Australia name formidable World Cup squad

Australia have named a star-studded squad for the 2017 World Cup.

Seven of Melbourne’s NRL premiership-winning side have been included, with Billy Slater among those included.

Storm backrower Felise Kaufusi is among the six rookies named in the 24-man squad, with Kaufusi’s inclusion contributing towards the omission of long-term Kangaroos forward Sam Thaiday, who has hit out at his snub by Mal Meninga.

The experienced forward has been a long-standing member of the Green and Gold, however he claimed his years of service didn’t even earn him a phone call to say he wasn’t selected for the upcoming event.

“A bit of respect would’ve been nice … to at least receive a phone call and learn about selection that way instead of through a leaked report from the media on last night’s news.

“After dedicating more than 10 years wearing the Maroon and Green and Gold jersey, you’d expect to be treated with a bit more decency and respect.

“I guess not. Lucky I have one more year left at the Brisbane Broncos unless someone wants to shatter that dream too.”

He is one of several high-profile players left out, with Blake Ferguson, the player of the tournament at last year’s Four Nations, another notable absentee.