Australia and Samoa name squads for Rugby League World Cup final

Australia and Samoa have announced their respective 19-man squads for the final of the Rugby League World Cup.

The Kangaroos will head into the decider as favourites, but Toa Samoa have a raft of NRL stars named in their squad as they look to win their maiden title.

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Meninga ‘very happy’ with Australia squad

Australia will be aiming to secure a third successive World Cup crown when the Kangaroos take on first-time finalists Samoa on Sunday afternoon (Monday morning AEDT) at Old Trafford.

Coach Meninga shared that he is pleased with his side’s effort so far in this tournament.

The Kangaroos coach has kept faith in the group that narrowly defeated New Zealand in their semi-final.

No changes have been made to the squad from that match, but the exact starting line-up is yet to be confirmed.

“I am very happy with the attitude and performances of all 24 players throughout the World Cup but keeping the same team for the final is a bonus,” Meninga said.

“We all are very aware that our goal hasn’t been achieved yet and fully realise we are on the cusp of something very few players have had the opportunity to do.”

Whilst Nathan Cleary’s quiet performance against New Zealand led to calls for Daly Cherry-Evans to potentially start in the decider, there is no indication that Meninga will bring in the veteran halfback. 

Australia team to play Samoa

Players listed in alphabetical order.

9. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
13. Patrick Carrigan
2. Daly Cherry-Evans
14. Nathan Cleary
16. Reuben Cotter
17. Angus Crichton
18. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
20. Harry Grant
4. Valentine Holmes
3. Ben Hunt
21. Liam Martin
8. Latrell Mitchell
7. Cameron Munster
11. Cameron Murray (vc)
1. James Tedesco (capt.)
5. Jake Trbojevic
10. Jack Wighton
24. Isaah Yeo (vc)

Samoa dealt Leniu and Brown blows

Samoa have also announced their squad for their first-ever World Cup final.

One change has been made from the team that defeated host nation England last week, with hooker Fa’amanu Brown out with a concussion.

Brown’s absence means Chanel Harris-Tavita will step into the starting hooker role, with Dolphins forward Connelly Lemuelu joining the squad.

However, they will be boosted by the availability of prop Spencer Leniu, who battled through a shoulder injury in their semi-final, and was racing the clock to recover in time for the decider.

“We’ve built up a next-man mentality,” Leniu explained to ABC Sport.

“If I had to break my shoulder for the brothers I would have done it. And I don’t think it’s that far from broken.

“Hopefully the boys appreciated that one.”

Samoa team to play Australia

Players listed in alphabetical order.

4. Stephen Crichton
20. Chanel Harris-Tavita
15. Royce Hunt
23. Oregon Kaufusi
25. Tim Lafai
27. Connelly Lemuelu
16. Spencer Leniu
6. Jarome Luai
2. Taylan May
7. Anthony Milford
8. Josh Papali’i
10. Junior Paulo (capt.)
11. Ligi Sao
26. Ken Sio
12. Jaydn Su’a
1. Joseph Sua’ali’i
17. Martin Taupau
5. Brian To’o
22. Kelma Tuilagi

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