Rugby Star Cleary Backs Edwards for Debut Kangaroos Slot Amid Team Shifts


Teams have shifted amid the rugby world as Panthers’ star player Nathan Cleary endorses teammate Dylan Edwards to be selected for his debut with the Kangaroos next month. The move, however, might require playing Cleary in a position he has not experienced since his nascent period in the sport.

The Kangaroos are heading to the upcoming Pacific Championships next month devoid of their regular centre pairing from the World Cup final. Latrell Mitchell is out of action due to an injury, and Jack Wighton is unavailable due to retirement. Valentine Holmes, who started the previous game against Samoa as a winger, is an apparent replacement but is likely to miss out because of a recent controversial Instagram post.

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Although Bradman Best and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow had stellar seasons at their club and the State of Origin, Kangaroos’ coach Mal Meninga has admitted that Edwards could potentially occupy one of the vacant centre spots. With already four years since moving from the wing, Edwards has proven himself as one of the best fullbacks in contemporary rugby.

Describing his teammate’s play as “freak,” Cleary expressed confidence that Edwards could transition smoothly into a new position in the Kangaroos’ opening game against Samoa on October 14. Cleary praised Edwards’ consistency and exceptional contribution to the team.

Edwards previously donned the green and gold jersey during a 34-20 victory for the Junior Kangaroos against the Junior Kiwis back in 2016. Of that team, only Cleary has moved into the senior level, and it is widely believed that Edwards might join him soon.

Edwards expressed both gratitude and anticipation for the opportunity to play representative rugby at this stage of his career. A terriffic career already sees his preparations for a fourth consecutive grand final and a spot among three nominees for the Dally M Fullback of the Year Award.

Brisbane Broncos’ rising star Reece Walsh, who is not eligible for the award due to a ban for abusing a referee, is a player Edwards particularly admires. Notwithstanding the highest number of mistakes this season, Walsh’s remarkable ability to overcome adversity and still dominate the match stands out to Edwards.

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