Roos duo in as cover for Test
RUGBY LEAGUE: Clint Gutherson and Victor Radley have been rushed into the Kangaroos squad as coach Mal Meninga plans to hand Cameron Murray his first Test jersey.
Meninga has added Gutherson and Radley (pictured) to the Australian team to tour New Zealand ahead of their clash with Tonga on Saturday, taking their squad to 20.
While neither are expected to be named in Australia’s 17man team for the Test, they are there to act as cover should any training mishaps happen during the week.
Radley’s elevation comes after winning man-of-thematch honours in the Junior Kangaroos’ 62-4 demolition of France last Friday and Gutherson was part of Australia’s successful World Cup Nines team.
“It’s more about getting those guys experience,” Meninga said. “Gutho (Gutherson) can play anywhere in the backline so we have that covered if we lost one during the week. The same goes with Victor and the forwards.”
Their cover comes after the Kangaroos did not replace Luke Keary, who was ruled out of the original squad with an ankle injury.
Boom Broncos back-rower David Fifita was expected to be added but was unavailable after a stray boot fractured his eye socket during the Junior Kangaroos win against France.
While it will take an injury for Gutherson or Radley to force their way into the Test team, Meninga is keen to give South Sydney lock Cam Murray his Test debut.
Murray was 18th man for Australia on Friday night but Meninga wants to give him his start against Tonga.
“He will be on the bench,” Meninga said. “It’s just what we do around it.”