Australia's Anzac Test league team named - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia's Anzac Test league team named

30/04/2006 06:42:31 PM Comments (0)

Australian selectors have named North Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston on the bench for Friday's rugby league Test against New Zealand in Brisbane.

The reigning Dally M medallist, who will be making his Test debut, had loomed as the most contentious choice for Australia's four-man selection panel with the likes of Dragons five-eighth Trent Barrett and Sydney Roosters' utility Craig Wing also vying for a berth on the bench.

Brisbane five-eighth Darren Lockyer will skipper the side, while Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns and Manly lock Ben Kennedy have been named for their farewell representative appearance.

Despite concerns over the fitness of fullback Anthony Minichiello, who has missed the Roosters' last two games with a hamstring strain, Australia only named a 17-man quad.

St George Illawarra pair Mark Gasnier - who is considering a move to rugby union, and Matt Cooper - retained their place in the centres, beating out Brisbane's Justin Hodges.

As expected, Bronco Petero Civoniceva was named at prop, with Bulldogs enforcer Willie Mason claiming the other keenly contested front row position.

The Cowboys' Luke O'Donnell retained his place in the second row with Nathan Hindmarsh returning after missing last year's Tri-Nations through injury.

Joining Thurston on the bench will be Mark O'Meley, Steve Menzies and Steve Simpson.

Team:Anthony Minichiello, Matt King, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu, Darren Lockyer (c), Andrew Johns, Willie Mason, Danny Buderus, Petero Civoniceva, Luke O'Donnell, Nathan Hindmarsh, Ben Kennedy. Interchange: Johnathan Thurston, Mark O'Meley, Steve Menzies, Steve Simpson.

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