Youthful Tri-Nations squad named - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Youthful Tri-Nations squad named

By Ian Laybourn 19/10/2004 06:15:17 AM Comments (0)

Great Britain rugby league selectors have turned to youth by naming a squad with an average age of just 24 for the Tri-Nations Series.

Captain Andy Farrell, at 29, is the oldest man in the 24-strong squad that includes eight uncapped players, four of them from newly-crowned Super League champions Leeds.

It's a younger line-up than that of the Australians, who flew into London with a 25-man squad that includes two 30-year-olds.

New Great Britain coach Brian Noble, dispelling any hint of club bias, has chosen six players in all from the Rhinos team which beat his own Bradford side 16-8 in Saturday's Grand Final.

Record tryscorer Danny McGuire and centres Keith Senior and Chev Walker are called up, along with the entire front row of Ryan Bailey, Matt Diskin and Danny Ward whose combined age totals just 66.

But there is no place for Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield, who is the surprise omission, along with Bradford scrum-half Paul Deacon, who both figured in last year's Ashes Series.

"They were very, very close," admitted Noble.

"There's been some really difficult decisions.

"I've spoken to both Kevin and Paul, who have played a huge part in what we've done over the last few years, and it's important they understand and they know they're not thrown out.

"Form is very important and we are conscious about not having people around because they are a good name. We need people who can contribute throughout the series.

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