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Parker says Kangaroos rookies have star quality

UP FRONT: Kangaroos player Corey Parker could play prop for the Kangaroos in next Saturday’s Four Nations opener against New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium.
UP FRONT: Kangaroos player Corey Parker could play prop for the Kangaroos in next Saturday’s Four Nations opener against New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium. PAUL MILLERAAP

LONG-time national coach Tim Sheens continues to examine several possible new combinations as he assesses the credentials of 11 rookies before Australia launches the defence of its Four Nations title against New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday night.

The Kangaroos had eight debutants in the squad - including Jarryd Hayne, Israel Folau, Cooper Cronk, Greg Bird and Brett Stewart - when they thrashed the Kiwis 58-0 in Wellington in October, 2007.

Veteran forward Corey Parker, who could play in the front row given the number of specialist props unavailable, said the talent and skill of the new breed such as Penrith's Matt Moylan and South Sydney centre Dylan Walker was "ridiculously good".

"You just have to see the speed, skill and talent of these guys. You can see he (Moylan) is going to be a superstar. He's very silky and like all great players he always looks like he's got time, which is the mark of a good player.

"There's just so many talented guys in this group, which is why it's important we work on all the combinations at training. It's a new look squad and some combinations will have to be formed, although some of these guys play together with their clubs so that's already there."

Rookies in line for a Test call-up include Moylan, Ben Hunt, Aidan Guerra, Josh Jackson, Josh Mansour, Walker, Alex Johnston and Sione Mata'utia. Parker took a swipe at critics who claimed the Australian jumper had lost some gloss, with as many as 14 top-line players missing the series to have surgery to be ready for the 2015 NRL season.

"A fair few players are unavailable, but our player depth is endless and a lot of these young players will be around for many years to come," he said.

"I've heard the rumour that the jersey doesn't mean much ... that's rubbish. If you want to confirm what is means just go ask one of the debutants how special it (the jumper) is."

Topics:  corey parker four nations kangaroos tim sheens



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