O'Meley named for Test debut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Meley named for Test debut

By Brent Read 12/11/2004 08:48:31 PM Comments (0)

Size won out over stealth as Mark O'Meley was named to make his Test debut against Great Britain at Wigan's JJB Stadium on Saturday night at the expense of North Queensland's Matt Bowen.

Coach Wayne Bennett finalised his side, whittling Bowen and Shaun Timmins from the squad named earlier this week.

Bennett was toying with the idea of playing Bowen but the need to have an extra big man on the bench held sway.

"He was certainly seriously considering the idea of getting him in," assistant coach Craig Bellamy said.

"At the end of the day, we didn't think that was the way to go. If one of the big guys get hurt then you're really down if you haven't got another big guy on the bench besides Willie.

"It's one thing to have some players on there who can do something different and certainly Matty Bowen can do that, with his footwork and pace.

"It's unfortunate, he's been great. But again we can only put 17 in.

"You have to have reasonable amount of size there to be effective. Those guys can't do their job unless you have people going forward."

As expected, Petero Civoniceva was named in the starting side in place of the injured Jason Ryles (hamstring) and Scott Hill took over at five-eighth for Craig Gower (groin).

Craig Fitzgibbon also returns to the starting side after missing the last win over Great Britain with a shoulder injury, with Andrew Ryan moved to the bench alongside O'Meley.

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