Wing to play centres for Britain clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wing to play centres for Britain clash

04/11/2003 05:44:53 AM Comments (0)

Australian coach Chris Anderson dropped the first selection bombshell of this year's Ashes rugby league series when he named Craig Wing in the centres for the first Test against Great Britain.

Anderson also named two debutants - Penrith forward Trent Waterhouse and Sydney Roosters utility Michael Crocker - in the 17-man squad for Saturday night clash with the Lions at Wigan's JJB Stadium.

But Wing's selection in the centres was the biggest surprise.

The 23-year-old has played three Tests, all off the interchange bench, and admitted he couldn't remember if he had ever played in the centres in his first grade career.

But Anderson had few options after Ryan Girdler re-injured his calf muscle during the Kangaroos' 76-4 win over Wales on Sunday.

"We were a bit unfortunate with Ryan Girdler and I thought Wingy did a really good job for us and the way we want to play will suit what we want to do," Anderson said.

"He's a utility...but he's quite happy to play there for us. He's a quality player and we need him on the pitch."

Cronulla centre Phil Bailey was also selected to make his starting debut while Craig Gower was named at five-eighth after striking up a quality partnership with Brett Kimmorley in their limited time together.

Three players - Michael DeVere, Matt Sing and Richard Villasanti - have been dropped from the side which lost the Test to New Zealand two weeks ago.

AUSTRALIA: Darren Lockyer (c), Shannon Hegarty, Craig Wing, Phil Bailey, Anthony Minichiello, Craig Gower, Brett Kimmorley, Shane Webcke, Danny Buderus, Robbie Kearns, Craig Fitzgibbon, Steve Simpson, Luke Ricketson. Interchange: Petero Civoniceva, Trent Waterhouse, Willie Mason, Michael Crocker.

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