Australia names 19-man squad to take on Samoa in Rugby League World Cup final

Mal Meninga has announced his 19-man Australia squad to face Samoa in the final of the Rugby League World Cup.

The Kangaroos coach has kept faith in the group that narrowly defeated New Zealand in their semi-final.

No changes have been made to the squad from that match, but the exact starting line-up is yet to be confirmed.

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Meninga ‘very happy’ with Australia squad

Australia will be aiming to secure a third successive World Cup crown when the Kangaroos take on first-time finalists Samoa on Sunday afternoon (Monday morning AEDT) at Old Trafford.

Coach Meninga shared that he is pleased with his side’s effort so far in this tournament.

“I am very happy with the attitude and performances of all 24 players throughout the World Cup but keeping the same team for the final is a bonus,” Meninga said.

“We all are very aware that our goal hasn’t been achieved yet and fully realise we are on the cusp of something very few players have had the opportunity to do.”

Whilst Nathan Cleary’s quiet performance against New Zealand led to calls for Daly Cherry-Evans to potentially start in the decider, there is no indication that Meninga will bring in the veteran halfback. 

Samoa face Leniu and Brown blows

Samoa are yet to announce an official squad for their first-ever World Cup final but are expected to line up similarly to how they did against host nation England.

However, they could be without prop Spencer Leniu and hooker Fa’amanu Brown. 

Leniu battled through a shoulder injury against England and is racing the clock to recover in time for the decider.

“We’ve built up a next-man mentality,” Leniu explained to ABC Sport.

“If I had to break my shoulder for the brothers I would have done it. And I don’t think it’s that far from broken.

“Hopefully the boys appreciated that one.”

Meanwhile, Brown is set to miss the game through concussion, which he sustained against England. 

Soni Luke is likely to move into the starting hooker role.

According to NRL.com’s team lists, Connelly Lemuelu and Martin Taupau will also both come into the squad for the clash.

Australia team to play Samoa

Players listed in alphabetical order.

9. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
13. Patrick Carrigan
2. Daly Cherry-Evans
14. Nathan Cleary
16. Reuben Cotter
17. Angus Crichton
18. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
20. Harry Grant
4. Valentine Holmes
3. Ben Hunt
21. Liam Martin
8. Latrell Mitchell
7. Cameron Munster
11. Cameron Murray (vc)
1. James Tedesco (capt.)
5. Jake Trbojevic
10. Jack Wighton
24. Isaah Yeo (vc)

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