Cameron Munster of Australia.
Cameron Munster of Australia.

Munster withdraws, Keary to debut for Kangaroos

GRAND final hero Luke Keary will make his Test debut after being drafted into the Kangaroos squad for Cameron Munster.

Munster has withdrawn for personal reasons, opening the door for Keary, who won the Clive Churchill Medal in the grand final.

Keary outshone Munster in the grand final and was close to securing a spot in the original 19-man squad.

He was placed on standby when Munster had a possible suspension for kicking during the Storm's grand final loss.

While Munster was cleared to play after receiving just a fine for the offence, he told Australian officials on Sunday that he would be unable to play against New Zealand on Saturday night.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga as recently as Saturday had talked up Munster's role in the Australian side.

"It's unfortunate to lose Cameron for the next two matches but there are far more important things in life than football sometimes," Meninga said. "We've brought Luke straight into the squad and he fully deserves the opportunity after what was a fantastic season.

Cameron Munster will miss the upcoming Tests for personal reasons.
Cameron Munster will miss the upcoming Tests for personal reasons.

"He's delivered on big occasions countless times over the past few years and I've got no doubt he'll deliver again if called upon during the next two weeks."

Keary will now partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves, and be joined by fellow debutants James Tedesco and Damien Cook in Australia's spine.

The 26-year-old narrowly missed out on Blues selection earlier this year and was part of Brad Fittler's extended squad throughout the series.

Luke Keary is set to make his Test debut.
Luke Keary is set to make his Test debut.

Meninga has labelled the Australian team as Cherry-Evans's, with the Manly skipper to end his four year Test exile against New Zealand.

The PM's XIII squad - which included Cherry-Evans, who scored two tries - returned to Brisbane on Sunday to meet with the rest of the Australian squad.

Premiers the Sydney Roosters will have the most club players in the Test squad with Keary, Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell and new Australian skipper Boyd Cordner to play against New Zealand and Tonga.