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Australia name Four Nations squad

3rd October 2011, 08:06

Australia name Four Nations squad

Australia have named their 24-man squad for the Four Nations to take on Wales, England and New Zealand this autumn.

Australia have named their 24-man squad for the Four Nations to take on Wales, England and New Zealand this autumn.

The Kangaroos will be coming to Wales on Sunday 13th November when they take on our national side at The Racecourse in Wrexham in the final group game of the tournament (kick-off 5.45pm).

Darren Lockyer's outstanding career will come to a close at the International level after the Brisbane Broncos legend was named captain of the squad.

Lockyer last played in Wales in 2007 when playing for Brisbane in a World Club Championship warm-up match against Celtic Crusaders in Bridgend (pictured).

Australian head coach Tim Sheens said that Lockyer, who is currently sidelined with a fractured cheekbone, would be fit to play his last Test on home soil against New Zealand in Newcastle on October 16 before the squad departs for the United Kingdom.

Daly Cherry-Evans, Tony Williams, Corey Parker, Akuila Uate, David Taylor and Keith Galloway will make their International debuts.

Australian champions Manly Sea Eagles dominate the squad with the selections of Cherry-Evans, Williams, Brett Stewart, Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough.

Sheens insisted Cherry-Evans deserved his place in the squad that will gather in Newcastle, Australia this weekend.

"His form is undeniable," said Sheens. "What did they (Manly) lose, six games all season?"

"I think Manly have plenty of claim and I don't think anyone would disagree that the kid (Cherry-Evans) certainly earned an opportunity."

Manly co-captain and former St Helens star Jamie Lyon indicated after Sunday's Grand Final win over the Warriors that he was not interested in representing Australia and Sheens therefore did not pick him.

"At this point we don't want to force anyone to do anything so from our point of view it was better going with people who wanted to go," Sheens added. "Unfortunately Justin Hodges wasn't available so we're going to have to possibly manufacture something in the centres."

Brisbane were the next most dominant with four players selected including Parker who is making his International debut after more than 200 NRL appearances.

The squad includes three specialist halfbacks (Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Cherry-Evans) and three specialist fullbacks (Billy Slater, Brett Stewart and Darius Boyd).

Australia dominated the Four Nations tournament last year, but fell over in dramatic fashion in the Final. They will be aiming to reclaim the Four Nations crown from New Zealand, who are also the current World Champions.

Tickets for Wales v Australia and other games in Wales' international campaign which starts with a warm-up game against Ireland on Saturday 22nd October in Neath can be bought by going to http://www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk/cymru/tickets.html.

AUSTRALIA SQUAD: Darren Lockyer, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday, Jharal Yow Yeh (Brisbane Broncos), David Shillington (Canberra Raiders), Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks), Daly Cherry-Evans, Brett Stewart, Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough, Tony Williams (Manly Sea Eagles), Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights), Matt Scott, Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys), Luke Lewis (Penrith Panthers), Darius Boyd (St George Illawarra Dragons), Greg Inglis, David Taylor (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Keith Galloway, Robbie Farah, Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers).