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Rugby League World Cup 2013: Just two NRL premiers in Kangaroos squad

7th October, 2013
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Australia coach Tim Sheens says Sydney Roosters’ ‘league of nations’ make-up was the main reason for only two members of the NRL premiership winners gaining selection in his World Cup squad.

Uncapped Boyd Cordner and centre Michael Jennings were the only Roosters rewarded with selection in the 24-man squad, while beaten grand finalists Manly provided only Clive Churchill medallist Daly Cherry-Evans.

Sea Eagles trio Anthony Watmough (knee), Glenn Stewart (knee) and Brett Stewart (hamstring) were not considered, having been ruled out by Manly medical officials after the grand final loss.

Cordner joins Andrew Fifita and Josh Papalii as the only uncapped players in the squad, although Sheens admitted Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney had come under strong consideration.

“You look at how many New Zealanders are in their (Roosters) squad and other guys that will be playing across the World Cup, most of the Roosters squad will feature in some jersey in the World Cup,” Sheens said.

“With Jennings that was an obvious one for us.

“The halves were considered as well, that was a tough call – the three that we’ve used are the incumbent that have played well.

“Particularly with Cherry-Evans being back-up to Cooper (Cronk) and Johnathan (Thurston), that will be an interesting contest for us during the World Cup as well because all three are in great form.”

Sheens admitted Corder’s ability to return from an ankle injury in the Roosters’ 26-18 win over the Sea Eagles merely rubber-stamped his selection.

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“For some weeks we’ve been watching where he was up to with his injury,” Sheens said.

“But the fact that he played last night proved his fitness.

“He’d been on our radar most of the year, last night just confirmed his ability.”

The squad contains 13 Queenslanders who took part in this year’s State of Origin series win.

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