Chambers can join Reds Test rush - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chambers can join Reds Test rush

Jim Morton 08/07/2011 02:00:13 PM Comments (0)

Will Chambers will join Crusaders rival Brad Thorn in a club of just two members if he helps the Queensland Reds to a Super Rugby final triumph on Saturday night.

An almost forgotten player this season, former Melbourne Storm centre Chambers will be on the Queensland bench at Suncorp Stadium but can still grab a slice of history, as well as Wallabies selection.

Dual international Thorn is the only man to have achieved the NRL-Super Rugby double after winning three NRL premierships with the Brisbane Broncos before being an integral member of the Crusaders' victorious 2008 final team.

A Crusaders win would also see the small club double as Thorn's teammates Sonny Bill Williams has a premiership ring, from 2004 with the Bulldogs, just as Chambers does.

Chambers switched codes after playing in the Storm's 2009 grand final, a triumph soured a season later when the club was stripped of their title for salary cap rorts.

Despite limited game time, the powerful 23-year-old also looms as a bolter among a full team of Reds picked in the Wallabies initial 40-man squad to be announced on Sunday.

Ten of Queensland's starting XV are considered certainties, as well as injured prop James Slipper, and the Reds surge to the final may help fringe players like Chambers sneak in.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has consistently said play-off experience in high-pressure, Test-like finals would bolster players' chances in a World Cup year.

While Chambers has started just six of Queensland's 17 matches, Deans was a big fan last year when he starred for an Australia B team against England before his Test hopes were dashed by shoulder surgery.

The Wallabies also have a shortage of depth at No.13, with utility Adam Ashley-Cooper seen as the likely starter in the role for the first Test of the year against Samoa in Sydney on July 16.

With Rob Horne sidelined and Digby Ioane preferred on the wing, Chambers could be the man who denies former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock selection.

It will be a massive blow to players who are overlooked, sounding the death knell on their World Cup hopes unless injuries to rivals save them.

Queensland and fellow finalists the NSW Waratahs will provide well over half of the Wallabies squad, while Mortlock's last-placed Melbourne Rebels will struggle to have anyone but young halfback Nick Phipps included.

Fringe Test hooker Saia Faingaa said motivation was sky-high for the Reds against the All Blacks-laden Crusaders.

"We know we're playing for Wallabies selection as well, just playing in a final doesn't give you any guarantees," Faingaa said.

Injured players may still be included in the Wallabies squad with front-line stars such as Tatafu Polota-Nau and Drew Mitchell to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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