League: Meninga mixes it up for Scotland clash

Former Warrior James Maloney will make his Kangaroos debut against Scotland. Photo / Photosport
Former Warrior James Maloney will make his Kangaroos debut against Scotland. Photo / Photosport

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has named five debutants in his squad for Friday's Four Nations opener against Scotland in Hull and made 10 changes to the side that beat New Zealand in Perth earlier this month.

Matt Moylan will start at fullback, James Maloney is named at five-eighth, Justin O'Neill selected in the centres with Manly young gun Jake Trbojevic at lock.

Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend forms part of a five-man bench with Meninga opting against resting Cameron Smith for the match against the tournament minnows.

Maloney's selection caps off a fantastic 12 months in which he won a grand final in his first season with Cronulla and he'll partner Cooper Cronk, who is making his 30th Test appearance, in the halves.

Greg Inglis, Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Darius Boyd have been omitted with one eye very much on next Saturday's clash with New Zealand at Coventry.

Meninga insisted there's no such thing a weak Australia team and said all of his 24-man squad are capable of stepping up when called upon.

"We can make a full-strength side with any of these group of players." Meninga said.
"I always planned to ensure the entire 24-man squad has played across the Perth Test, and the Four Nations match against Scotland.

"That will set us up nicely for the rest of the tournament." After facing Scotland and New Zealand on November 5 the Kangaroos face England at the London Stadium on seven days later and Meninga said nothing is set in stone in terms of his strongest starting line-up.

"I do have an idea of what my best possible squad will be, but all players know that they can break into the top team with a strong performance."

Team: Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Justin O'Neill, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, James Maloney, Cooper Cronk, Aaron Woods, Cameron Smith (capt), David Klemmer, Sam Thaiday, Tyson Frizell, Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: Jake Friend, Shannon Boyd, Trent Merrin, Michael Morgan, Valentine Holmes. (one to be omitted).

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