Rookies will rise to challenge: Anderson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rookies will rise to challenge: Anderson

By Brent Read 07/10/2003 05:37:48 AM Comments (0)

National coach Chris Anderson has backed his undermanned and inexperienced Kangaroos to rise to the challenge and maintain Australia's international rugby league dominance.

National selectors named a 23-man squad - including seven players who have never played Test football - for the five-week tour of NZ, France, Wales and England.

Selectors were left with little option after 16 players, including Andrew Johns (neck) and Gorden Tallis (representative retirement), made themselves unavailable for the tour.

It's been more than 30 years since Great Britain won a Test series against Australia and they won't get a better chance than this year.

"I think it's good pressure," Anderson said.

"It's something we take as a challenge, especially with the pull-outs we have had.

"It's a proud tradition we're going away to uphold and we'll make the players aware of that before we go and I'm sure they will take it as a great challenge.

"If there's any time the Poms (England) think they will beat us it's now.

"We don't want to be the first squad coming back having been beaten by Great Britain."

The Kangaroos will open their tour against New Zealand on October 18 in Auckland before jetting out for Europe, where they play lead-up games in France, England and Wales before a three-Test series against Great Britain.

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