Storm set to dominate Kangaroos squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm set to dominate Kangaroos squad

By Laine Clark and Sam Lienert 06/10/2009 08:26:46 PM Comments (0)

Injury looks set to be as influential as NRL finals form when Test selectors sit down to finalise their Four Nations squad on Wednesday.

Chairman of selectors Bob McCarthy admitted there was concern for Bulldogs prop Ben Hannant (shoulder/elbow) while Gold Coast co-captain Luke Bailey confirmed he had withdrawn from the Kangaroos train-on squad to undergo arm surgery.

The forward stocks look set to be the most hotly debated with injury clouds also over Nick Kenny (Broncos), Anthony Watmough (Manly) and Michael Weyman (St George-Illawarra) - not good news with Steve Price and Brent Kite already ruled out.

But it augured well for Melbourne trio Brett White, Ryan Hoffman and Dallas Johnson after McCarthy said the greatest emphasis would be placed on NRL finals form at the selection table.

"It will be a major factor. A lot of blokes have not played for a while but some have played on Sunday," he told AAP.

White said at the Storm's civic reception in Melbourne on Tuesday that it would be "a dream" if his name was read out by selectors while Johnson admitted he "wasn't counting his chickens".

Clive Churchill Medallist Billy Slater said the Storm trio had "warranted" a Kangaroos nod.

Melbourne's Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater are certainties.

But the odd man out may yet be the man Slater believed should have received the NRL grand final's man of the match medal - halfback Cooper Cronk.

While McCarthy said Cronk "would be mentioned" when they settle on a 24-man squad, he said the final call on contentious decisions would be given to coach Tim Sheens, which does not sound good for the Melbourne No.7.

Sheens is believed to be favouring his former Wests Tigers playmaker - and current Gold Coast co-captain - Scott Prince as Johnathan Thurston's back-up.

Sheens is also expected name Robbie Farah as his back-up for hooker Smith.

"If there is a deadlock it will go to the coach," McCarthy said.

The last time Melbourne won the premiership in 2007 they had seven Australian representatives - it was also the first and last time Cronk and Johnson played for their country.

The ever-hopeful Cronk said he would "keep his mobile on" on Wednesday.

"Obviously my fingers are crossed and hopefully I get the call," he said on Tuesday.

"I've had a taste of wearing the green and gold jersey once before and I want another taste of that.

"It's a great opportunity, one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had."

Meanwhile, Bailey revealed just how painful his recovering arm had been after pulling the pin on his Kangaroos chances.

Bailey will have a metal plate removed from his right forearm in an attempt to be fully fit for the start of the 2010 NRL season.

It was inserted to help heal a broken arm but it was aggravated against the Dragons in round 13.

"Two weeks out from the end of the season it was hard to brush my teeth after a game for two or three days," Bailey told the Gold Coast Titans website.

"It was restricting my training a bit and I lost a fair bit of strength in my whole arm.

"It got to the point where it was affecting my form a bit. It is something I want to get done."

In a boost for his Titans teammate and Maroons backrower Ashley Harrison, Queensland Rugby League boss Ross Livermore said the heroics of their Origin-winning team would not be forgotten at the selection table.

"Two of the four Test selectors are Queenslanders so the form of the Queensland Origin team will be taken into account," he said.

Possible Four Nations squad: Billy Slater, Jarryd Hayne, Justin Hodges, Greg Inglis, Israel Folau, Darren Lockyer (c), Johnathan Thurston, Ben Hannant, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Anthony Watmough, Nathan Hindmarsh, Dallas Johnson, Kurt Gidley, Robbie Farah, Sam Thaiday, Scott Prince, Justin Poore, Ryan Hoffman, Ben Creagh, Brett White, Michael Weyman, Josh Morris, Trent Waterhouse.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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