Ellis bucks trend to win first Britain cap

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The Independent Online

Gareth Ellis has overcome the disadvantage of playing for an unfashionable club by being named to win his first Great Britain cap against Australia tomorrow. Ellis will become the first Wakefield Trinity player since Michael Jackson in 1992 to win a Test cap, although Nigel Wright played for England in 1995.

He has been named on the bench for the third Test at Huddersfield, with the prospect of getting into the action as a second-rower or, in what is now his normal club position, in the centre.

"It's something that you dream about when you're a kid," the 22-year-old Ellis said. "It's the pinnacle of your career to play for your country."

The Great Britain coach, David Waite, said: "It's a reward for his form over the last few years and for his attitude within the squad over the last four weeks. It's now up to him to play well in his first Test match."

Ellis' selection shows that it is possible for a player from outside the top four or five clubs to catch the eye. "It shows that if you're playing well enough you will get picked," said Ellis, who has turned down several opportunities to leave his only professional club.

With Gary Connolly and Keith Senior injured, Great Britain's new centre combination is Martin Gleeson and Lee Gilmour. In the pack, Mike Forshaw starts in his final Test and Barrie McDermott drops to the bench.

"We think we've picked the right 17 for the circumstances," said Waite, who has resisted the temptation to bring in any other youngsters from the fringe of the squad. Even though the series is lost, this is a team selected strictly to try to win this match.

GREAT BRITAIN (v Australia,Huddersfield, tomorrow): Radlinski (Wigan); Carney (Wigan), Gleeson (St Helens), Gilmour (Bradford), Horne (Hull); Sculthorpe (St Helens), Deacon (Bradford); Fielden (Bradford), Newton (Wigan), Morley (Sydney), Peacock (Bradford), Farrell (Wigan, capt), Forshaw (Bradford). Substitutes: Sinfield (Leeds), Long (St Helens), McDermott (Leeds), Ellis (Wakefield).

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