Mor­gan pips Mun­ster and Maloney

NT News - - SPORT - MICHAEL CARAYAN­NIS

AUS­TRALIAN coach Mal Meninga has kept the faith with what he be­lieves are his “tried and true” per­form­ers but has not ruled out mak­ing changes later in the tour­na­ment.

Meninga has named what he be­lieves is his strong­est side for the Kan­ga­roos quar­ter-fi­nals match against Samoa in Dar­win on Fri­day night.

Michael Mor­gan has won the race for the five-eighth spot af­ter be­ing picked ahead of James Maloney and Cameron Mun­ster to part­ner Cooper Cronk with Meninga pick­ing 16 play­ers who fea­tured in the open­ing match of the World Cup against Eng­land with only the in­jured Jake Tr­bo­je­vic miss­ing out.

“I love Jimmy,” Meninga said of Maloney. “He is at tremen­dous player. He prob­a­bly didn’t have enough match fit­ness. Michael is the in­cum­bent. He de­serves his op­por­tu­nity.

“Mor­gan has been re­ally good. It’s funny how peo­ple can come out of the shad­ows when given the op­por­tu­nity.

“He is vo­cal on the field. You don’t have to be vo­cal off the field to play his part.”

Josh McGuire will start at lock and Rea­gan Camp­bel­lGil­lard has been named on the bench, while Wade Gra­ham pipped Mun­ster for the in­ter­change util­ity role.

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