Lockyer injured, Civoniceva may lead - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer injured, Civoniceva may lead

07/11/2005 10:04:29 PM Comments (0)

Fiji-born prop Petero Civoniceva could become the first non-Australian to lead the Kangaroos into a Test if given the job against France at Perpignan.

With Lockyer out and Steven Price also expected to be rested, the Brisbane Broncos prop could get the leadership role after 18 Tests.

Civoniceva has captained the Broncos well in the absence of Lockyer and Shane Webcke and he has always displayed great leadership qualities, especially in many fierce Origin battles against New South Wales.

Rooster Craig Fitzgibbon is another player who could lead Australia if he backs up from his man-of-the-match performance against Great Britain, although he may be another player Bennett elects to rest with the Kangaroos due to play Great Britain at Hull on Saturday week.

St George Illawarra five-eighth Trent Barrett is the most likely replacement for Lockyer this week.

Bennett has to decide whether to give Scott Prince another run at halfback inside Barrett or to have a look at a Craig Gower-Barrett combination with the Penrith halfback likely to get a chance to push his claims.

Bennett will give the six unused players - Gower and forwards Nathan Hindmarsh, Andrew Ryan, Trent Waterhouse and Ben Creagh plus winger Eric Grothe - their opportunity to push for selection against French a side sure to be well prepared by their Australian coach John Monie.

Mark O'Meley is likely to partner Civoniceva in the front row.

Grothe could get a start on Brent Tate's wing while Hindmarsh will start in the second row, looking to reclaim the Test jumper he lost because of the knee injury suffered on the eve of the NRL finals.

Willie Mason will be hoping for more playing time in France after showing some excellent signs against Great Britain.

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