New South Wales great Andrew Johns has named his Blues and Australia squads for 2020, with a number of household names receiving the axe tom the Knights legend, per Wide World of Sports.
Headlining a list of omissions is Newcastle pair David Klemmer and Mitchell Pearce, with Johns favouring a more youthful side to take on the Maroons in November.
Klemmer has been a staple for Brad Fittler’s side, representing his state since 2015 as a 21-year-old, but Johns elected for a front-row of Daniel Saifiti alongside potential debutant Junior Paulo.
In Pearce’s case, it will be hard to break into the squad given Nathan Cleary’s 2020 season, with the Panthers star only missing game three of last year due to injury.
Standing alongside Cleary in Johns’ squad would be Roosters star Luke Keary, with the latter seen as one of the league’s best playmakers despite going uncapped for the Blues.
Johns remained in favour of a number of key players from last season’s history defining series, with Eels winger Blake Ferguson remaining in the squad despite failing to write a try next to his name on the scoresheet.
Injuries to Blues favourites Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell would see Broncos gun Kotoni Staggs make the cut, with Johns opting for the Brisbane bull ahead of Dragons youngster Zac Lomax, who would take the No.19 jersey.
Andrew Johns’ 2020 NSW Squad:
1. James Tedesco 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Jack Wighton 4. Kotoni Staggs 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Luke Keary 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Damien Cook 10. Junior Paulo 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Boyd Cordner (c) 13. Jake Trbojevic. Bench: 14. Cameron Murray 15. Dale Finucane 16. Wade Graham 17. Payne Haas. 18th man: Cody Walker, 19th man: Zac Lomax
Remaining with his beloved NSW players, a majority of the Kangaroos side selected by Johns would be Blues representatives in his star-studded Australian side.
A highlighted omission for Johns’ international side was Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans, with Johns favouring Blues halfback Cleary.
Andrew Johns’ Australian Squad:
1. James Tedesco 2. Josh Addo-Carr 3. Jack Wighton 4. Kotoni Staggs 5. Dane Gagai 6. Cameron Munster 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Josh Papalii 9. Damien Cook 10. Payne Haas 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Boyd Cordner (c) 13. Jake Trbojevic. Bench: 14. Kalyn Ponga 15. Cameron Murray 16. Felise Kaufusi 17. Josh McGuire.