Blues pack a punch in Kangaroos' Cup assault
THE Kangaroos' charge for Rugby League World Cup glory tomorrow night against England will be powered by a NSW-dominated pack.
Seven of the Kangaroos' 10 forwards named for the final come from south of the Tweed - starting props Aaron Woods and David Klemmer, second rower Boyd Cordner and the bench of Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Jordan McLean, Tyson Frizell and Wade Graham.
Skipper Cameron Smith, Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire are the only Maroons.
Contrast that to coach Mal Meninga's first Test match in charge in May last year, when Paul Gallen and James Tamou were the only Blues in the pack.
Campbell-Gillard is yet to play State of Origin, but his form at international level has left NSW captain Cordner in no dount the 24-year-old will be in the team next year.
"Did you see his runs against Fiji (in the semi- final)? He's an exciting kid coming through to watch,” Cordner said yesterday.
"I didn't know he was 24. I thought he was a lot older than what he was.
"He's a guy that has taken his opportunity with both hands. He's been really good for Australia in this tournament and if he keeps going I'm sure he'll get a lot more Tests.”
The Blues' strong presence in the Australian line-up augers well for new NSW coach Brad Fittler, Cordner believes.
"It's a long way away but if they keep going the way they are and keep producing on the field then I'm sure they'll put their hand up for sure to play in that arena,” he said.
"Given what they've produced this tournament, you'd think they'd handle it pretty well.”