Reagan Campbell-Gillard (right) with Kangaroos teammate Boyd Cordner at training.
Reagan Campbell-Gillard (right) with Kangaroos teammate Boyd Cordner at training. JULIAN SMITH

Kangaroos rookie shows no fear ahead of World Cup debut

RUGBY LEAGUE: Kangaroos rookie Reagan Campbell-Gillard has his sights set on a Rugby League World Cup finals berth after being named to make his debut in Friday's group clash against France.

Campbell-Gillard is one of four players set to debut for Australia and he has the chance to cement a place in the top 17 following a tournament-ending injury to lock forward Jake Trbojevic.

Josh McGuire has been named in the No.13 jumper, opening a spot for another forward on the bench should coach Mal Meninga maintain his usual strategy of playing four forwards as reserves.

"It would be really nice but obviously there's a few boys here that can obviously get that role,” Campbell-Gillard said at the Kangaroos camp in Canberra on Wednesday.

"We'll see what happens there, obviously take each week as it comes and take those chances with both hands.”

Reagan Campbell-Gillard onteh charge for Penrith during the NRL finals series.
Reagan Campbell-Gillard onteh charge for Penrith during the NRL finals series. DAVE HUNT

A spot in Meninga's top 17 would cap off an impressive year for Campbell-Gillard, who also claimed the Merv Cartwright medal as Penrith's best player of the season.

Meninga said he had been impressed by Campbell-Gillard's approach after he was called into the squad following Andrew Fifita's shock decision to switch allegiances to Tonga.

"He's a big unit, aggressive, pretty quick, good mobility. He's fearless, in my opinion,” Meninga said.

"We like that type of player in our game, particularly in the front row.”

The Kangaroos had Wednesday off and will have a final training run on Thursday ahead of the game against France at Canberra's GIO Stadium.


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