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Tournament Opens with Strong Line-Ups in Key Clashes

Tournament Opens with Strong Line-Ups in Key Clashes

Melbourne fullback Billy Slater will return to the Australian team for the first time in 30 months, while Storm forward Jordan McLean and Cronulla utility Wade Graham have been chosen to make their Test debuts in Friday night’s opening Rugby League World Cup 2017 match against England at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

England coach Wayne Bennett has also named a strong line-up for the clash, with Super League’s Man of Steel Luke Gale to partner St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop in the halves and a powerful forward pack led by captain Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Burgess and James Graham.

Parramatta centre Brad Takairangi will make his debut for New Zealand in Saturday’s match against Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium, along with Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Newcastle hooker Danny Levi, who have been named on the bench. Wigan utility Thomas Leuluai was named to start in the dummy half role.

Samoa will field a giant forward pack, featuring captain Frank Pritchard and Josh Papalii in the second row and Junior Paulo in the front row.
Tonga coach Kristian Woolf named all his big names, headed by Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita, in a strong line-up to face Scotland at Barlow Park, Cairns on Sunday.
The teams to open the tournament are:

Australia v England
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, 8pm Friday

AUSTRALIA
1 Billy SLATER
2 Dane GAGAI
3 William CHAMBERS
4 Joshua DUGAN
5 Valentine HOLMES
6 Michael MORGAN
7 Cooper CRONK
8 Aaron WOODS
9 Cameron SMITH (c)
10 David KLEMMER
11 Boyd CORDNER
12 Matt GILLETT
13 Jake TRBOJEVIC
14 Wade GRAHAM
15 Jordan MCLEAN
16 Joshua MCGUIRE
17 Tyson FRIZELL

18 Reagan CAMPBELL-GILLARD
19 Ben HUNT
20 Tom TRBOJEVIC
21 Felise KAUFUSI

ENGLAND
1 Jonny LOMAX
2 Jermaine MCGILLVARY
3 Kallum WATKINS
4 John BATEMAN
5 Ryan HALL
6 Gareth WIDDOP
7 Luke GALE
8 Chris HILL
9 Josh HODGSON
10 James GRAHAM
11 Sam BURGESS
12 Elliott WHITEHEAD
13 Sean O'LOUGHLIN (c)
14 Alex WALMSLEY
15 Chris HEIGHINGTON
16 Thomas BURGESS
17 James ROBY

18 Ben CURRIE
19 Kevin BROWN
20 Mark PERCIVAL
21 Scott TAYLOR

Papua New Guinea v Wales
Oil Search NSF Stadium, Port Moresby, 3pm Saturday (4pm AEDT)

PNG
1 David MEAD (c)
2 Justin OLAM
3 Kato OTTIO
4 Nene MACDONALD
5 Garry LO
6 Ase BOAS
7 Watson BOAS
8 Stanton ALBERT
9 Wartovo PUARA
10 Luke PAGE
11 Rhyse MARTIN
12 Rod Griffin
13 Paul AITON
14 Kurt BAPTISTE
15 Willie MINOGA
16 James SEGEYARO
17 Enock MAKI

18 Lachlan LAM
19 Stargroth AMEAN
20 Wellington ALBERT
21 Moses MENINGA

WALES
1 Elliot KEAR
2 Rhys WILLIAMS
3 Michael CHANNING
4 Andrew GAY
5 Regan GRACE
6 Courtney DAVIES
7 Matt SEAMARK
8 Craig KOPCZAK (c)
9 Steve PARRY
10 Philip JOSEPH
11 Rhodri LLOYD
12 Ben MORRIS
13 Morgan KNOWLES
14 Matty FOZARD
15 Sam HOPKINS
16 Ben EVANS
17 Chester BUTLER

18 Josh RALPH
19 Dalton GRANT
20 Christiaan ROETS
21 Matthew BARRON

New Zealand v Samoa
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 8.10pm Saturday (6.10pm AEDT)

NEW ZEALAND
1 Roger TUIVASA-SHECK
2 Dallin WATENE ZELEZNIAK
3 Gerard BEALE
4 Bradley TAKAIRANGI
5 Jordan RAPANA
6 Kodi NIKORIMA
7 Shaun JOHNSON
8 Martin TAUPAU
9 Thomas LEULUAI
10 Adam BLAIR (c)
11 Kenny BROMWICH
12 Joseph TAPINE
13 Simon MANNERING
14 Nelson ASOFA-SOLOMONA
15 Russell PACKER
16 Isaac LIU
17 Danny LEVI

18 Jared WAEREA-HARGREAVES
19 Peta HIKU
20 Te Maire MARTIN
21 Addin FONUA-BLAKE

SAMOA
1 Young TONUMAIPEA
2 Peter MATA'UTIA
3 Timoteo LAFAI
4 Joseph LEILUA
5 Ken MAUMALO
6 Joseph PAULO
7 Ben ROBERTS
8 Junior PAULO
9 Jazz TEVAGA
10 Sam LISONE
11 Joshua PAPALII
12 Frank PRITCHARD (c)
13 Leeson AH MAU
14 Pita GODINET
15 Herman ESE'ESE
16 Suaia MATAGI
17 Bunty Afoa

18 Zane MUSGROVE
19 Ricky LEUTELE
20 Frank WINTERSTEIN
21 Fa'amanu BROWN

Fiji v USA
Townsville Stadium, 7.40pm Saturday (8.40pm AEDT)

FIJI
1 Kevin NAIQAMA (c)
2 Suliasi VUNIVALU
3 Taane MILNE
4 Akuila UATE
5 Marcelo MONTOYA
6 Jarryd HAYNE
7 Henry RAIWALUI
8 Ashton SIMS
9 Apisai KOROISAU
10 Kane EVANS
11 Viliame KIKAU
12 Korbin SIMS
13 Tui KAMIKAMICA
14 Joe LOVODUA
15 Jacob SAIFITI
16 Eloni VUNAKECE
17 Petero Benjamin NAKUBUWAI

18 Brayden WILIAME
19 James STORER
20 Junior ROQICA
21 Pio SECI

USA
1 Corey MAKELIM
2 Ryan BURROUGHS
3 Junior VAIVAI
4 Jonathan ALLEY
5 Wing Bureta FARAIMO
6 Kristian FREED
7 Matthew WALSH
8 1 Eddy PETTYBOURNE
9 David MARANDO
10 Mark OFFERDAHL (c)
11 Danny HOWARD
12 Matt SHIPWAY
13 Nicholas NEWLIN
14 Sam TOCHTERMAN-TALBOTT
15 Andrew KNEISLY
16 Steve HOWARD
17 Gabriel FARLEY

18 Charles JOSEPH CORTALANO
19 Joe EICHNER
20 David ULCH
21 Joshua RICE

Ireland v Italy
Barlow Park, Cairns, 2pm Sunday (3pm AEDT)

IRELAND
1 Scott Grix
2 Shannon McDonnell
3 Ed Chamberlain
4 Centre Michael MORGAN
5 Wing Liam Kay
6 Api Pewhairangi
7 Liam Finn (c)
8 1 Brad Singleton
9 Michael McIlorum
10 Kyle Amor
11 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
12 Oliver Roberts
13 George King
14 Tyrone MCCARTHY
15 James HASSON
16 Joe Philbin
17 Anthony Mullally

18 Joe Keyes
19 Will Hope
20 Jack Higginson
21 Matty Hadden

ITALY
1 James TEDESCO
2 Mason CERRUTO
3 Justin CASTELLARO
4 Nathan MILONE
5 Josh MANTELLATO
6 Terry CAMPESE
7 Jack JOHNS
8 Paul VAUGHAN
9 Ryan GHIETTI
10 Daniel ALVARO
11 Joel RIETHMULLER
12 Mark MINICHIELLO (c)
13 Nathan BROWN
14 Colin WILKIE
15 Brendan SANTI
16 Shannon WAKEMAN
17 Jayden WALKER

18 Christophe CALEGRI
19 Christopher CENTRONE
20 Joe TRAMONTANA
21 Gavin HISCOX

Scotland v Tonga
Barlow Park, Cairns, 4.15pm Sunday (5.15pm AEDT)

SCOTLAND
1 Lewis TIERNEY
2 Matthew RUSSELL
3 Ben HELLEWEL
4 Lachlan STEIN
5 Will OAKES
6 Danny BROUGH (c)
7 Danny ADDY
8 Luke DOUGLAS
9 Kane BENTLEY
10 Ben KAVANAGH
11 Frankie MARIANO
12 Dale FERGUSON
13 James BELL
14 Callum PHILLIPS
15 Andrew BENTLEY
16 Sam BROOKS
17 Johnny WALKER

18 Alex WALKER
19 Jarred ANDERSON
20 Kieran MORAN
21 Brandan WILKINSON

TONGA
1 William HOPOATE
2 Daniel TUPOU
3 Michael JENNINGS
4 Konrad HURRELL
5 Manu VATUVEI
6 Tuimoala LOLOHEA
7 Mafoa'aeata HINGANO
8 Andrew FIFITA
9 Siliva HAVILI
10 Sio Siua TAUKEIAHO
11 Manu MA'U
12 Sika MANU (c)
13 Jason TAUMALOLO
14 Sione KATOA
15 Sam MOA
16 Peni TEREPO

17 Ben MURDOCH-MASILIA
18 Joe OFAHENGAUE
19 Solomone KATA
20 David FUSITUA
21 Samisoni LANGI

France v Lebanon
Canberra Stadium, 4pm Sunday

FRANCE
1 Mark KHEIRALLAH
2 Fouad YAHA
3 Bastien ADER
4 Damien CARDACE
5 Ilias BERGAL
6 Theo FAGES (c)
7 William BARTHAU
8 Antoni MARIA
9 Eloi PELISSIER
10 Julian BOUSQUET
11 Benjamin GARCIA
12 Benjamin JULLIEN
13 Jason BAITIERI
14 Clement BOYER
15 Nabil DJALOUT
16 Thibault MARGALET
17 Lucas ALBERT
18 John BOUDEBZA
19 Olivier ARNOUD
20 Mickael ROUCH
21 Romain NAVARRETE

LEBANON
1 Anthony LAYOUN
2 Travis ROBSINSON
3 James ELIAS
4 Jason WEHBE
5 Abbas MISKI
6 Mitchell MOSES
7 Robbie FARAH
8 Timothy MANNAH
9 Michael LICHAA
10 Alex TWAL
11 Chris SAAB
12 Ahmad ELLAZ
13 Nick KASSIS
14 Mitchell MAMARY
15 Elias SUKKAR
16 Jaleel SEVE-DERBAS
17 Andrew KAZZI

18 Adam DOUEIHI
19 Bilal MAARBANI
20 Jamie CLARK
21 Danny BARAKAT

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