The Holden Kangaroos will head into the 2014 Four Nations tournament as red-hot favourites despite missing most of the players that took home the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Billy Slater, Brett Morris, Darius Boyd, Matt Scott and James Tamou are just some of the players that won’t take part, but the Australians will still field a formidable team.
The new faces in the 24-man squad named today include Newcastle Knights winger Sione Mata’utia who could become the youngest ever Australian player if he makes it onto the field during the tournament.
Joining him will be the likes of Dylan Walker and Alex Johnston from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and giant winger Daniel Tupou from the Sydney Roosters, who would likely be a first choice winger.
The Kangaroos maintain a core group of experienced campaigners including skipper Cameron Smith, half back Cooper Cronk and second rowers Greg Bird and Sam Thaiday.
Against New Zealand, England and Samoa, the Kangaroos should win, and win comfortably as they are the only team out of the four that can consistently put together an 80 minute performance and have some great young players emerging to complement the experience of Smith, Bird, Cronk and Thaiday.
In Jarryd Hayne and Greg Inglis they have two of the best fullbacks in the world, and Cronk is one of the best half backs to have ever played the game, while Smith is the greatest hooker of all time. When you have these players in the one team, it’s hard to see any opposition getting the win.
The Kangaroos look destined to take home the Four Nations title, such is the strength and depth they boast across the park and New Zealand, England and Samoa will struggle to get close to them. In recent internationals, teams have matched it with Australia, but only briefly, before they succumb to the brilliance of the Kangaroos and are blown out of the water.
2014 Holden Kangaroos 2014 Four Nations Squad
Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans/West Maitland Red Dogs/ Maitland Pumpkin Pickers)
Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles/Mackay Brothers)
Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters/Old Bar Pirates)
Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm/Souths Acacia)
Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers/Enfield Federals/Leichhardt Wanderers)
Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters/Townsville Brothers)
Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels/East Campbelltown Eagles/Cabramatta)
Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne Storm/Campbelltown Collegians)
Ben Hunt Brisbane (Broncos/Blackwater Crushers)
Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs/Bowraville Tigers)
Josh Jackson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs/Gulgong Terriers/Mudgee Dragons)
Michael Jennings (Sydney Roosters/St Marys/West City Tigers)
Alex Johnston (South Sydney Rabbitohs/La Perouse Panthers)
David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs/All Saints)
Josh Mansour (Penrith Panthers/St Johns/Kingsgrove Colts)
Sione Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights/Raymond Terrace/South Newcastle)
Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders/Logan Brothers)
Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos/Logan Brothers)
Beau Scott (Newcastle Knights/Picton Magpies)
Cameron Smith (c) (Melbourne Storm/Logan Brothers)
Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos/Townsville Brothers)
Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters/Berala Bears/Guildford Owls)
Dylan Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs/Mascot Jets)
Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers/Leichhardt Juniors)