Great Britain have dropped Martin Gleeson for the Tri-Nations match against Australia in Sydney on Saturday. The Warrington centre, who had a disappointing game against New Zealand in Christchurch last weekend, is replaced by Kirk Yeaman, who will win his first cap.
The news will have come as considerable letdown to Gleeson, who had revealed earlier that he and Brian Carney had been doing extra work in training to try to get back their on-field understanding. "We were a bit rusty and Brian and I didn't really gel in Christchurch," he said. "We got better as the game went on and we've done a lot of extra practice in training."
Gleeson had also said that the Lions did not want their progress in the Tri-Nations to hinge on New Zealand's problems over "Grannygate". The Kiwis face a possible points deduction when the game's international federation rules tomorrow on the eligibility of Nathan Fien, who has played in two games in the series on the strength of what now appears to be a bogus claim to have a New Zealand-born grandmother. "It would be daft if they had points deducted and we got to the final that way," Gleeson said. "We would rather get there the hard way."
The Great Britain coach, Brian Noble, would rather have a fully functioning right-wing partnership than the gift of points from New Zealand's indiscretions. "We can't afford to let it become a distraction for us," he said. "I don't think it's for us to force the issue."
Adrian Morley is another of the Great Britain camp who does not want to rely on the Kiwis' misfortunes. "The 17 they put out beat us fair and square as far as I'm concerned," he said. Morley also insisted he would not change his style of play, despite having to face and be cleared of two charges after the game in Christchurch last Saturday. "What happened over that game I'm happy with. I won't be changing my game."
Australia have made one change from their announced side, with Melbourne prop Antonio Kaufusi dropping out with a hamstring strain and being replaced by Brisbane's Sam Thaiday.
Australia: K Hunt, B Tate, M Gasnier, J Lyon, G Inglis, D Lockyer, B Hornby, M O'Meley, S Berrigan, P Civoniceva, W Mason, N Hindmarsh, L O'Donnell. Replacements: C Smith, A Tupou, B Kite, A Kaufusi.Reuse content