Cronulla Sharks and St George Illawarra Dragons dominate Prime Minister's XIII selection

Representing: Sharks five-eighth James Maloney was one of five Cronulla players chosen in the Prime Minister's XIII. Picture: AAP Image

Representing: Sharks five-eighth James Maloney was one of five Cronulla players chosen in the Prime Minister's XIII. Picture: AAP Image

Cronulla and St George Illawarra players have dominated selection in Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga's Prime Minister's XIII team to take on Papua New Guinea. 

The Sharks and Dragons make up eight members of the 18-man squad to face the Kumuls in Port Moresby next Saturday.

Cronulla will provide five players to the match – Valentine Holmes, Jack Bird, James Maloney, Andrew Fifita and Wade Graham – after their controversial finals exit on Sunday.

St George Illawarra’s Paul Vaughan has been rewarded for an outstanding season with his selection, with the Dragons prop to be joined in the side by club teammates Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell.

Meninga said he planned to use the match as a World Cup selection trial.

"We've chosen the best available players in each position with 16 of the 19 players representing their state this year," he said.

"To get these guys together so close to the rugby league World Cup is a real coup for our preparations, which will really kick into gear following the NRL grand final.

"Some of them have been fortunate enough to have already experienced playing in PNG but for the new guys it really is something to cherish. There's nothing else quite like it.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone gels together in a short time frame and handles the occasion."

Australian Prime Minister’s XIII:

James Tedesco (Wests Tigers), Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights), Josh Dugan (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Valentine Holmes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)*, Jack Bird (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)*, James Maloney (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Aaron Woods © (Wests Tigers), Api Koroisau (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)*, Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)*, Tyson Frizell (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders), Jake Trbojevic (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Dylan Walker (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)*, Josh Jackson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Paul Vaughan (St George-Illawarra Dragons)*

Coach: Mal Meninga

*Denotes PMXIII debut

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