Rugby League World Cup: Australia squad features seven Melbourne Storm players

Australia Rugby League coach Mal Meniga (left) speaks to captain Cameron Smith as they prepare for a World Cup on home soil
Cameron Smith (right) captained Australia to World Cup victory in England in 2013

Australia have named seven players from National Rugby League winners Melbourne Storm in their 24-man squad for October's Rugby League World Cup.

Captain Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Will Chambers and veteran Billy Slater, whose two tries helped Australia win the 2013 World Cup, are included.

Storm's Felise Kaufusi, 25, is among six uncapped players.

Andrew Fifita, who was originally included, subsequently withdrew having chosen to play for Tonga instead.

"Andrew called me and said he was passionate about playing for Tonga and I respect and support that decision," said coach Mal Meninga, who has replaced him with Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

Meninga added the squad was "selected on form" and "has the right mix of youth and experience".

He added: "We have a number of players who can play multiple positions and that will be an advantage over the course of what we hope will be six matches."

Australia, who are jointly hosting the tournament with New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, face England in the opening match, on 27 October in Melbourne.

England's World Cup squad will be announced on 9 October, with Scotland and Wales' line-ups following on 10 October.

Australia squad for Rugby League World Cup

Backs: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Tom Trbojevic, Josh Dugan, Valentine Holmes, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Munster, Michael Morgan, James Maloney.

Forwards: Aaron Woods, David Klemmer, Josh McGuire, Andrew Fifita, Jake Trobojevic, Jordan McLean, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett, Tyson Frizell, Wade Graham, Felise Kaufusi, Cameron Smith, Ben Hunt.

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