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Boyd heads up Meninga's rookies

Shannon Boyd heads a list of seven Test rookies named in Mal Meninga's 24-man Four Nations squad.
Boyd heads up Meninga's rookies
Photo Source: AAP

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Shannon Boyd heads a list of seven Test rookies named in Mal Meninga's 24-man Four Nations squad.

The hard-running prop was a key figure in Canberra's charge to the NRL preliminary final. He will travel to Britain later this month alongside fellow rookies Jake Friend, Tyson Frizell, Valentine Holmes, James Maloney, Matt Moylan and Justin O'Neill.

Coach Meninga said Boyd had enjoyed a sterling season.

"He is big and fast and mobile and can get the team on the front foot," Meninga said at Rugby League Central on Tuesday.

"He is a player in his prime at the moment and he will be for many years to come.

"I imagine he will be in the (selection) frame for a long time."

Maloney played a crucial role in Cronulla's premiership win on Sunday. It was his second title win in four years after success with Sydney Roosters in 2013.

"He has been in the picture for a while, his success on the field suggests he is a player of influence," Meninga said.

"I thought his Origin series was extremely good and he played a big part in Cronulla's success."

Boyd, Friend and Holmes have all earned a Kangaroos call-up before playing Origin football.

However the representative careers of incumbent forwards Paul Gallen and Corey Parker are over. Parker has retired from the NRL, while Gallen has retired from Origin football but will play on for the Sharks next year.

"They have been great servants to the game we all know that," Meninga said.

"But we move on and pick the best players playing the game at the moment but also with an eye to the future.

"As selectors we discussed loyalty and respect and we chose what was best for the team going forward.

"It was hard, both Corey and Paul were disappointed.

"I was honest and I told them I thought other players were playing better than them at the moment."

Incumbent interchange props James Tamou and Josh McGuire also missed out on selection due to form.

Australia play a one-off Test against New Zealand in Perth on October 15 before flying out to England.

The Kangaroos open their Four Nations campaign against Scotland at Hull on October 28.

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