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Country sides named
Braith Anasta has been named at lock for City in the annual City Origin v Country Origin to be played next Friday night at Dubbo's Apex Oval.
The former Bulldogs five-eighth and Kangaroo rep was recently overlooked for Australian selection and has been struggling find form in 2006.
As the incumbent NSW five-eighth, Anasta is hoping to retain that position in the upcoming State of Origin series. Meanwhile Penrith's Craig Gower will be the City captain and has been named at five-eighth. Manly's Matt Orford has been named at halfback. Coach Tim Sheens believes Anasta's move to lock forward will better suit his style of play.
"We've got three quality players in the seven, six and 13 (jumpers). It's just a matter of finding spots for the three of them," he said.
"And what I'd like to see is him [Anasta] run a bit more, which I think from 13 he can do and from six he probably doesn't do enough."
Seven new faces will be making their representative debut next Friday.
Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah, Sharks lock Paul Gallen and Melbourne Storm forward Ryan Hoffman will be making their representative debut in the City side and will both start from the interchange bench.
North Queensland Cowboys forward Mitchell Sargent and Newcastle Knights winger Anthony Quinn have been named for Country. Parramatta Eels utility Dean Widders and Melbourne forward Brett White have been named on the Country bench.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy is the Country Origin coach.
We've got a few new blokes who haven't played rep footy. That's always exciting," said Bellamy.
"We've got a few older guys as well, so we think it's a good mix."
Canterbury Bulldogs backrower Andrew Ryan has been named Country captain. South Sydney back Adam MacDougall has also earned a place in the centres for Country.
Under new Australian Rugby League guidelines, a number of players are unavailable including those who played in last Friday's Australia vs New Zealand Anzac Test match.
City: Brett Hodgson (Wests Tigers), Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Luke Lewis (Penrith), Matt Geyer (Melbourne) Eric Grothe (Parramatta), Craig Gower (Penrith, capt), Matt Orford (Manly), Braith Anasta (Sydney Roosters), Trent Waterhouse (Penrith), Lance Thompson (Cronulla), Joel Clinton (Penrith), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Jason King (Manly). Interchange: Craig Wing (Sydney Roosters), John Skandalis (Wests Tigers), Paul Gallen (Cronulla), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne).
Country: Ben Hornby (St George Illawarra), Amos Roberts (Sydney Roosters), Chris Hicks (Manly), Adam MacDougall (South Sydney), Anthony Quinn (Newcastle), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle), Brett Finch (Sydney Roosters), Craig Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters), Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs, capt), Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra), Mitchell Sargent (North Queensland), Luke Priddis (Penrith), Brent Kite (Manly). Interchange: Preston Campbell (Penrith), Dean Widders (Parramatta), Clint Newton (Newcastle), Brett White (Melbourne).