Churchill Medal winner Wighton are all in the mix to put on the green and gold for the first time.
A replacement player can also be brought in for Keary if he succumbs to an ankle injury, while Melbourne’s Blues forward Dale Finucane is on standby for Raiders prop Papalii, who suffered a possible pectoral injury in the Grand Final and is awaiting medical clearance.
With just four Queenslanders in the squad, the list has the heaviest NSW representation since the beginning of Queensland’s era of Origin dominance started with the 2006 series win.
Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga congratulated all of the players on their selection in the squad. “We have an extremely healthy mix of incumbent players as well as a number of players who are yet to represent their country,” Meninga says. “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.”
(listed in alphabetical order)
The Kangaroos will take on the Kiwis in the 2019 Rugby League Test at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Friday 25 October. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.au.