Seven players from Melbourne’s NRL premiership-winning team – including Auckland-born Felise Kaufusi – have been named to represent the Kangaroos at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Second rower Kaufusi, who played for Mate Ma’a Tonga in 2015 and 2016, joins Storm team-mates Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater, Will Chambers, Cameron Munster and Jordan McLean.
All seven helped Melbourne to its 34-6 grand final win over North Queensland on Sunday.
The Kangaroos open their RLWC campaign against England on October 27.
Kaufusi (who left New Zealand at a young age), Jordan and Munster are among six debutants selected, the others being Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights), Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) and Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles).
“This squad has the right mix of youth and experience, as well as an overall balance across the positions for a World Cup campaign,” said Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga.
“It was selected based on form and performances in the State of Origin series as well as previously in the green and gold jersey.
“We have a number of players who can play multiple positions and that will be an advantage over the course of what we hope will be six matches.”
Smith is again captain while Sydney Roosters second rower Boyd Cordner has been named as vice-captain.
The Kangaroos will travel to Fiji for an exhibition match against both Fiji and Papua New Guinea on October 14.
RLWC 2017 | AUSTRALIAN KANGAROOS
Darius Boyd (Brisbane Broncos)
Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm)
Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters) vice-captain
Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)
Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights)
Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)
Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Valentine Holmes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Ben Hunt (Brisbane Broncos)
Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm)
David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos)
James Maloney (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Jordan McLean Melbourne Storm
Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys)
Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm) captain
Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)