Sport Rugby League Four Kangaroos rookies to play in World Cup clash against France
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Four Kangaroos rookies to play in World Cup clash against France

Reagan Campbell-Gillard
Reagan Campbell-Gillard will be one of four debutants for the Kangaroos in Friday's World Cup match against France. Photo: Getty
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Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has named four debutants in his 21-man squad for Australia’s Rugby League World Cup clash with France on Friday night.

Tom Trbojevic and Reagan Campbell-Gillard have been included in the starting line-up at wing and prop respectively, while Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi will come off the bench.

The quartet are among six changes for the Canberra Test that Meninga made to the team following its tournament-opening win over England last week.

Michael Morgan has retained his spot at five-eighth after an indifferent performance against the Lions, and will be partnered by veteran playmaker James Maloney.

Captain Cameron Smith has also been named in what will be his 36th consecutive Test match, breaking the record held by rugby league Immortal Clive Churchill.

The Test also marks the return of Josh Mansour to the international arena, almost one year after tearing his ACL during the Kangaroos’ Four Nations tournament last year.

The Penrith star has been given permission to break camp this week to attend the birth of his first child, however is a certain starter at GIO Stadium.

Both he and Ben Hunt departed the team hotel on Tuesday evening.

Josh McGuire has been given first crack at the No.13 jumper following a tournament-ending pectoral injury to Jake Trbojevic suffered against England.

Cooper Cronk, Dane Gagai, Valentine Holmes, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett have been rested, while Hunt is the only member of the original 24-man squad not to play.

Meninga said he wanted to play every player in his squad at least two games through the group stages, and admitted Cronk also needed to rest after copping a whack to the nose last week.

“His nose is a bit sore at the moment so it looked severely broken in the opening game against the English,” Meninga said.

“Predominantly we’ve just given him time to freshen up, get that nose right and he’ll be ready for Lebanon.

“I’ve given everyone an opportunity to play well, participate in the team and play some games. That’s important for the whole squad.

“You never know what might happen at the back end of the tournament if we keep on being successful. You never know with injuries or illness. It’s important everyone gets some time.”

Team: Billy Slater, Tom Trbojevic, Will Chambers, Josh Dugan, Josh Mansour, Michael Morgan, James Maloney, Jordan McLean, Cameron Smith (c), Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Wade Graham, Tyson Frizell, Josh McGuire. Bench: Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, Aaron Woods, David Klemmer. Extended bench: Valentine Holmes, Matt Gillett, Boyd Cordner, Dane Gagai.

-AAP