Penrith Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards has been left out of the Kangaroos squad in what has been seen as a harsh snub. Despite playing a crucial role in the Panthers’ recent premiership-winning season, questions surrounding Edwards’ versatility have cost him a spot in the national team. This decision has raised eyebrows, especially considering the inclusion of Canterbury Bulldogs player Josh Addo-Carr, who was involved in a brawl at the Koori Knockout, and North Queensland Cowboys star Valentine Holmes, who was linked to a scandal involving a white powder.
The Kangaroos are set to face Samoa on October 14th and New Zealand on October 28th. Head coach Mal Meninga announced the full squad, which includes several debutants. Alongside Addo-Carr, other newcomers to the team include Selwyn Cobbo from the Broncos, Thomas Flegler from the Broncos, and Reed Mahoney from the Eels. The team also features experienced players like Daly Cherry-Evans, Nathan Cleary, and Harry Grant.
While Edwards has undoubtedly been a crucial player for the Panthers, there are concerns about his versatility. Being a fullback, there is a need for players in this position to excel not only in attack but also in defense. It is possible that the selectors believe Edwards may not be as well-rounded as other options, leading to his omission from the squad.
However, the decision to include Addo-Carr and Holmes, despite their recent controversies, has led to criticism. Addo-Carr was involved in an all-in brawl at the Koori Knockout, which raises questions about his discipline. Holmes, on the other hand, was pictured holding a bag with a white powder, suggesting his involvement in illicit activities. These instances could be interpreted as a lack of professionalism and behavior unbecoming of a national team representative.
The inclusion of these players may indicate that the Kangaroos prioritize on-field performance over off-field conduct. It is clear that both Addo-Carr and Holmes are highly talented athletes, and their skills may have outweighed any concerns about their behavior. This could be seen as a controversial decision, as the national team represents not only the sport but also Australia as a whole.
The upcoming matches against Samoa and New Zealand are important for the Kangaroos as they continue to build towards the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. These games provide an opportunity for players to showcase their skills and strengthen their position in the national team. The Kangaroos have a rich history of success, and the selected squad will be aiming to maintain the team’s winning tradition.
While Dylan Edwards may be disappointed by his exclusion, it is important for him to continue performing at a high level for the Panthers. As a key player in their premiership success, he has already proven his worth and will have further opportunities to impress the selectors in the future. It remains to be seen how the Kangaroos will fare in their upcoming matches, and whether the decision to include Addo-Carr and Holmes will be justified.
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