Hindmarsh back in the green and gold - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hindmarsh back in the green and gold

By Steve Jancetic 29/10/2009 08:49:51 AM Comments (0)

Missing the Snake Gully Cup has finally proved worthwhile for veteran back-rower Nathan Hindmarsh after he was recalled to a re-shuffled Australian side for Saturday's must-win Four Nations clash against England.

Hindmarsh, who was forced to cancel his buck's party at the Gundagai race meeting next month as a result of his representative recall, will pull on the green and gold for the first time in more than two years after coach Tim Sheens made sweeping changes to a back row and bench that failed to fire in the opening round draw with New Zealand.

Gone are starting second-rowers Ryan Hoffman and Trent Waterhouse, with Anthony Watmough joining Paul Gallen in the second row while Hindmarsh will lock the scrum.

Waterhouse has earned a slight reprieve after being named on a six-man bench featuring Test rookies Robbie Farah and David Shillington, while Luke Lewis has also been brought in alongside game one survivors Kurt Gidley and Brett White.

"I didn't want to come over here and not play, I've got that opportunity so I'm happy about that," said Hindmarsh, who announced before boarding the plane for England that this would be his representative swansong.

"It's good to finish on a note I want to finish on - I get to finish when I want to finish."

Despite his strong form during Parramatta's fairytale run to the NRL grand final, Hindmarsh said he never expected to play a 21st Test for his country.

The 30-year-old has been on the outer with Test and NSW selectors since taking part in Australia's 58-0 flogging of New Zealand in Wellington in October 2007.

"I didn't have a feeling I was going to be back, I wasn't expecting the phone call at all," Hindmarsh said.

"I had other things planned to do, bucks parties to go on. I was quite surprised.

"I wasn't expecting to have been picked for any teams. I would have liked to but I wasn't expecting it so the disappointment wasn't there."

There is little doubt the disappointment would have been there for Hoffman and Sam Thaiday with both paying the price for Australia's shaky start to the Four Nations.

Despite being named on the bench, Waterhouse too is likely to watch the game from the stands, with he and Gidley favoured to drop off the bench.

That will allow Sheens the luxury of playing Farah and fellow dummy half Cameron Smith in tandem, while Shillington's call-up gives the Australians a rotation of four specialist props against a massive English pack.

"Sides are trying to take Cameron out of the game, to limit our ruck speed to get a good look at our backline," Sheens said.

"They are getting plenty of chances to get up and in our face.

"We're going to have to work hard at overcoming that so I looked for another front-rower with some size, so when Petero (Civoniceva's) not there I've got another back-rower with some size.

"Whether or not we use Farah ... a lot will depend how much ball we get early, what sort of speed of ruck we're getting."

Asked about the inclusion of Hindmarsh, Sheens said the Kangaroos needed to be better at defending on the edge of the rucks.

"I was looking for his workrate in defence in tight and also his experience," Sheens said.

"He's a leader amongst the guys too. He's an older player with that experience. It will be a big-game experience (against England)."

Team: Billy Slater, Brett Morris, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Jarryd Hayne, Darren Lockyer (capt), Johnathan Thurston, Petero Civoniceva, Cameron Smith, Ben Hannant, Anthony Watmough, Paul Gallen, Nathan Hindmarsh. Interchange: Robbie Farah, Brett White, Luke Lewis, David Shillington, Trent Waterhouse, Kurt Gidley (two to be omitted).

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