16 Oct 2010

Sheens likely to name best team for PNG clash

5:03 pm on 16 October 2010

The Australia rugby league coach, Tim Sheens, says he's likely to field close to a full strength side against Papua New Guinea in their Four Nations opener at Parramatta next weekend.

The Kangaroos are expected to easily win the match against the Kumuls, but Sheens says he's likely to give some of his key players game-time after a long rest period.

Players such as Darren Lockyer, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith will have gone seven weeks without a match come next Saturday, after their teams failed to make the National Rugby League finals.

Sheens says he hopes to give all 24 squad members a game during the tournament, but is leaning towards fielding his strongest players against PNG.

He says while playing PNG isn't an ideal preparation for matches against England and New Zealand, he expects the Kumuls to show plenty of enthusiasm.