Pride in the Australian jersey? Not a problem, says veteran Robbie Farah thanks to 11 excited new faces in the Kangaroos' Four Nations camp.

However, the wily utility admits more respect must be shown in their defence if his depleted side are to emerge triumphant against England, New Zealand and Samoa.

Farah, 30, said rookies - some up to 12 years his junior - had provided a spring in the step of the seasoned regulars still standing in the injury-ravaged 24-man squad.

Five of the 11 newcomers are expected to be blooded when Australian coach Tim Sheens names his team on Tuesday for their Four Nations opener against New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday night.


So many withdrawals from the squad - half of last year's World Cup outfit has been ruled out through injury or suspension - have led to suggestions the Australian jersey has been cheapened at the Four Nations.

But Farah said one look at the juniors at training had convinced him that they would do justice to the Kangaroos strip - and for many more years to come.

"I think it's exciting times. This is the next generation of players that will take the team forward," he said. "The senior guys aren't going to be here forever.

"There comes a time the new blood comes in and gets a taste of it and this is that moment. "There's guys there who have played Origin or played grand finals so they know that the big games are about and they won't let us down."

The only thing that concerned Farah was rectifying the defensive effort that was found wanting in May's trans-Tasman Test.

Against a Kiwi outfit missing 14 regulars, Australia surprisingly trailed at halftime before clinching a 30-18 victory in Sydney. "That's something that Tim has already spoken about which is getting back that pride in the defensive line," Farah said.

"He was disappointed with the display in the trans-Tasman Test, especially with the start and the Kiwis getting the jump on us.

"We probably dropped our standards a bit from what we expected after the World Cup. "That's something we want to get back because we know these big tournaments are won on defence."


Australia could boast four debutants in their starting line-up alone with Sydney Rooster Daniel Tupou and Penrith's Josh Mansour poised to pounce from the wing with Dylan Walker at right centre and Wests Tigers bruiser Aaron Woods in the front row. Bulldogs forward Josh Jackson and Sydney Roosters' Queensland backrower Aidan Guerra appear to be vying for a bench spot.

Australia: Greg Inglis, Josh Mansour, Michael Jennings, Dylan Walker, Daniel Tupou, Daly Cherry-Evans, Cooper Cronk, Aaron Woods, Cameron Smith (capt), Sam Thaiday, Beau Scott, Ryan Hoffman, Greg Bird. Res: Robbie Farah, Aidan Guerra, Josh Papalii, Corey Parker, Boyd Cordner, David Klemmer, Sione Mata'utia (three to be omitted).