Two Brisbane Broncos, a premiership winning Penrith star and a Dolphins flyer will all make their debut for Australia on Saturday after injuries and off-field scandals forced coach Mal Meninga to name the quartet of international rookies.
Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards will play on the wing outside Dolphins speedster Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow against Samoa at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville on Saturday.
Broncos teammates Selwyn Cobbo and Kotoni Staggs will also earn their Test debuts playing next to each other in a reshaped Australian backline.
Edwards was a late-call up into the squad after Canterbury flyer Josh Addo-Carr was slapped with a two-game ban for his part in a brawl at the Koori Knockout.
Valentine Holmes is unavailable for the opening clash after he received a one-match ban for posting a photo of himself with a plastic bag, containing a white substance, in his mouth last month.
Nicho Hynes, who was added to the squad after Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary was ruled out with injury, missed a spot on Meninga’s bench for the first of what could be three test matches over the nest four weeks.
Meninga said he had fill faith in the first-timers to meet the expectations of international rugby league.
“The opportunity has come up for them to put the green and gold jersey on and I’ve got no doubt they’ll all play really well for their country,” Meninga said.
“You can tell from their actions that they’re excited about making their own mark at this level, while learning from some of the established players in the team.
“They’re all great young men and talented players, and I’m confident you will see the best of them on Saturday.”
The Kangaroos have been in camp at Queensland‘s Airlie Beach and will travel to Townsville on Thursday with a clash against New Zealand in Melbourne to follow.
KANGAROOS TEAM TO PLAY SAMOA
James Tedesco (c)