There is no room for the Grand Final’s man of the match Daly Cherry-Evans, with Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston in the halves, while Robbie Farah takes the utility spot on the bench. 

Brett Morris and Darius Boyd will start on the wings, while Brent Tate picked up the only other tough position to pick at right centre. 

“His experience won out in the end,” Sheens said. “He’s a good talker, good defender, and can score a try too.” 

“There were a couple of other obvious choices, but they’ll get their chance in game two and three.”

Uncapped Andrew Fifita will also start on the bench. 

Cherry-Evans will get a chance in the pool matches against Fiji or Ireland. 

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“It’s a difficult one when you’ve got three quality halves,” Sheens says. 

The imposing Ausse forward pack include brawn and ball players, in Matt Scott and James Tamou up front, Greg Bird and Sam Thaiday in the second row and Paul Gallen at lock, with captain Cameron Smith marshalling the troops from hooker.

The Kangaroos will have a final captain’s run at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Friday before Saturday’s clash at 2.30pm. 

Sheens admitted this first game is key to their campaign to win back the World Cup. 

“Very important – winning it doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the final,” he said. 

“It’s about getting a good confident start and it leaves you on the side of the draw where you’re not likely to run into the other powerhouse in New Zealand. 

“If you lose to England you’ll be meeting NZ on the way through when what you’d like to do is meet either NZ or England in the final.”

Australia to play England:

1. Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm) 2. Brett Morris (St George Illawarra Dragons) 3. Brent Tate (North Queensland Cowboys) 4. Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs) 5. Darius Boyd (Newcastle Knights) 6. Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys) 7. Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm) 8. Matthew Scott (North Queensland Cowboys) 9. Cameron Smith (C) (Melbourne Storm) 10. James Tamou (North Queensland Cowboys) 11. Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans) 12. Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos) 13. Paul Gallen (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) Interchange: 14. Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) 15. Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) 16. Luke Lewis (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks) 17. Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos) 18. Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels) 19. Nate Miles (Gold Coast Titans)

Images via Getty