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RLWC Mens Final at Suncorp Stadium.Picture : NRL Photos /Gregg Porteous

The majority of the Kangaroos forwards that took the field in the World Cup final are young enough to be there at the next tournament in 2021.

One of the great outcomes for Australia from this campaign, aside from winning the trophy, is the development and improvement of David Klemmer (23), Aaron Woods (26), Jordan McLean (26), Reagan Campbell-Gillard (23), Tyson Frizell (26) and Wade Graham (27).

That development went up a notch in the pressure cooker of a World Cup final against an England forward pack boasting Sam Burgess and James Graham, which gave the Kangaroos as good a belting as they received.

Any sign of weakness in the Australian forwards would have been exposed by a willing England and it was Woods and Klemmer in tandem making some desperate tackles at the death when needed.

To concede just 16 points in six World Cup games is a phenomenal achievement and that all starts in the engine room.

Graham's defensive technique was fine tuned in camp by Trevor Gillmeister and the bell-ringing hit he snapped Tom Burgess with at the death of the decider was compelling evidence of his progress.

Back-rower Boyd Cordner, set for stem cell surgery to cure his knee issues, is also just 25 and will be on deck at the next tournament 

Cordner's World Cup final was brave and brilliant. One of the best hole runners in the game, he scored the sole try of the final by hitting the right angle and timing his run to perfection to score off a Michael Morgan pass.

His 156 run metres in attack and 37 tackles, with none missed, was a stunning effort and encapsulated the Kangaroos' forwards display in this campaign.

The all-round games of Broncos duo Josh McGuire and Matt Gillett were also telling factors and McGuire should be back in four years.

The Australian forwards are not the biggest names to have ever worn the green and gold but their record in this World Cup was nothing short of first class.

The incomparable Cameron Smith has played his last World Cup game but the rest of the forwards may well be in the frame when 2021 rolls around.

This article first appeared on  

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