Dylan Edwards called in for Kangaroos after Josh Addo-Carr suspension twist

Josh Addo-Carr is reportedly set to be hit with a two-game suspension from the NRL.

Josh Addo-Carr and Dylan Edwards.
Josh Addo-Carr is set to be suspended, with Dylan Edwards called into the Kangaroos squad. Image: Getty

Dylan Edwards has reportedly been called into the Kangaroos squad for the Pacific Championship Test matches, with Josh Addo-Carr set to be hit with a two-match suspension from the NRL. Addo-Carr was named in Mal Meninga's 21-man squad on Tuesday, despite a police probe hanging over his head.

The Canterbury Bulldogs winger was involved in a wild brawl at the Koori Knockout rugby league carnival last weekend on the Central Coast. Police were called after spectators ran onto the field and become involving in the melee.

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On Thursday night, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Addo-Carr will be stood down for two matches by the NRL. It means he will miss the Kangaroos' clash with Samoa on October 14, as well as the next game against New Zealand on October 28.

According to the report, Edwards will be called into the squad to replace Addo-Carr and will be considered for a start on the wing. Edwards, who helped the Panthers win their third-consecutive NRL premiership, was one of three star fullbacks who were controversially overlooked by Meninga.

The Kangaroos coach remained loyal to incumbent No.1 and captain James Tedesco, despite Edwards, Kalyn Ponga and Reece Walsh all outshining him this season. Walsh led the Broncos to the grand final and was sensational in State of Origin for Queensland, while Ponga won the Dally M medal as player of the year.

Josh Addo-Carr, pictured here in action for the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Josh Addo-Carr in action for the Canterbury Bulldogs. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Edwards won the Clive Churchill Medal in 2022 and continued his stellar form this season. He will likely line up on the wing for the Kangaroos' opening clash with Samoa.

Addo-Carr's initial selection was highly controversial considering the off-field turmoil and his underwhelming season for the Bulldogs. Fellow outside back Valentine Holmes will also miss the Samoa game despite being selected in the squad, after he was hit with a one-game ban after being photographed with a bag of white powder. The fact Addo-Carr has copped a heavier sanction than Holmes has raised some eyebrows.

Nathan Cleary ruled out of Tests with knee injury

Meninga will also be without Panthers superstar Nathan Cleary, after the halfback suffered a knee injury in the grand final. Cleary played 70 minutes with what is suspected to be a PCL tear after he was the victim of a hip-drop tackle from Payne Haas early in the grand final.

Nicho Hynes has been called in to replace Cleary, while Daly Cherry-Evans will likely start at halfback. "I felt it a little bit at the start, it just felt a bit weird," Cleary said this week about the injury.

"I got it checked at half-time, but the the physio was pretty confident that it was nothing too serious. He gave me a lot of positivity. I just had to go on.

"I could feel it through the game, but I wasn't too sore with the adrenalin pumping. But then the next day afterwards, it was a struggle to walk around."

The injury isn't thought to be long-term in nature, but it certainly adds to the legend of Cleary's masterclass performance late in the grand final. The Clive Churchill Medallist dragged the Panthers out of a 24-8 hole with a 40/20, two try assists and the match-winning try to seal an incredible 26-24 comeback victory. It marked the biggest comeback in NRL grand final history and saw the Panthers become the first team in over 40 years to win three premierships in a row.

with AAP

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