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Aus, NZ name World Cup squads
Australian coach selects team dominated by NRL grand final players.
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2008 09:49 GMT

Ricky Stuart announces the squad [GALLO/GETTY]
Six members of the Manly team which won the National Rugby League premiership on Sunday have been named in Australia's squad for this month's rugby league World Cup.

The 25-man squad announced by Australia coach Ricky Stuart also includes five members of the Melbourne team beaten 40-0 by Manly in the NRL grand final.

Manly influence

Forwards Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Josh Perry, and winger David
Williams made their Australian squad debut alongside Manly teammates Brent Kite and Brett Stewart.

"It's a great reward for a very, very good football team," Stuart said.

"They showed on Sunday evening that they warranted their selections."

Brisbane's Darren Lockyer will captain the squad which includes New Zealand-based Steve Price and Brent Tate.

Leuluai takes halfback role [GALLO/GETTY]
New Zealand

New Zealand chief selector Howie Tamati says the quality of players named at specialist positions like fullback, hooker and in the halves makes the country's 24-man squad rugby league World Cup squad a formidable one.

"We've got them pretty well covered and we've probably never been in a better position in New Zealand rugby league," Tamati said.

"We're now in the position where we don't have to play players out of position," he said.

"There are players who have specialist skills and/or have the ability to play well in a number of positions."

Leuluai halfback

Wigan's Thomas Leuluai will take the halfback role while Benji Marshall of the National Rugby League's Wests Tigers will play at five-eighth if fit.

Marshall's clubmate, Dene Halatau, and South Sydney's Issac Luke are form players at hooker.

Incumbent Brent Webb is the likely first choice at hooker but will have to pass a fitness test after missing Leeds' Super League grand final win over St. Helens with a back injury.

Injury concerns

"We'll just have to wait and see," Tamati said of Webb's chances of playing.

"Obviously a back injury that takes you out of a grand final gives you a lot of concern.

"We're waiting on confirmation from the medical people about his ability to play."

The World Cup starts in Australia on October 25 featuring 10 teams in three pools.

The final will be held in Brisbane on November 22.

Australia squad:

Terry Campese (Canberra), Petero Civoniceva (Penrith), Michael Crocker (Melbourne), Craig Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters), Israel Folau (Melbourne), Paul Gallen (Cronulla), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle), Justin Hodges (Brisbane), Greg Inglis (Melbourne), Brent Kite (Manly), Anthony Laffranchi (Gold Coast), Darren Lockyer (captain, Brisbane), Joel Mongahan (Canberra), Josh Perry (Manly), Steve Price (New Zealand Warriors), Scott Prince (Gold Coast), Billy Slater (Melbourne), Cameron Smith (Melbourne), Brett Stewart (Manly), Glenn Stewart (Manly), Brent Tate (New Zealand Warriors), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland), Anthony Watmough (Manly), David Williams
(Manly).

New Zealand squad:

Nathan Cayless (captain, Parramatta), Adam Blair (Melbourne), Greg Eastwood (Brisbane), David Fa'alogo (Souths), Nathan Fien (New Zealand Warriors), Dene Halatau (Wests Tigers), Lance Hohaia (New Zealand Warriors), Krisnan Inu (Parramatta), David Kidwell (South Sydney), Thomas Leuluai (Wigan), Jeff Lima (Melbourne), Issac Luke (Souths), Simon Mannering (New Zealand Warriors), Sika Manu (Melbourne), Benji Marshall (Wests), Steve Matai (Manly), Sam Perrett (Sydney Roosters), Sam Rapira (New Zealand Warriors), Jerome Ropati (New Zealand Warriors), Setaimata Sa (Sydney Roosters), Jeremy Storm (Melbourne), Iosia Soliola (Sydney Roosters), Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand Warriors), Brent Webb (Leeds).

Source:
Agencies
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