Penrith Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards has missed out on inclusion in the Kangaroos squad with James Tedesco retaining his position.
Edwards, who played a key role in the Panthers’ third-straight premiership season, did not make the cut due to questions regarding his versatility, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
However, Bulldogs flyer Josh Addo-Carr was named despite being involved in an all-in brawl at the Koori Knockout last weekend.
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“It’s in the hands of the Integrity Unit, they’re going through that independent process so we will await that decision,” Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said on Tuesday when asked about Addo-Carr’s selection.
So too is North Queensland Cowboys star Valentine Holmes, who was involved in a scandal where he was pictured holding a bag with a white powder.
His selection comes as ARLC chair Peter V’landys revealed that Holmes will only miss the first game.
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“I think it’ll be announced this afternoon that he’s got a one-game suspension and he has accepted the penalty. So he won’t be available for the first Test,” he said.
“He’s part of the squad, which means he gets an opportunity to train with the squad,” Meninga added.
“I think it’s important that he does that because he hasn’t played for a while… so just to have him part of the squad and training with the squad, getting back to that rugby league environment is going to be good for him.”
South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell was also a notable omission. Meninga revealed the Rabbitohs had informed him that the champion fullback would be ineligible for selection due to injury.
However he then suited up to play in the Koori Knockout over the weekend.
“The South Sydney Rabbitohs said that he’s out because of injury so we’ve just gone with that,” Meninga said on Tuesday.
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“I was a bit surprised but I think the club gave him permission to do that.
“Knowing Latrell he loves the Koori knockout, he always gets involved, always wants to be part of it all.
“He’s a very proud First Nations person. Obviously he’s got through that tournament well and I look forward to him having a good off-season and playing well next year.”
James Tedesco will once again play fullback and captain the side — something Vlandys said was a “unanimous decision of all selectors.”
That means Reece Walsh and Kalyn Ponga miss out.
“They were in the conversation but Teddy is the incumbent World Cup skipper,” Meninga said when asked about the pair’s omission.
“He’s been a great ambassador for our game and a great player so it’s difficult. I know there’s always going to be debate and argument about all those young kids but their time will come.”
Tedesco, who is coming off a hot-and-cold season with the Roosters, is excited to retain his jersey.
“I’m stoked to get another opportunity, Mal showed faith in me so I’m really grateful for that,” he said.
“I know there’s a lot of guys that have had great years and I’m sure their time in an Australian jersey will come very soon but for this year I’m excited and hoping to have another successful campaign.”
Australia will play Samoa on October 14 and New Zealand on October 28.
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FULL KANGAROOS SQUAD (* DENOTES DEBUTANT)
Josh Addo-Carr (Bulldogs)
Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)
Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
Nathan Cleary (Panthers)
Selwyn Cobbo* (Broncos)
Lindsay Collins (Roosters)
Reuben Cotter (Cowboys)
Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans)
Thomas Flegler* (Broncos)
Harry Grant (Storm)
Payne Haas* (Broncos)
Valentine Holmes (Cowboys)
Ben Hunt (Dragons)
Liam Martin (Panthers)
Cameron Munster (Storm)
Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)
Kotoni Staggs* (Broncos)
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow* (Dolphins)
James Tedesco, capt. (Roosters)
Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
Isaah Yeo (Panthers)
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