Withdrawals weakening Roos: coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Withdrawals weakening Roos: coach

By Brent Read 30/09/2003 07:35:59 PM Comments (0)

Australian coach Chris Anderson admitted the Kangaroos were vulnerable after captain elect Gorden Tallis became the 12th player to withdraw from the end-of-season tour.

Tallis called a press conference in Brisbane where he announced his shock decision to retire from representative rugby league, citing the toll it had taken on his body.

The Brisbane and Queensland forward was considered a certainty to captain the national side on the five-week tour, but now joins a veritable who's who in missing the trip to New Zealand, France and Great Britain.

The Kangaroos are already without the likes of Andrew Johns (neck), Trent Barrett (leg), Shaun Timmins (knee), Luke Bailey (ear), Jason Ryles (shoulder), Brent Tate (shoulder) and Jamie Lyon (back).

Newcastle forward Ben Kennedy (foot) is also understood to be out of the tour and his teammate Timana Tahu is struggling to overcome a knee injury.

Anderson conceded the high number of withdrawals had left the Kangaroos in danger of becoming the first Australian side in 30 years to lose the Ashes.

"It's a made us a bit more vulnerable," Anderson said.

"It gives England a bit of confidence. It's disappointing for him (Tallis) because he would have been captain of the tour.

"We have lost a lot of top-line players and lost both our captains."

Incumbent Australian captain Johns was forced to withdraw earlier this year, leaving Tallis' Brisbane and Queensland teammate Darren Lockyer favourite to lead the touring side.

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