Australian Team Named With A Few Surprises

The Australian team was named today for the one off test against New Zealand and there are a number of surprises with the side.

The number of New South Wales players in the side is one area that is surprising. New South Wales were well beaten in the Origin series and yet they dominate the Test side.

Premiership winning Storm captain Cameron Smith was named Australian Test captain which is a great move. He is a great leader and its an appointment thats well deserved.

Still, its a very good side and there are some things to really like about it.

Official Australian Test Side
1. Brett Stewart
2. Greg Inglis
3. Mark Gasnier
4. Justin Hodges
5. Jarryd Hayne
6. Greg Bird
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Brent Kite
9. Cameron Smith (capt)
10. Petero Civoniceva
11. Nathan Hindmarsh
12. Ryan Hoffman
13. Paul Gallen

14. Kurt Gidley
15. Willie Mason
16. Steve Price
17. Michael Crocker

Brett Stewart makes the side at fullback ahead of Matthew Bowen, the best fullback all year, and Billy Slater, who totally outplayed him in the Grand Final.

Inglis and Hayne were named on the wings which is understandable with Haynes form and Inglis being unstoppable at test level out wide.

Hodges and Gasnier in the centers isnt too surprising to be honest. They are both quality players. I am surprised they left out Folau from the side but he has plenty of years or Test footy ahead of him.

The halves are interesting. I’m really happy that Cooper Cronk got the halfback spot, he is playing great footy and really deserves it. Naming Greg Bird as his halves partner is not a bad move as he will ass some defensive mongrel to the side. Still, I think he is lucky to be there.

In a shock, Steve Price wasn’t named in the starting side and Brent Kite was. Kite is VERY lucky to be in the side at all.

The back row is understandable but Paul Gallen is very lucky to be named in the side at all. Quite frankly, Dallas Johnston should have been the Australian lock.

Its a very good bench! Kurt Gidley gives a lot of options, Willie Mason and Michael Crocker add great impact in the forwards and Steve Price is simply one of the best in the game.

Over all its a great Test side. Sure, it has a couple of interesting selections, but I guess its a chance to see how some players go at Test level and heading into the World Cup, this game should answer a few questions.

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