Rugby League World Cup Final 2017: Combined England and Australia XIII

With the World Cup final looming large on the horizon, TotalRL has attempted to pick the best of both England and Australia’s sides and try and make a combined XIII. It was tough, but here’s who we plumped for? Disagree? Tweet us @LeagueExpress.

Fullback: Billy Slater (Australia)

A tough call to start off with, as Gareth Widdop has been revelation for England at fullback this tournament. However, he is nudged out by the incredible, evergreen Melbourne star Billy Slater.

Wing: Valentine Holmes (Australia)

Into the three-quarter line, where there was some fierce competition for places! We start with the free-scoring Kangaroos superstar Valentine Holmes, who has already left a real impression on the 2017 World Cup.

Centre: Josh Dugan (Australia)

And Holmes is joined by his centre partner, Josh Dugan, who nudges out England counterpart John Bateman. Bateman has done okay for Wayne Bennett’s side throughout the World Cup – but Dugan deservedly gets the nod here.

Centre: Kallum Watkins (England)

There’s one England centre-wing pairing, and one Australian version in this side. The England version begins with Leeds star Kallum Watkins, who has been a real thorn in the side for all of England’s opposition this tournament.

Wing: Jermaine McGillvary (England)

And how could you leave this man out? Huddersfield’s Jermaine McGillvary is, without a shadow of a doubt, worthy of his place in this side.

Stand-off: Michael Morgan (Australia)

North Queensland’s Michael Morgan has perhaps been the chief benefactor from Johnathan Thurston’s season-ending injury – though there can be no doubt over whether he has taken his chance in the last few weeks for the Kangaroos.

Scrum-half: Cooper Cronk (Australia)

Alongside Morgan is his half-back partner Cooper Cronk – who has been phenomenal for the Kangaroos all tournament long.

Prop: James Graham (England)

Into the pack – and we start with England powerhouse James Graham who, on a regular basis in this World Cup, has proven he is one of the game’s best props without a shadow of a doubt.

Hooker: Cameron Smith (Australia)

Golden Boot winner. Enough said.

Prop: David Klemmer (Australia)

A tough call to join Graham and Smith in the front row, but big Aussie juggernaut David Klemmer gets the nod.

Second row: Sam Burgess (England)

It may not have been his best tournament, but Sam Burgess is still capable of his absolute best on any given day. Aussies beware this weekend.

Second row: Boyd Cordner (Australia)

Burgess is joined by Australia back-rower Boyd Cordner, who has been impressive throughout the tournament for the Kangaroos – like so many of his team-mates.

Loose-forward: Sean O’Loughlin (England)

A tough one to finish, too – but England captain Sean O’Loughlin is the epitome of a talisman. If he is passed fit for Saturday, England’s chances of victory improve significantly.