Tahu to start at No.12 for Australia A - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tahu to start at No.12 for Australia A

06/06/2008 04:11:25 PM Comments (0)

Rugby league recruit Timana Tahu will be tried at inside centre in an experimental Australia A rugby union team named to play Japan in their Pacific Nations Cup opener on Sunday.

Making his first start since round three of the Super 14, Tahu will line up outside Queensland Reds halfback Ben Lucas, who is being tested at five-eighth in the match in Fukuoka, Japan.

Tahu was unable to reclaim a starting spot with the NSW Waratahs after a hamstring injury marred his first season since switching codes but he did make five more appearances off the bench.

However, all his Super 14 rugby was played at wing or outside centre.

While Lucas finished the Super 14 season as the Reds' starting halfback he has previously impressed as a five-eighth in Brisbane club rugby and he'll line up at No.10 outside Brumbies youngster Josh Holmes.

The Australia A starting team includes four 2007 World Cup Wallabies - fullback Mark Gerrard, Morgan Turinui at outside centre and captain, prop Guy Shepherdson and hooker Sean Hardman.

Coach Phil Mooney was able to name a strong bench with Wallabies Al Campbell, Tai McIsaac, and Sam Norton-Knight included along with Super 14 rookie of the year Tyrone Smith.

"We've got a good mix of Test veterans and talented young players in this squad and they have a terrific opportunity to show their abilities over the next five weeks," said Mooney.

"Japan have greatly improved over the past few years and we'll need to ensure we dominate the breakdown and build our attack from there."

Australia A play Samoa in Apia (June 15) in round two, before returning to Australia to play three home matches against Tonga (June 22), Fiji (June 29) and NZ Maori (July 6).

Australia A: Mark Gerrard, Matt Carraro, Morgan Turinui (capt), Timana Tahu, Francis Fainifo, Ben Lucas, Josh Holmes, Julian Salvi, Matt Hodgson, Mitch Chapman, Peter Kimlin, Van Humphries, Guy Shepherdson, Sean Hardman, Pek Cowan. Res: Tai McIsaac, Salesi Maafu, Al Campbell, Poutasi Luafutu, Patrick Phibbs, Tyrone Smith, Sam Norton-Knight.

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