Australia has named a brigade of fresh new faces in their 2014 Four Nations squad. Injuries have really taken their toll on the Australian team and while people have been quick to say that players have pulled out of the squad a little too easily, I think most people underestimate the brutal grind the NRL season is for a player.
So, lets take a look at the squad and then I’ll list my preferred lineup from that squad:
2014 Australian Kangaroos Four Nations Squad
Cameron Smith (c)
This squad reminds me a lot of the 1995 World Cup team. That side left out players who had signed with Super League and pundits said there was no way a team led by kids like Fittler, Menzies and a young bloke called Johns would be able to match it with other countries!
It was not that long ago that Australian selectors liked to pick on or two youngsters who they hoped would kick on and become regular test stars of the future. You see a lot of that in this side.
David Klemmer really came on in the last half of the season, Sione Mata’utia looked like a superstar towards the end of the season, Josh Mansour managed to take another step towards becoming and elite player, Alex Johnston has big wraps….these players might not have test experience, but they are bloody good players!
Australia is very weakened up front. New Zealand will name a better foward pack and bench rotation than we will, and Samoa will be a handful if they come into the Four Nations fit and ready to go, but we have it all over England up front.
League Freaks Australian side
1. Greg Inglis
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Michael Jennings
4. Jarryd Hayne
5. Josh Mansour
6. Dally Cherry-Evans
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Aaron Woods
9. Cameron Smith
10. Sam Thaiday
11. Aidan Guerra
12. Boyd Cordner
13. Greg Bird
14. Corey Parker
15. Beau Scott
16. Ryan Hoffman
17. Josh Papalii
So this would be my Australian side. Obviously missing a few of our regular big guns but its still the team to beat.
Our backline is unbelievable. Our halves are the best in the Four Nations by a huge margin.
I think this forward rotation is the way to go. With so many players missing I’ve tried to rely on seasoned veterans to carry the team through. Players that have been here, done that, they know what their job will be and they’ll just go out and do it.
I can’t wait to see Greg Inglis at fullback. I don’t think Billy Slater will get his test jersey back again. I think Jarryd Hayne will be the player of the tournament. You had to see him in the Four Nations last year in the centres, he was electric! To the point where there was some talk that he had finally found his ideal position.
When it comes down to it, to beat Australia you have to better Smith, Cronk, Cherry-Evans, Inglis, Hayne, Jennings, Guerra….good luck! There are so many great players in this season, no one should look past the true champions we have named in the Kangaroos lineup.
So there you go. If you want to name your own Australian lineup feel free to do so in the comments section below. You don’t have to join, just type away!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com