League: Props to battle it out for Kangaroos spot

Ben Hannant filled the interchange spot in the April Anzac Test. Photo / Getty Images
Ben Hannant filled the interchange spot in the April Anzac Test. Photo / Getty Images

Brisbane forwards Ben Hannant and Josh McGuire and Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods are set to battle for a possible Australian front-row berth when they play for the Prime Minister's XIII against Papua New Guinea this month.

The team for the September 23 clash in Port Moresby was named on Tuesday, with representatives from the six remaining teams in the NRL finals not considered.

Hannant, Woods and McGuire will fight it out for the fourth Kangaroos prop spot in the side for the end of season Test against New Zealand in Townsville on October 13.

David Shillington and Paul Gallen are the incumbent starting props following Australia's 20-12 victory in April's Anzac Test in Auckland.

But with Cowboys enforcer Matt Scott set to return to the starting side, Gallen likely to be shifted to the back-row and Test veteran Petero Civoniceva retired, there remains a position on the bench alongside James Tamou.

Hannant filled that interchange spot in April.

Lachlan Coote's impressive late-season efforts at five-eighth for Penrith have been rewarded with selection in the No.6 jersey.

Coote was only moved into a playmaking role at the Panthers by coach Ivan Cleary for the final six games of the NRL season following Travis Burns' lengthy suspension.

But the former fullback has since made the position his own and will play in the halves alongside Gold Coast halfback Scott Prince.

The Warriors' Feleti Mateo and Woods are the only two non-Broncos in the pack, with Matt Gillett and Corey Parker in the back-row, Andrew McCullough at hooker and Hannant completing a strong Brisbane presence.

St George Illawarra's Ben Creagh, Brett Morris, Trent Merrin and Beau Scott, Sydney Roosters pair Mitchell Pearce and Jake Friend, Tigers hooker Robbie Farah and Panthers duo Tim Grant and Luke Lewis were all unavailable for selection due to injury and post-season surgery.

Prime Minister's XIII: Darius Boyd, Akuila Uate, Jamal Idris, Chris Lawrence, Michael Jennings, Lachlan Coote, Scott Prince (capt), Aaron Woods, Andrew McCullough, Ben Hannant, Matt Gillett, Feleti Mateo, Corey Parker. Interchange: Peter Wallace, Tim Mannah, Josh McGuire, Ben Te'o. 18th man: William Zillman.

- AAP

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