Storm Duo Are Bolters For Kangaroos Squad After Dominant Finals Performance

Hard to ignore them

Storm Duo Are Bolters For Kangaroos Squad After Dominant Finals Performance Getty Images

The finals form of Melbourne forwards Felise Kaufusi and Jordan McLean has reportedly caught the eye of Australian selectors with their names expected to be read out in the 24-man squad for the World Cup starting later this month.

Test coach Mal Meninga will confirm his squad on Tuesday in Sydney ahead of the Cup competition starting on October 27, when Australia take on England at AAMI Park.

Fairfax media is reporting that the two Storm forwards have been given the nod, which comes on the back of Melbourne winning their third NRL premiership in convincing style with a 34-6 victory over North Queensland.

Kaufusi, 25, made his NRL debut only two years ago but was named as 18th man by Queensland coach Kevin Walters in this year's Origin series.

McLean, 26, who actually leaves Storm for the Cowboys next season, was also 18th man in Laurie Daley's NSW Blues campaign.

The pair will be among friends as Storm's incumbent Test players, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, and Will Chambers are certain to be named on Tuesday.

There could be more good news if Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster is given a Kangaroos call-up.

Munster, who can also play in the centres and fullback, could be the replacement for injured No.6 Johnathan Thurston, although James Maloney (Cronulla) and Michael Morgan (Cowboys) are also in contention.

Selection would cap off an unforgettable season for Munster, who starred in his State of Origin debut for Queensland and was again prominent in Storm's grand final victory.

"It's been a massive year. I don't know about the World Cup. I've been happy enough just to get mentioned the last two weeks," Munster said.

"It would be nice to pull on the green and gold but I don't want to dream too much."

The Storm's 'big three' grabbed the headlines after the grand final, however 23-year-old Munster was just as damaging with a game-high three line break assists and six tackle busts.

"We knew how good they'd been playing and Michael Morgan has been the form player of the finals," Munster said.

"We had to try and get at him as much as we could and try to minimise his attacking ability otherwise we would have been in a bit of strife."

Billy Slater, the Clive Churchill Medallist from Sunday's NRL final, will cap off his outstanding season with a recall to the Kangaroos team three years after last pulling on the jumper.

He has battled shoulder trouble for two years and then lost the No.1 jersey to Darius Boyd.

His inclusion could be one of several changes Australian selectors make from the side that beat New Zealand in the most recent Test in May.

Incumbent lock Trent Merrin has been ruled out with injury along with Thurston.

Australia's other World Cup pool matches will be against France in Canberra and Lebanon in Sydney.

- AAP

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