Croft to Captain Australia A against French Barbarians
November 1, 2005

Openside flanker David Croft will captain Australia A in this afternoon's one off tour match against the French Barbarians in Bordeaux, with fellow Wallaby and scrumhalf Matt Henjak named as vice captain.

Croft, who made his Test debut in 2002 and was a member of the Wallabies World Cup Squad in 2003, will lead a young Australia A team against strong opposition of international standard.

"It's a great honour to be asked to captain Australia A, and the blokes are really looking forward to the challenge," said Croft.

"Just over a week ago I was in Argentina on tour with the Reds and now we're in Bordeaux preparing for what we know is going to be a big match."

"It's a young team, but there's been plenty of enthusiasm in the sessions we've had so far and everyone knows this match is a chance to put your name forward for Test selection."

Qantas Wallaby Coach Eddie Jones, who will also coach Australia A in the one off match says the Barbarians will be the equivalent of a French 'A' side with the inclusion of some seasoned internationals.

"They've picked a strong side with a number of second tier French players and the addition of seasoned internationals like Justin Marshall and Kees Meeuws. It's going to be good match and real test for a number of our players."

"In the front row especially they will be tough. Meeuws is an established international while the young French prop Yannick Forester is one of their real up and comers."

"The hooker, Benoit August is a good talent and Nic Henderson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Greg Holmes and David Fitter are certainly going to benefit from scrumaging against such talent."

With nine uncapped players in the Australia A lineup, including Wallaby Squad debutants Polota-Nau, Leroy Houston, Digby Ioane, Adam Wallace-Harrison and Cameron Shepherd the match is a good opportunity for a number of players.

"Last year, this same match showed us who had the ability to play at this level, and some players even played their way into the Test 22. It's a one off match but an important one for a number of players."

"We've selected a young team, with 14 players under the age of 24 and David Croft has the experience to lead them well. He thoroughly deserves the honour of captaining Australia A against the Barbarians."

Australia A
1. Greg Holmes
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau
3. David Fitter
4. Adam Wallace-Harrison
5. Hugh McMeniman
6. Scott Fava
7. David Croft (c)
8. Leroy Houston
9. Matt Henjak (vc)
10. Lachlan MacKay
11. Digby Ioane
12. Lloyd Johansson
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
14. Mark Gerrard
15. Cameron Shepherd

16. Stephen Moore
17. Nic Henderson
18. Alister Campbell
19. John Roe
20. Brett Sheehan
21. Mat Rogers
22. Drew Mitchell

French Barbarians
1. Yannick Forester
2. Benoit August
3. Kees Meeuws
4. Mike James
5. David Couzinet
6. Julien Puricelli
7. Pierre Rabadan
8. Gregory Patat
9. Justin Marshall (c)
10. Jean-Federic Dubois
11. Sireli Bobo
12. Conrad Stotlz
13. Guillaume Bousses
14. Pepito Elhorga
15. Clement Poitrenaud

16. Benjamin Boyet
17. Maleli Kunavore
18. Dimitri Yachvili
19. Alex Manta
20. Nicolas Spangherd
21. Gregory Menkarska
22. Romain Terrain

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