Kangaroos Origin Merit Team



International Rep
Jun 5, 2015
Australian selectors have confirmed a special Kangaroos Origin Merit Team based on performances through the State of Origin series.
The selectors have named the inaugural Kangaroos Merit Team, which includes nine players from the series victors Queensland and eight from NSW.
The team is based on performances by all 43 players who took part in the 2017 Holden State of Origin series.
"This is a special squad – the inaugural Kangaroos Origin Merit Team – and clearly it is a very talented squad as well," said Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga.
Meninga said he hoped the naming of a Kangaroos Origin Merit Team following the interstate series would become a tradition.
"This has never been done before but I think it is an important step for the national team to make, based on the pathway from state through to international level.
"Overall it will be an acknowledgement of both personal and team performances as well as individual behaviours."
Meninga said that ultimately form in the State of Origin series would be one of a number of criteria the selectors will take into account before settling on a 24-man World Cup squad – albeit an important one.
"The selectors will be looking at past recent performances for the Kangaroos, overall form, Club success, form specifically in the Finals Series, form in the State of Origin series as well as the values and bevaviour that we expect of Kangaroos players," Meninga said.
"If a squad was selected for the World Cup today it might contain other players based on our overall selection policy. But this is an important recognition of the Origin players and their form through the series.
"Ultimately, Origin is only one of the stepping stones for players to make ahead of Kangaroos selection, although it is clearly an important one."
The selectors decided on criteria whereby, to be eligible for selection in the squad, a player must have played two out of the three matches in the series. Players could be selected out of the positions they played in during the series.
"Put simply, the charter was to select the best team based on the State of Origin series and we believe we have done that," Meninga said.
This coming Wednesday marks 100 days until the 2017 Rugby League World Cup opener between the Kangaroos and England at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

2017 Kangaroos Origin Merit Team
Billy Slater (Queensland, Melbourne Storm)
Wing: Dane Gagai (Queensland, Newcastle Knights)
Centre: Will Chambers (Queensland, Melbourne Storm)
Centre: Josh Dugan (NSW, St George Illawarra Dragons)
Wing: James Tedesco (NSW, Wests Tigers)
Five-eighth: James Maloney (NSW, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Halfback: Cooper Cronk (Queensland, Melbourne Storm)
Prop: David Klemmer (NSW, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Hooker: Cameron Smith (Queensland, Melbourne Storm)
Prop: Dylan Napa (Queensland, Sydney Roosters)
Second row: Matt Gillett (Queensland, Brisbane Broncos)
Second row: Boyd Cordner (NSW, Sydney Roosters)
Lock: Josh McGuire (Queensland, Brisbane Broncos)

Interchange: Michael Morgan (Queensland, North Queensland Cowboys)
Interchange: Tyson Frizell (NSW, St George Illawarra Dragons)
Interchange: Jake Trbojevic (NSW, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
Interchange: Josh Jackson (NSW, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)


Didn't think Dugan was anything special. But I suppose there wasn't really anybody else.
Yeah Dugan is there by default but Tedesco on the wing?

They should have just named the other wing spot as Qld #2 (a hybrid of Holmes and Oates - Oames)
Oh and my personal favourite, Josh Jackson makes the team because all he needs to do these days is be in a team to win MOTM and be picked in best of sides.
The Jackson and Frizell selections are head scratchers. Both very underwhelming in all 3 games.

Klemmer cordner and Trbojevic are the only 3 NSW forwards that should have been looked at.
Pretty funny that Fifita went from being the new Artie to left right out.
Pretty good team, except for Dugan and Jackson. Though I guess Dugan is there because QLD had 3 different centres in 3 games. Same as Baloney, he wasn't particularly great, but we had 3 different 5/8ths.

Actually, yeah Tedesco is a weird one too. Has he ever played on the wing? Holmes scored 4 tries, I believe, including 3 pretty special ones.
I like the concept although I wouldn't limit it to players who played 2 out of 3, as the list of eligible players could become very restrictive. Players like Munster and JT were very important to the games they played in.

Re Jackson and Frizzell I think Gavin Cooper deserved a spot over one of them. He probably played more minutes than both of them, put up decent numbers in both games and his defence on the left was pretty important to the team overall. I thought Frizzell was particularly underwhelming given the hype they had on him coming into game 1

Selection of Teddy out of position is a bit BS. How was he considered the second best winger of the series when he didn't even play there. I don't think he has ever played there in his career so how do they even know he's a good winger???
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Josh Jackson is the biggest myth going around. Bloke is a fraud and somehow cons people into thinking he is above a regular first grader.
Interesting front row ? Napa and Klemmer . As much as I love to hate Klemmer he is looking to be a real good player long term .
No Hayne plane ? lol . His jumping on the fence in Origin 1 should be replayed to every child at school as an example of delusion .
This merit team is utterly pointless. Mal trying to keep busy as Roos coach.
This is meant to be a side picked based on the best in Origin and Munster doesn't make the side...

And Tedesco over Holmes..

Good one Mal. Did he watch it this year?
Actually, yeah Tedesco is a weird one too. Has he ever played on the wing? Holmes scored 4 tries, I believe, including 3 pretty special ones.

Tedesco hasn't played on the wing since Round 6, 2013.

Even when he did, it was only for 3 games.
Gotta play at least 2 games to qualify .
Heard Mal on the ABC earlier . Acknowledgement to the SOO . No rep teams picked till October To give some hype with World Cup 100 days away .
Munster didn't meet the criteria.

Tedesco's selection is controversial, but it seemed like the stipulation was made purely so he could have Slater and Tedesco in the same side.

Tedesco was better in Game I & II than Holmes was in Game II & III.

They also made a very specific point about character, which is why Fifita isn't there.
What kind of bullshit criteria is that?

Munster came into the side in a decider on the biggest stage of all in an understrength QLD side and absolutely killed it. Played better in that one game than what Maloney did in the whole series.
To win a series, you've got to win 2 of 3 games.

It seems like a silly team put together merely for publicity, but it will be interesting to see how many players make it into the World Cup squad.

If all 17 players make it there, this could have positive ramifications.
I can't disagree too much, except for Tedesco and Jackson. Would have Holmes and Cooper in their place.

Although I'd have any of Qld's 5/8's ahead of Baloney individually, each only played 1 game, so I can live with him there... but Munster/Milf should take the actual spot in the WC team imo.

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