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Roos spoilt for leaders as Yeo arrives on world stage in style

Should the call come to captain his country in just his second Test match, Isaah Yeo would be honoured to accept, but he doesn't fancy his chances if the choice between he and Cameron Murray comes down to a coin toss.

If Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga decides to give skipper James Tedesco a rest ahead of the quarter-finals then his vice-captains Yeo and Murray would be in the frame to lead the Aussies against Italy on Sunday (AEDT).

When asked by members of the media how the choice would be made between the two outstanding locks, Yeo suggested he'd be no hope if a penny is launched skyward to decide who gets the top job.

"Maybe 'scissors, paper, rock' or a coin toss, I'm not really sure how we'd do it," Yeo said.

"I didn’t do real well with the coin toss at Penrith, I won maybe four. Nathan [Cleary] was the the one taking over. I'm not real good with heads and tails.

"Cam Murray is a lock as well and we are all fighting for a spot in the 17 so nothing is guaranteed but it would be a very proud moment for me and my family if the captaincy happens."

Cleary magnificent on debut

Given the competition for spots in the stacked Kangaroos squad, Yeo insists he'll be happy just to be part of the team for the Italy game and then the knockout stages, and the (c) beside his name would be an unexpected bonus.

After sitting out the tournament opener against Fiji, Yeo was handed his first green and gold jersey against Scotland, revelling in the occasion as Australia ran in 15 tries in an 84-0 rout.

"It was everything I could have hoped for. You only get one debut for your country and when you're involved in a scoreline like that, it's pretty cool," Yeo said.

"Even the fact I was debuting with two other Penrith boys [Liam Martin and Nathan Cleary], debuting with another fella from Dubbo [Matt Burton], everything just worked out and it was such a magic night. I'm sure I'll be able to look back on it very fondly.

"It helped having a few of the Penrith boys there and I've played with a lot of the players as well so that helped with nerves.

"I'm happy the debut is out of the way. You get a lot of people messaging you before the game, that creeps into your nerves and you want to make sure you do well for them.

"I hadn’t played for a few weeks so probably more worried my fitness than the actual debut itself."

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Another man who hadn't laced on a boot since the grand final but looked equally at home on the big stage was Cleary, who carried his sublime NRL form into his Kangaroos debut to finish with 28 points from a try and 12 goals.

Yeo says there was never a doubt in his mind that the man who masterminded the Panthers' charge to back-to-back premierships would aim up at international level.

"Just the way he prepares, he's been on the big stage now so many times already, I think everyone forgets the fact he's 24 and if you look at his resume so far, he's worked so hard to get to that point," Yeo said.

"I guess when he's doing his job then good things happen off the back of that, not just for himself but for the group, so I thought he was outstanding.

"It obviously helps when me and Nathan have played so many games together and we know how the person wants the ball. I like having him there for sure."

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Yeo also paid tribute to Broncos prop Pat Carrigan, who took the field against Scotland just 48 hours after the death of close mate Liam Hampson in Barcelona.

"It's such a sad thing, Pat was really close to Liam and he would have been playing for him," Yeo said.

"Pat probably just wanted to be around loved one but the boys rallied around him and the way he was able to put that grief aside and put in a wonderful performance shows his character."

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.