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Sheens lauds Roos redemption crew

Australia's plans to dominate New Zealand in the upcoming one-off Test will be fuelled by a back-row of redemption stories.
Sheens lauds Roos redemption crew
by NRL

By Joe Barton

SYDNEY, Oct 3 AAP - Australia's plans to dominate New Zealand in the upcoming one-off Test will be fuelled by a back-row of redemption stories.

Injuries to Sam Thaiday, Luke Lewis and Anthony Watmough have opened the door for a new-look back-row of former bad boys Greg Bird, Paul Gallen and Nate Myles, all of whom have rebuilt their images to be worthy selections for the October 13 game in Townsville.

Cronulla captain Gallen is the benchmark for every NRL player attempting to reverse a negative public perception.

Gallen was viewed as a player with a win-at-all-costs attitude on the field - a reputation which peaked when he grabbed at the stitches of the Gold Coast's Anthony Laffranchi in 2008.

Since then he's worked hard at changing that image, and the Blues skipper is now one of the most revered and respected players in the NRL.

Just 12 months ago Myles ended his time at the Sydney Roosters on bad terms following one too many breaches of the club's alcohol policy.

Since then he's flown under the radar at the Titans and is playing the best football of his career, winning the man-of-the-series award as part of Queensland's State of Origin triumph.

So too Bird, who has bounced back from his personal dramas of 2009 to resurrect his career at the Titans.

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens is looking forward to working with his newly-formed unit.

"They've all played for me over the last four years. And they've deserved their selection," Sheens told AAP.

"Although regular players like Lewis and Thaiday are out and some other big name players are unavailable because of surgeries, I'm comfortable with the group we've got.

"Birdy had a great State of Origin series as did Nate Myles for Queensland.

"Although they both finished early in the series they played well at the back end of the season.

"It's not always where your team finishes obviously with your own form.

"I think the boys have all been in good form and the selectors agree. It's a bit of a new look but they're not going to let anyone down."

Coming off the bench will be Melbourne's Ryan Hoffman, himself somewhat of a redemption story by making the Test squad in his first year back in the NRL after a season in the English Super League.

"He's matured since then, being overseas and had a great year this year as well as having a great grand final," Sheens said.

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