We Choose: Kangaroos Squad
A raft of injuries has set the scene for plenty of debutants to earn their first green and gold jerseys when the Kangaroos squad for the upcoming Four Nations series is announced at midday on Tuesday. We have no idea who Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens is thinking of picking for the upcoming Four Nations tournament but we at NRL.com have once again donned our amateur selectors' caps and had a red hot go at guessing who might be there ahead of the team announcement. Join us from midday (EDT) on Tuesday October 14 for a live blog and let us know who you think should be there, and to dissect the squad which will be updated live.
Our 24-man squad, in alphabetical order:
Greg Bird (Titans)
The Titans captain led the Prime Minister's XIII to a 34-16 victory in PNG in yet another sign of his growing maturity and seniority as a player. The 12-time Kangaroo and Blues hard-man is a shoo-in for the starting team, especially with so much experience already unavailable.
Will Chambers (Storm)
Usually found in Melbourne's centres, Chambers could jag a wing spot for the Roos after making his Origin debut on the flank for the Maroons earlier this year. With incumbents Brett Morris and Darius Boyd unavailable for the end-of-season tournament, it may pave the way for Chambers to make his Test debut.
Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
An incumbent bench utility for the Roos with eight Tests to his name, Dally M halfback of the year Cherry-Evans could find himself partnering Storm halfback Cooper Cronk throughout the tournament with Dally M Medallist Johnathan Thurston ruled out due to a shoulder complaint.
Boyd Cordner (Roosters)
The 22-year-old Roosters back-rower will surely finish off the year with a bang with an inevitable selection in the Four Nations squad. Having lined up for the Roos in the annual Trans Tasman Test earlier this year, Cordner will find himself in the squad of 24 when it is named on Tuesday.
Cooper Cronk (Storm)
Responsibility will be heaped on the Storm playmaker's shoulders when he walks out in the green and gold without representative partner in crime Thurston. With regular fullback Billy Slater absent as well, Cronk will have to work extra hard to strike up new combinations with the likes of Cherry-Evans and Greg Inglis.
Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers)
The Tigers captain's great relationship with former club coach Sheens holds him in good stead to reclaim a utility spot on the bench (if Sheens chooses to go down this path again) with Cherry-Evans looking likely to replace JT. Farah's ability to play hooker and in the halves with an Origin win under his belt helped him edge out the likes of Jake Friend and Anthony Milford.
Aidan Guerra (Roosters)
The Queensland back-rower took his game to new levels in 2014 after playing his part in all three Origin fixtures this season. After winning a premiership with the tricolours the season prior, Guerra should go very close to making his Test debut in the tournament opener on October 25.
Jarryd Hayne (Eels)
The Parramatta fullback established himself in Sheens's World Cup-winning team at right centre last year. In with a shot to replace the injured Slater out the back, Hayne wouldn't look out of place in the three-quarter line after producing nine tries in four World Cup fixtures last year.
Ben Hunt (Broncos)
A dream year at the Broncos will be capped off with Australian selection if Hunt is given a shot to strut his stuff for the Kangaroos during the Four Nations. Handed the keys to Brisbane's fortunes this season, Hunt earned 18th man honours for the Maroons in the deciding Origin and with his utility value he wouldn't look out of place in a Test jumper.
Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)
The premiership-winning South Sydney fullback is the favourite to replace his Queensland teammate and former Melbourne teammate Slater in the custodian role. Inglis enjoyed a stellar finish to 2014 as his team raced away with the title.
Josh Jackson (Bulldogs)
A huge year for Jackson saw him earn a call-up for Country Origin and brought into Blues camp by Laurie Daley to gain some experience ahead of a likely Origin debut in the next year or two. With plenty of front and back-rowers unavailable, the selectors may well look to the future by blooding Jackson in the end-of-year tournament.
Michael Jennings (Roosters)
Usually named in the Australian squad more as a back-up, the Roosters centre is likely to pip exciting Rabbitohs youngster Dylan Walker for a spot in the centres. With Justin Hodges injured and Josh Morris expected to be ruled out, it presents the perfect opportunity for Jennings to add to his two Test caps to date.
Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs)
If Johnston is selected for the Four Nations squad it will cap off a dream year for the 19-year-old rookie. With a premiership and 21 tries to his name after only 18 games, Johnston will finish off 2014 with one of the greatest rookie seasons in rugby league history if selected.
Jacob Lillyman (Warriors)
With the Kangaroos missing plenty of grunt up front, it may give the veteran Warriors prop a chance to finally earn Test honours. Debuting in 2003 with the Cowboys, Lillyman will certainly not look out of place in the green and gold, especially after eight games with the Maroons over the years.
Josh Mansour (Panthers)
The tackle-busting Panthers winger starred in Papua New Guinea and edges out the likes of Rooster Daniel Tupou in our squad. With Penrith struggling to earn representative accolades throughout 2014, Mansour could finally break the drought.
Josh McGuire (Broncos)
While this young Broncos firebrand has yet to feature for Queensland or Australia, his 38 tackles and 130.3 metres per game for Brisbane in 2014 speaks volumes about his capabilities and the firepower he could bring in the absence of several senior bookends.
Josh Papalii (Raiders)
A member of Australia's World Cup-winning team last year, Papalii has experience on his side when it comes to earning squad selection on Tuesday. With four Tests to his name and the ability to play as a wide or middle forward, Papalii looks certain to earn a spot in Sheens's squad despite a less than stellar season.
Corey Parker (Broncos)
While Sheens prefers the Broncos co-captain in the national team's back row, the coach may not have any choice but to play Parker up front. No stranger to prop after playing there predominantly for Brisbane this year, Parker will surely be one of the first men picked.
Beau Scott (Knights)
The Dally M second-rower of the year has only played for Australia once, back in the 2011 Four Nations tournament against Wales. Three years later and the Newcastle enforcer may punch his way through to the starting team after a big season for the Knights and Blues.
Cameron Smith (Storm)
He is the Australian captain and one of the most decorated players in Kangaroos history. Enough said, surely?
Sam Thaiday (Broncos)
Earmarked to be one of Australia's rampaging forwards especially with many of the leading forwards missing through injury, Thaiday is a near-certainty despite missing the mid-year Test against the Kiwis with a calf injury.
Dylan Walker (Rabbitohs)
After a breakout year for the Rabbitohs, the 20-year-old Walker is somewhat of a bolter but has proven enough in 2014 to do a job as cover for any injuries in the backline. Walker's name was tossed up for an Origin debut earlier this season for NSW before the centre broke his thumb in Round 13.
Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles)
While a biceps injury hindered Watmough throughout the season, the Sea Eagles back-rower is still officially available and thus earns selection in our Kangaroos squad. If he is ruled out, the likes of Ryan Hoffman, David Klemmer and Tony Williams will be the most likely to step up.
Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
The Wests Tigers prop looks to have cemented a Kangaroos debut after scoring two tries against Papua New Guinea for the Prime Minister's XIII on Sunday. The Origin-winning front-rower has leapt up the pecking order with as many as five Test props unavailable.