The teams are in for the men’s Rugby League World Cup Final today at Old Trafford.
The final sees holders Australia look to claim a third consecutive World Title after going on a winning run in the tournament since they lost to New Zealand in the 2008 final.
They take on Samoa who are outsiders and are contesting their first World Cup Final, not just in rugby league but in any major sport.
Samoa have received support from the likes of Dwayne the Rock Johnson and have a nucleus of NRL stars to call upon especially those from NRL Champions Penrith Panthers.
They are also boosted by Super League stars.
Named in Matt Parish’s team today is Salford Red Devils centre Tim Lafai who was not named in the 23-man squad that started the tournament and was only drafted in after the first game left the likes of Catalans Dragons star Tyrone May injured.
He’s joined by Hull FC man Ligi Sao who was also a late addition to the squad but called on just before the tournament.
There is no place for Ken Sio with Taylan May and Brian To’o of Penrith cemented on the wings.
Their teammates Stephen Crichton and Jarome Luai will also be key and feature at centre and stand-off respectively. Luai is joined by Anthony Milford in the halves whilst teenage sensation Joseph Suaali’i is at fullback.
With ex-Huddersfield Giants hooker Danny Levi and former Featherstone Rovers man Fa’amanu Brown absent, it is the retiring Chanel Harris-Tavita at nine. He’s only 23.
Mal Meninga meanwhile has stuck by Nathan Cleary at seven with no Daly Cherry-Evans in the 17.
Harry Grant remains on the bench as Ben Hunt starts in a big call. Semi-final match winner Cameron Murray starts on the bench again.
Here’s the teams in full:
🔒 The teams are locked in!
Australia and Samoa have confirmed their starting line-ups ahead of this mouthwatering World Cup final.
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 19, 2022