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Croft to captain Junior Kangaroos

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017 Scott Bailey

Cooper Cronk's potential Melbourne replacement Brodie Croft will make his Junior Kangaroos debut against New Zealand on Friday.

Croft has been named as captain of the under-20s Australian side to take on the Junior Kiwis in Canberra and will play at halfback.

The youngster, who debuted in the NRL last year, impressed many critics at this year's Auckland Nines and was named in the team of the tournament.

However he was overlooked for Ryley Jacks when the Storm called upon a back-up five-eighth when Billy Slater and Cameron Munster missed the opening parts of the season.

Croft played for Queensland's under-20s last year, and is seen as the heir to the Cronk throne in Melbourne for next year if the Storm look within.

He will be partnered in the Australia halves by St George Illawarra's Jai Field halves, who made his NRL debut in round one this year before suffering a number of injuries.

The pair are among seven players with NRL experience in coach Justin Holbrook's 18-man squad, alongside Tyronne Roberts-Davis, Curtis Scott, Jaydn Su'A, Sam Stone and Cameron Murray.

Cronulla's Jesse Ramien also appeared for the Sharks in the World Club Challenge loss to Wigan.

Meanwhile Penrith's Sione Katoa, South Sydney's Siosifa Talakai and the Warriors Erin Clark headline the New Zealand Under 20 squad named on Sunday.

JUNIOR KANGAROOS: Corey Allan, Tyronne Roberts-Davis, Enari Tuala, Jesse Ramien, Curtis Scott, Jai Field, Brodie Croft (capt), Stefano Hala, Reece Robson, Blake Lawrie, Jaydn Su'A, Sam Stone, Cameron Murray. Int: Victor Radley, Jack Murchie, Ray Stone, Emre Guler, Gehamat Shibasaki (18th man).

JUNIOR KIWIS: Briton Nikora, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Dane Aukafolau, Emry Pere, Erin Clark, Fabien Puletua-Kiri, Greg Leleisiuao, Isaiah Papali'I, Jarome Luai, Kaleb Fuimaono, Manase Fainu, Moeaki Fotuaika, Patrick Herbert, Reimis Smith, Sione Katoa, Siosifa Talakai, Sitili Tupouniua, Steven Marsters.

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