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George Clarke

RCG, Hunt return for Kangaroos-Kiwis clash

Reagan Campbell-Gillard (r) has been recalled to the Australia side for the World Cup semi-final. (Mike Egerton/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Australia coach Mal Meninga has recalled Parramatta prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard in a bid to win the forward battle with New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup semi-final in Leeds.

Ben Hunt, who was rested for the quarter-final win over Lebanon, also returns to the side for Friday's clash (Saturday AEDT) after being rested in the only other change to Meninga's 19-man squad.

Hunt is expected to resume his hooking rotation with Harry Grant which helped deliver this year's State of Origin series to Queensland.

It is the selection of Campbell-Gillard, however, which indicates Meninga is ready to fight fire with fire.

"This is our most important game of the World Cup and a great challenge against the calibre of the New Zealand side," Meninga said.

The Kiwis have arguably the strongest forward pack at the competition and Michael Maguire's side have made no bones about wanting to blast teams down the middle of the park.

Campbell-Gillard missed the Lebanon game with a corked thigh but trained with the rest of the squad on Tuesday in Manchester, with Tino Fa'asuamaleaui likely to drop to the bench and Lindsay Collins to come out of the side.

Hunt will replace Daly Cherry-Evans, who is expected to be part of the reserves along with Reuben Cotter.

"Mal has indicated to me and Harry that he wants to keep us fresh to bring the energy," Hunt said.

"I feel like we've both done enough to be in the side. It was really good to get a week off because I'm getting a bit older.

"It's going to be pretty physical, I'm thinking of it as a State of Origin game.

"We have to dominate their forward pack because they are really big and that's where it will be won."

Likely Kangaroos team: James Tedesco, Valentine Holmes, Jack Wighton, Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Cameron Munster, Nathan Cleary, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Ben Hunt, Jake Trbojevic, Angus Crichton, Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo. Interchange: Harry Grant, Patrick Carrigan, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Cameron Murray. Reserves: Reuben Cotter, Daly Cherry-Evans.

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