Pumped and excited.
That’s how St Joseph’s Sheahan product James Maloney felt after learning he will again play for Australia after making Mal Meninga’s final 24-man Rugby League World Cup squad, named on Monday.
Maloney has two Test caps heading into the 2017 World Cup, and joins a Kangaroos squad stacked with premiership winning Melbourne Storm players, headed by the trio of Cameron Smith, Billy Slate and fellow half Cooper Cronk.
Maloney and Cronk are joined by Cameron Munster and Michael Morgan as the squad’s halves options, Morgan and Cronk tipped to combine at the scrum base after stellar finals campaigns with the Cowboys and Storm respectively when Australia opens its campaign against England on October 27.
Meninga, though, has vowed to use his entire squad during the tournament, meaning, even though Malong isn’t expected to be there in game one, he’ll more than likely get game time against France or Lebanon.
“So pumped and excited to be able to wear the green and gold jersey again in this year’s World Cup,” Maloney said, taking to Instagram after being named.
“Even better playing on home soil so all my family can be there.”
Maloney is the only Western Rams product to make the squad, with hopefuls Blake Ferguson (Wellington) and Josh Jackson (Gulgong) both missing out. The World Cup final is on December 2.