Parramatta Eels winger Blake Ferguson has today been named in the Kangaroos Origin Merit Team, with Australian coach Mal Meninga selecting 11 Blues players in the 17-man side following NSW’s State of Origin triumph.
Meninga and his Kangaroos selectors sat down at the end of the series to pick the best 17 players in a team, which will go a long way to deciding the make up the Australian team for the two Test matches at the end of the year.
The squad includes four players who are yet to debut for the Kangaroos – Canberra’s Jack Wighton (NSW), Melbourne’s Josh Addo-Carr (NSW), St George Illawarra’s Paul Vaughan (NSW) and South Sydney’s Cameron Murray (NSW).
The merit team backline is stocked full of Blues players, with James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton, Tom Trbojevic and Blake Ferguson all earning positions.
The halves were both Queenslanders, with Meninga conceding Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans were in the box seat to wear the No.6 and No.7 jerseys in the Tests against New Zealand and Tonga at the end of the year.
The selectors work to 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.
The Kangaroos play matches against the New Zealand Kiwis (October 25) at WIN Stadium, and Tonga (November 2) at Eden Park, Auckland.
The Kangaroos will also take part in the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s on October 18-19.
Kangaroos Origin Merit Team
1. James Tedesco – Sydney Roosters
2. Blake Ferguson – Parramatta Eels
3. Jack Wighton – Canberra Raiders
4. Tom Trbojevic – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
5. Josh Addo-Carr – Melbourne Storm
6. Cameron Munster – Melbourne Storm
7. Daly Cherry-Evans – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
8. David Klemmer – Newcastle Knights
9. Damien Cook – South Sydney Rabbitohs
10. Josh Papalii – Canberra Raiders
11. Boyd Cordner – Sydney Roosters
12. Felise Kaufusi – Melbourne Storm
13. Jake Trbojevic – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
14. Ben Hunt – St. George Illawarra Dragons
15. Paul Vaughan – St. George Illawarra Dragons
16. Cameron Murray – South Sydney Rabbitohs
17. Josh McGuire – North Queensland Cowboys