Australian Test Team Named

Australian coach Chris Anderson has named his team for the opening Think! Road Safety Ashes Test, at Wigan on Saturday, and includes Sydney Roosters' Craig Wing at centre in Ryan Girdler's absence. The Kangaroos lost Girdler, the exerienced Penrith centre, with a recurrence of a calf muscle injury in Sunday's 76-4 win over Wales.

His fitness will be assessed later this week, and Anderson admitted that he could return home should the injury mean that he can play no further part in the Test Series.

That has given a chance for the livewire Roosters star Wing, who is normally a hooker or half back, to face the Lions in Saturday's First Test.

Cronulla's Phil Bailey will take the other centre's role, while Shannon Hegarty and Anthony Minichello occupy the wings.

Craig Gower, as expected, will partner Brett Kimmorley at half back, while the remainder of the side is effectively full strength, with Darren Lockyer captaining the Kangaroos.

Young Penrith second rower Trent Waterhouse, who has impressed in their warm-up games, is given a Test debut on the bench, alongside props Petero Civoniceva and Willie Mason and utility forward Michael Crocker.

"This is by no means a settled team for the Test Series," said Anderson. "There were some tough decisions but we thought this was the strongest side we could put out on the form of the past two weeks.

"We've had a pretty big build-up. We were a bit scratchy in the (defeat in) New Zealand and the preparation wasn't good, with travelling, for the France and England A games.

"But we've spent a lot of time together now and are as ready as we will be.

"We've got some interchangable players so I think we can mix and match. Craig Wing is a quality player and we need him on the pitch.

"We're giving Ryan a couple of days and if there is no improvement he will go home."

Australian team Darren Lockyer; Shannon Hegarty, Phil Bailey, Craig Wing, Anthony Minichello; Craig Gower, Brett Kimmorley; Shane Webcke, Danny Buderus, Robbie Kearns, Craig Fitzgibbon, Steve Simpson, Luke Ricketson. Subs: Petero Civoniceva, Trent Waterhouse, Willie Mason, Michael Crocker.

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