I’m all for blooding new talent when required, and definitely positive about considering finals form when selecting end-of-year sides, but this has me head scratching.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has named three debutants for the Test match against New Zealand at Perth’s nib Stadium on Saturday night.
Prop Shannon Boyd (Kangaroo No 808), winger Valentine Holmes (809) and interchange forward Tyson Frizell (810) will all play in the green and gold jersey for the first time.
Sam Thaiday will play his 30th Test match for Australia against the Kiwis.
“This will be a great challenge for this team,” coach Meninga said.
"The Kiwis have picked a very strong squad themselves.
“It will be great to see how some of our younger players fare against such an opponent.”
No. Player - Kangaroo No.
1. Darius Boyd - 760
2. Blake Ferguson - 804
3. Greg Inglis - 737
4. Josh Dugan - 801
5. Valentine Holmes - 809*
6. Johnathan Thurston - 731
7. Cooper Cronk - 744
8. Matt Scott - 773
9. Cameron Smith - 738
10. Shannon Boyd - 808*
11. Boyd Cordner - 787
12. Matt Gillett - 789
13. Trent Merrin - 803
14. David Klemmer - 797
15. Michael Morgan - 807
16. Tyson Frizell - 810*
17. Sam Thaiday - 739
- Denotes debutant
So Merrin and S Boyd are not good enough to play Origin, but get called directly into the Aussie side? It’s not a bad side, but if Woods isn’t the best Aussie prop in the comp on form, then he’s second.
And if you are reflecting finals form, out of the entire grand final player group there are only 3 who make this side and just a debutant from the premiers. In fact 4 of the starting 13 and 5 total didn’t even figure in the finals, 1 played 1 match, another 4 played 2 matches.
I know Sheens played favourites when he picked Farah and Lawrence way back, but at least the more obvious choices were injured.