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Cleary to make Kangaroos debut against Scotland

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues outside backs Jack Wighton and Matt Burton have been named in the centres and Nathan Cleary gets his chance at halfback as the Australian team prepares to face Scotland in their second game of the Rugby League World Cup.

Burton and Cleary are two of the six players on debut for the Kangaroos on Saturday in Coventry – five of them are True Blues.

Fellow NSW squad teammates Isaah Yeo, Liam Martin and Campbell Graham will also wear the green-and-gold for the first time, along with Queensland and Sydney Roosters prop Lindsay Collins.

Cleary will partner Cameron Munster in the halves, after Daly Cherry-Evans was the No.7 in last week’s 42-8 win over Fiji.

Coach Mal Meninga said he would be using both premiership-winning halfbacks in Australia’s pool games to help make his decision on who would be the creative minds for the Kangaroos when the RLWC Quarter-finals start on 4 November.

Yesterday Cleary said he was “in awe” of Munster’s skills and couldn’t wait to link with him.

"Teaming up with him on the field and being able to unlock that ability is something I’m looking forward to,” Cleary said.

“I think we’re both pretty competitive and that naturally comes out on the field, so I think that’s what makes it cooler is that we have that mutual respect for each other.

“The way we both play, I think we could gel quite well, and I think off the field we’ve got along pretty well too.”

Kangaroos and NSW Blues skipper James Tedesco has retained the fullback position as has Josh Addo-Carr on the wing and Angus Crichton in the back row.

Wighton is into the starting side, Reagan Campbell-Gillard makes his first appearance at prop, Martin is in the second row and Yeo at lock.

Jake Trbojevic will come off the bench after starting in the front row against Fiji.

Australia (*denotes debut): James Tedesco (NSW), Josh Addo-Carr (NSW), Matt Burton (NSW)*, Jack Wighton (NSW), Campbell Graham (NSW)*, Cameron Munster (Qld), Nathan Cleary (NSW)*, Reagan Campbell-Gillard (NSW), Harry Grant (Qld), Patrick Carrigan (Qld), Angus Crichton (NSW), Liam Martin (NSW)*, Isaah Yeo (NSW)*. Interchange: Ben Hunt (Qld), Lindsay Collins (Qld)*, Valentine Holmes (Qld), Jake Trbojevic (NSW).

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