Wing the hooker to fill tricky centre spot

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Australia have sprung a surprise for the first Test against Great Britain at Wigan on Saturday by naming Craig Wing in the centre - if that is not too confusing.

Wing, normally a hooker or half-back, has been drafted in to the Kangaroos' problem position alongside Phil Bailey after Ryan Girdler became the sixth specialist centre to be ruled out.

Girdler will have a recurrence of his calf injury monitored over the next couple of days and will be sent home if it does not improve, but the Australian coach, Chris Anderson, expressed confidence in Wing in an unfamiliar role. "He is a utility star," he said. "He doesn't know himself where he wants to play, but we need him on the field somewhere."

Wing himself was unfazed by the switch. "I last played there a couple of years ago, but I'm excited about it," he said.

Anderson also named two uncapped forwards, Mick Crocker and Trent Waterhouse, on the bench for the match.

Steve Ganson has been named as the referee for the first Test, with the Australian Tim Mander taking charge of the second and Russell Smith the third.

The Great Britain coach, David Waite, rejected suggestions that he should bring in members of the England A side that stretched Australia last week. Waite had been under pressure to consider players like the Leeds pair, Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow, but believes such calls are premature.

"I was super-encouraged by the performance of England A, but let's see Great Britain have a crack against the same opposition before we say we've got the selection wrong," Waite said. "It would be terribly strange if they could force their way in before we've even played a game."

Waite was encouraged by the statement of his captain, Andy Farrell, that he had suffered no reaction from his troublesome knee since returning to training last Friday. Paul Sculthorpe should also be fit after the calf strain that saw him miss last week's warm-up against New Zealand A.

The Widnes coach, Neil Kelly, has spoken to the Australian Test scrum-half, Brett Kimmorley, about the possibility of him playing for the club.

Widnes have spoken to the Fijian rugby union winger, Rupeni Caucaunibuca, but he will not move from Auckland.

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