Australia A opt for experience once again
July 2, 2008

Australia A have today named their team for the IRB Pacific Nations Cup title-decider at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.

Again coach Phil Mooney has a raft of Wallabies experience, ten in all, within the squad and victory on Sunday would see Australia claim the PNC for the first time since its inception in 2006.

Australia A will deploy a Wallaby back three of Mark Gerrard, who returns to the starting line up after a shoulder injury, and speedsters Digby Ioane and Drew Mitchell will patrol the wings

Retained are the centre combination of captain Morgan Turinui and Timana Tahu, with both men looking to make a late dash into the Wallabies Tri Nations squad due to be announced on Monday.

Brett Sheehanreturns at scrumhalf for Ben Lucas, who reverts to the bench, while Daniel Halangahu will again start at flyhalf.

In the forwards, Richard Brown moves to number eight, after Stephen Hoiles was called up to the Wallabies squad, with Hugh McMeniman and Julian Salvi the breakaways.

Al Campbellhas been brought back into the squad and joins the ever-present Peter Kimlin at lock, while Sekope Kepu and Guy Shepherdson will join Sean Hardman in the front row.

Mooney said that the match against NZ Maori had become a "winner takes all" scenario.

"Everything is on the line this weekend and we have to go out there and finish the job," said the Queensland Reds Head Coach. "We've played well to this point, but that won't mean much if we can't rise to the occasion on Sunday.

"The NZ Maori are a very good team but we're confident in our own abilities and strengths and we're hoping Sydney fans will come out and give us a true home ground advantage on Sunday."

Austalia A:
1. Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs)
2. Sean Hardman* (Queensland Reds)
3. Guy Shepherdson * (ACT Brumbies)
4. Al Campbell* (ACT Brumbies)
5. Peter Kimlin (ACT Brumbies)
6. Hugh McMeniman* (Queensland Reds)
7. Julian Salvi (ACT Brumbies)
8. Richard Brown (Western Force)
9. Brett Sheehan* (NSW Waratahs)
10. Daniel Halangahu (NSW Waratahs)
11. Digby Ioane* (Queensland Reds)
12. Timana Tahu (NSW Waratahs)
13. Morgan Turinui* (Queensland Reds)(Captain)
14. Drew Mitchell* (Western Force)
15. Mark Gerrard* (ACT Brumbies)

16. John Ulugia (ACT Brumbies)
17. Salesi Ma'afu (ACT Brumbies)
18. Van Humphries (Queensland Reds)
19. Leroy Houston (Queensland Reds)
20. Ben Lucas (Queensland Reds)
21. Sam Norton-Knight* (NSW Waratahs)
22. Matt Carraro (NSW Waratahs)

* denotes capped Wallaby


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