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Campbell to lead Australia ‘A’

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Alister Campbell and Sam Cordingley have been selected to lead Australia ‘A’ into Friday’s IRB Pacific Nations Cup opener against Tonga at Aussie Stadium, Sydney.

Lock Campbell will captain the side with Cordingley his vice-captain, the Queensland scrum-half, set to play his first representative match in ten months after missing the Super 14 and the Wallabies end-of-year tour with a foot injury.

Campbell’s selection as skipper sees him resume the role he filled on two separate occasions during 2006, against Fiji in Adelaide and Ireland ‘A’ in Limerick.

Coach Laurie Fisher has been handed a strong side for the Tongan clash, which includes Wallabies in Campbell, Cordingley, Nic Henderson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sean Hardman.

Hardman received a late call up to the squad following the withdrawal of Jeremy Paul with a shoulder injury.

Also included in the starting side are first-timers Troy Takiari, Dean Mumm, David Pocock, Jone Tawake, Berrick Barnes, Lachlan Turner, Ryan Cross and Clinton Schifcofske, while on the bench Gareth Hardy, Julian Salvi and Kurtley Beale are set for their first appearance at ‘A’ level.

“I’m happy with the level of experience within the squad,” Fisher said.

“All those selected have stood out at Super 14 level and those with Test experience give the team the leadership and guidance required to do well.

 

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“Five weeks is a long time to be on the road and make no mistake about it, this will be a tough competition, which makes leadership all important.

“Tonga has been through some upheaval which makes preparing for this match difficult, as we’re unsure of what they’re going to throw at us.

“That said I’m confident we have the firepower to get our campaign off to a good start.”

Australia ‘A’: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Clinton Schifcofske, 13 Junior Pelesasa, 12 Ryan Cross, 11 Lachlan Turner, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Sam Cordingley, 8 Jone Tawake, 7 David Pocock, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Alister Campbell (c), 4 Will Caldwell, 3 Troy Takiari, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Nic Henderson
Replacements:16 Sean Hardman, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19Julian Salvi, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Gene Fairbanks, 22 Kurtley Beale

Date: Friday 25 May 2007
Venue: Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (9.40 GMT)
Referee: Taizo Hirabayashi (Japan)
Touch judges: tba (New Zealand), James Scholtens (Australia)

 

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