SYDNEY (AP) — Greg Inglis will lead Australia in its rugby league tests against New Zealand and Tonga this month, taking over as captain from the retiring Cameron Smith.
Coach Mal Meninga named a 19-man squad Monday with Inglis as captain and with four uncapped players: fullback James Tedesco, center Latrell Mitchell, Damien Cook who will take Smith's place at hooker, and utility Boyd Cordner.
Tedesco, who is one of three players from the National Rugby League champion Roosters, takes the fullback role from Billy Slater who also retired after Sunday's NRL grand final.
Missing from the Australian 17 that won the World Cup final this year are Slater, Smith, Dane Gagai, Will Chambers, Josh Dugan, Michael Morgan, Mark Gillett, Wade Graham, and the injured Cooper Cronk.
"This is a new era for the Kangaroos and it is a very exciting one, based on the talent available," Meninga said. "While there are only two test matches for the Kangaroos this year they are extremely important to me and this squad."
Australia will play New Zealand at Auckland's Mt. Smart Stadium on Oct. 13 — its first test against the Kiwis in New Zealand in four years — and Tonga at the same venue on Oct. 20.
"The first test match ever against Tonga will also be a historic occasion not only for the Kangaroos but for the game as well," Meninga said.
Australia squad: Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Daly Cherry-Evans, Damien Cook, Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell, Valentine Holmes, Ben Hunt, Greg Inglis (capt), Felise Kaufusi, David Klemmer, Josh McGuire, Jordan McLean, Latrell Mitchell, Cameron Munster, Tyrone Peachey, James Tedesco, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Aaron Woods.