Australia announce ‘merit’ team that would have played in Ashes series

Australia have announced a 17-man squad on merit that would have been set to play England in this autumn’s Ashes series.

The Kangaroos were scheduled to play England in a three-match test series this autumn but it was cancelled after the NRL and Super League seasons had to be extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has confirmed Australia will play at least one test match before the end of next season and the start of the World Cup next year.

Kangaroos national selector Laurie Daley says the 17 players picked in the ‘merit’ team would have been those chosen if there was a test match this post season.

Ryan Papenhuyzen, Tino Fa’asuamelaui, Christian Welch, Nathan Cleary and Angus Crichton were potential debutants for the Kangaroos.

Australia Merit Team: Tedesco; Addo-Carr, Gagai, Wighton, Tupou; Munster, Cleary; Papalii, Cook, Welch, Cordner, Kaufusi, Murray. Subs: Papenhuyzen, Haas, A Crichton, Fa’asuamaleaui.

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