Then National, Wednesday 12th September, 2012
AN incredible seven Brisbane Broncos players have been named in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII for the clash against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
The PNG Rugby League, meanwhile, is yet to release the names of their players despite already having selected a team after the weekend’s Digic el Cup grand final in Port Moresby.
Gold Coast Titans captain Scott Prince will lead the team.
He is one of three Titans in the squad that also features two Newcastle, Penrith and Wests Tigers players.
The players will assemble in Sydney tomorrow before flying to Townsville and Cairns for training and medical checks ahead of the game on Sept 23.
It is good reward for the likes of Newcastle’s Akuila Uate, who was named the NRL’s best winger at the recent Dally M awards.
He will share the attacking duties with Knights teammate Darius Boyd and Panthers flyer Michael Jennings.
Titans centre Jamal Idris and Tigers counterpart Chris Lawrence have been named in the team despite ordinary years and will be keen to press their case for future international honours.
Prince will be partnered in the halves by Panthers five-eighth Lachlan Coote.
The 23-year-old was only moved into a playmaking role at the Panthers by coach Ivan Cleary for the final six games of the season following Travis Burns’ lengthy suspension and the former fullback has since made the position his own.
The Broncos dominate the forward pack with veteran Corey Parker, boom backrower Matt Gillett, Ben Hannant and Andrew McCullough all named in the run-on side.
Teammates Peter Wallace, Ben Te’o and Josh McGuire have been named on the bench.
Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers) and Feleti Mateo (Warriors) will join the Broncos in the forwards.
Hannant, Woods and McGuire are expected to fight it out for the fourth Kangaroos prop spot in the side for the test against New Zealand in Townsville on Oct 13.
David Shillington and Paul Gallen are the incumbent starting props following Australia’s 20-12 victory in April’s Anzac Test in Auckland.
Wooden spooners, Parramatta have a single representative in the team after Tim Mannah earned a spot on the bench, while Titans flyer William Zillman is the 18th man.
St George Illawarra’s Ben Creagh, Brett Morris, Trent Merrin and Beau Scott, Sydney Roosters pair Mitchell Pearce and Jake Friend, Tigers hooker Robbie Farah and Panthers duo Tim Grant and Luke Lewis were all unavailable for selection due to injury and post-season surgery.