Cook and Murray selected in Kangaroos Origin Merit Team

South Sydney Rabbitohs duo Damien Cook and Cameron Murray have been selected in the 2019 Kangaroos Origin Merit Team. 

Australian selectors have confirmed the Kangaroos Origin Merit Team based on performances through the Holden State of Origin series.

The selectors have named 11 players from the series victors NSW and six from Queensland, for the traditional Kangaroos Origin Merit Team.

The squad includes four players who are yet to debut for the Kangaroos – Canberra’s Jack Wighton (NSW), Melbourne’s Josh Addo-Carr (NSW), St George Illawarra’s Paul Vaughan (NSW) and South Sydney’s Cameron Murray (NSW).

“This is an exceptional squad whichever way you look at it,” Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga said.

“The Origin series was closely fought. Ultimately the Blues prevailed and they deserved to make up a significant proportion of the squad.

“But there were a number of Queensland players who were clear standouts in their positions.

“If a squad was selected for a Test match today it might contain other players based on our overall selection policy.

The Kangaroos Origin Merit Squad shows the sort of talent we will have at our disposal over the next few years.

Mal MeningaKangaroos Head Coach

“But this squad recognizes the form of the Origin players in the series, and provides an important acknowledgement of where they stand in the Kangaroos reckoning.”The selectors work to criteria whereby, to be eligible for selection in the squad, a player must have played two out of the three matches in the series. Players could be selected out of the positions they played in during the series.

The Kangaroos play matches against the New Zealand Kiwis (October 25) at WIN Stadium, and Tonga (November 2) at Eden Park, Auckland.

The Kangaroos will also take part in the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s on October 18-19.

“This is an important year for us as we continue the preparations for a tour of the northern hemisphere in 2020, followed by a World Cup in 2021,” Meninga said.

“The Kangaroos Origin Merit Squad shows the sort of talent we will have at our disposal over the next few years.

“While the selection in the Merit Squad will form part of the criteria for our end-of-year matches, the selectors will also look at other aspects, including club form, particularly in the Finals Series and the Grand Final, as well as the values and behaviours that we are always looking for.”

The 2019 Kangaroos Origin Merit Team is:

Position Player State NRL Club
Fullback James Tedesco NSW Sydney Roosters
Wing Blake Ferguson NSW Parramatta Eels
Centre Jack Wighton NSW Canberra Raiders
Centre Tom Trbojevic  NSW Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Wing Josh Addo-Carr NSW Melbourne Storm
Five-Eighth Cameron Munster QLD Melbourne Storm
Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans QLD Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Prop David Klemmer NSW Newcastle Knights
Hooker Damien Cook NSW South Sydney Rabbitohs
Prop Josh Papalii QLD Canberra Raiders
Second Row Boyd Cordner NSW Sydney Roosters
Second Row Felise Kaufusi QLD Melbourne Storm
Lock Jake Trbojevic NSW Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Interchange Ben Hunt QLD St George Illawarra Dragons
Interchange Paul Vaughan NSW St George Illawarra Dragons
Interchange Cameron Murray NSW South Sydney Rabbitohs
Interchange Josh McGuire QLD North Queensland Cowboys

 

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