14 Oct 2014

Sheens names new look Kangaroos squad

5:46 pm on 14 October 2014

Newcastle teenager Sione Mata'utia and South Sydney grand final heroes Alex Johnston and Dylan Walker are among 10 newcomers selected in coach Tim Sheens' 24-man Australian squad for rugby league's Four Nations tournament.

Tim Sheens

Tim Sheens Photo: PHOTOSPORT

With a raft of big-name players unavailable for Kangaroos selection, Sheens has ushered in generation next - but admits not all of the rookies will make their Test debuts during the tournament.

Mata'utia, 18, has played just seven NRL games after debuting for the Knights in July.

If he earns a start, Mata'utia will become the youngest Test player in Australian rugby league history.

Johnston enjoyed a spectacular rookie season in 2014, scoring 21 tries in 18 games, including the opening four-pointer in the Rabbitohs' title drought-breaking 30-6 grand final triumph over Canterbury last Sunday.

The squad, led by longtime skipper Cameron Smith, is stacked with Test rookies due to the injury-enforced withdrawal of some of the biggest stars in the game.

Along with Mata'utia, Johnston and Dylan Walker, the other debutants are Canterbury forwards David Klemmer and Josh Jackson, Penrith winger Josh Mansour, Sydney Roosters' State of Origin pair Daniel Tupou and Aiden Guerra, Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt and Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods.

Stalwarts Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater and Matt Scott are among the biggest names to have withdrawn through injury, while Paul Gallen is still serving a drug ban, and the likes of Nate Myles, Matt Scott, James Tamou and Darius Boyd are also unavailable.

Australia will kick off its Four Nations campaign against New Zealand at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on October 25, with England also meeting Samoa on the double-header bill.

The Kangaroos then host England in Melbourne on November 2 and Samoa in Wollongong on November 9.

The final of the four-week tournament will be held in Wellington on November 15.

Kangaroos squad: Greg Bird, Daly Cherry-Evans, Boyd Cordner, Cooper Cronk, Robbie Farah, Aidan Guerra, Jarryd Hayne, Ryan Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Greg Inglis, Josh Jackson, Michael Jennings, Alex Johnston, David Klemmer, Josh Mansour, Sione Mata'utia, Josh Papalii, Corey Parker, Beau Scott, Cameron Smith (captain), Sam Thaiday, Daniel Tupou, Dylan Walker, Aaron Woods