28 Apr 2014

No surprises in Australian league squad

6:39 am on 28 April 2014

The Australian rugby league selectors have resisted the temptation to make major changes to the side that lifted the World Cup last year for Friday's Anzac Test against New Zealand in Sydney.

Fullback Billy Slater and halfback Cooper Cronk keep their spots in the starting side despite indifferent form and outstanding recent performances from Greg Inglis and Daly Cherry-Evans.

South Sydney fullback Inglis is selected in the centres with Manly's Cherry-Evans, who produced a dazzling display against Canberra on Sunday afternoon, named on the bench.

Coach Tim Sheens has named Sam Thaiday despite the Brisbane back-rower missing the last two games for his club due to a calf injury.

Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne is ruled out with a shoulder injury and Canterbury's Josh Morris is selected at centre despite the return to fitness of long-time incumbent Justin Hodges.

Australian team: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Josh Morris, Brett Morris, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, James Tamou, Cameron Smith, Matt Scott, Sam Thaiday, Greg Bird, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Daly Cherry-Evans, Nate Myles, Boyd Cordner, Corey Parker. 18th man: Matt Gillett.