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Monday, 19 April 2010
Picking the Australian Kangaroos Team for the ANZAC Test v New Zealand 2010 - @NRLTweet
Here's The NRL Tweet's Australian Team for May 7 against the Kiwis.
Note: This team is a combination of players that will definitely be picked and those we'd like to see picked ahead of some incumbents who we believe don't deserve to be in the lineup for the ANZAC Test this year.
Slowly getting into the new season after another big September and Four Nations campaign, Slater will retain his #1 jersey because a. no other challenger is in irresistible form and b. he's Billy Slater.
Has proven he is the best finisher in the game with a standout start to the 2010 season and as the incumbent it is hard to see him missing out. If he fires in the ANZAC Test he'll make his NSW debut for certain this year.
Made an instant impact for the Broncos returning from injury against the Sharks and there can be no doubting his big play ability at rep level. At home on the wing or at centre - he'll be picked.
(Injured v Manly Round 6 - in doubt)
Like Slater he's had a slow start - in fact he's been barely sighted so far in 2010 but the Storm are 4-1 (entering Monday Night Football v Manly to close Round 6) and Inglis is capable of lifting when he needs to. You know he'll be there.
(Injured v Brisbane Round 7 - OUT)
The first left field pick of The NRL Tweet's Kangaroos team - Josh Morris could force his way into the team ahead of the likes of Jamie Lyon, Michael Jennings, Chris Lawrence and force Folau to the wing. A pure try-scorer and good defensively.
He has started season 2010 like he finished the Four Nations last year. His troublesome knee which plagued his running game for the past couple of seasons appears to be no longer an issue and his involvement level has gone through the roof. Champions find ways to come back from being written off - remember Andrew Johns did the same thing only a few years ago. He'll be captain and five-eighth.
If Thurston fails to get back on the field before the team is picked or suffers a recurrence to his shoulder injury in his comeback - Cooper Cronk will be the Australian halfback. He's a complete halfback and knows how to run a side full of quality players - Australia will lose nothing with him in the #7.
The best front rower in the game and if you doubt that check out any of his performances in the opening six weeks of Penrith's season. He's a rock carting the ball up, rarely makes an error and does his job defensively. What a player.
(Injured v Brisbane Round 7 - OUT)
Has carried the Canterbury pack with David Stagg so far this season and although the Bulldogs haven't set the world on fire in 2010 - it's not from a lack of quality from Hannant. His form is as good as it was last year and he should be picked.
The Melbourne skipper has been very good in 2010 - but the Storm haven't blown any team off the park so he hasn't had the press yet. He's going to be the Australian hooker.
He's the most valuable cog in the St.George-Illawarra game plan and he could play a similar role for NSW & Australia if given a chance. His value lies in his ability to draw defenders either as a runner or a decoy and he could start ahead of Anthony Watmough - but he won't play 80 minutes at this level.
Has found his best position at lock for the Sydney Roosters and will play a similar role here even if he's picked in the second row. Cleans up like no other player in the game and he offers quality in attack and defence.
May get picked on the bench but he should start in the backrow for his skills to work in the structure of the team. Great defender on the edges and adds some ball skills on the edges as well as a willingness to run into a hole.
Australian selectors see his value... but the NSW 'brains-trust' continue to ignore it. He's not going to play 80 minutes for Australia but he'd be a perfect 'middle of the game' defensive plug from the 20 minute mark onwards. Just competes.
As an incumbent with a solid start to the season he'll hold his spot on the bench. Will probably play closer to the ruck if he wants game time. Defensively he's a weak link however but will still get picked.
Explosive player who has failed to set the world on fire in the opening weeks of the season and it might cost him his wing spot. That being said he's going to be in the squad and coming off the bench in a roving role might be just what the doctor ordered to spark him back to brilliance.
Tactical genius that players love to play for. Knows how to coach the best in the game and he's the perfect choice for the Kangaroos.
So who misses out? (Please note with injuries to Inglis, Morris & Hannant any one of these players might come into the side - we named out Australian team April 19)
Paul Gallen would be the most notable omission - but his form this season has been very ordinary regardless of what his stats say. His team needs him to be a difference maker not a guy who hogs the ball to rack up the stats. Kurt Gidley would be Hayne's biggest threat for the bench spot but he's only going to be a couple of games back from injury and may not be picked. Glenn Stewart is a chance for lock forward but may not be dynamic enough to force his way into the team, while other experienced players like Michael Jennings, Jamie Lyon, Lote Tuqiri and Matt Cooper may be considered. Bolters could feature from the likes of Matthew Scott, Michael Weyman, Aiden Tolman (injured Round 7), Chris Lawrence and David Stagg.
Have we missed anyone with a strong claim?
So that's the team we'd pick for the 2010 ANZAC Test - what would your Kangaroos side be?
We're all looking forward to watching this Australian Kangaroos lineup (or at least a variation of it) in the new digs at AAMI Park.
By W D Nicolson