Kangaroos five-eighth spot up for grabs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kangaroos five-eighth spot up for grabs

By Daniel Pace 07/07/2003 07:35:42 PM Comments (0)

Australian rugby league coach Chris Anderson declared the Test five-eighth position wide open following the selection of Bulldogs playmaker Braith Anasta in the NSW Origin side.

Anasta has been selected at lock for the dead third Origin in Brisbane on Wednesday week but has been in scintillating form at pivot recently for the `Dogs in the National Rugby League.

Blues assistant coach Laurie Daley said last month that NSW five-eighth Shaun Timmins could handle the role for the Test match against New Zealand at Aussie Stadium on July 25.

Timmins has worn the No.6 jersey for his club St George Illawarra at various stages of the season.

Anderson would normally push for Melbourne's Scott Hill but he could be sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering nerve damage in his shoulder against the Bulldogs in round 15 of the NRL.

At best Hill would return in another three weeks - too late for the Test match against a strong Kiwis outfit keen to avenge their loss to Australia last year.

"The five-eighth spot is pretty open I think," said Anderson.

Blues coach Phil Gould said Anasta and his `Dogs teammate Willie Mason were selected in the 17-man squad with a view towards the Kangaroo tour of Great Britain at the end of the year.

"The fact that the series has been decided and this a dead rubber, it gives us an opportunity to bring them back into the rep scene and keep them developing along that path," said Gould.

Mason will make his debut for the Blues after playing for Australia against Great Britain in 2002 while Anasta played two Origins last year and four Tests in 2001.

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