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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 17:14 GMT
Australia in profile
BBC Sport Interactive profiles the Australia squad.

Phil Bailey, Cronulla Sharks

Enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2003, emerging from a moderately performing Cronulla side to win a place in the NSW squad for the Origin series win over Queensland. Held his form on his return to club football and his selection is a reward for consistency. The 23-year-old made his Test debut in the recent 30-16 defeat by New Zealand.

Danny Buderus, Newcastle Knights

Acclaimed as the leading hooker in the game, Buderus, 25, has not looked back since breaking into representative football in 2001. He was player of the match in the 64-10 demolition of Britain in 2002.

Petero Civoniceva, Brisbane Broncos

The Fijian-born forward, 27, missed the World Cup in 2000 because of a broken arm. Has been an important contributor to Brisbane's success over the past six seasons. Made his representative debut in 2001 and has not looked back despite a number of injury problems.

Joel Clinton, Penrith Panthers

The former Parramatta junior, 21, played only his second season of top-class football in 2003 and distinguished himself as a front-rower of exciting potential. Possesses a fierce determination and helped fuel Penrith's shock Grand Final win over Sydney Roosters with his strength and stamina.

Michael Crocker, Sydney Roosters

Made the step up to representative rugby this year following the Roosters' 2002 Grand Final victory and played hooker in their 38-0 victory over St Helens in February's World Club Challenge. Versatile and resilient, the 23-year-old provides coach Chris Anderson with a number of options.

Michael De Vere, Brisbane Broncos

Made his name with the Broncos since joining the club as a 19-year-old in 1996 and won Premierships with them in 1997, 1998 and 2000. A record-breaking goalkicker, the 26-year-old made his Test debut in last week's defeat in Wellington.

Craig Fitzgibbon, Sydney Roosters

One of the game's wholehearted performers, Fitzgibbon's name is invariably found at the top of the stats sheets. A talented goalkicker and a big-occasion specialist, the 26-year-old was man of the match in the Roosters' Grand Final win over the Warriors last year and in their World Cup Challenge rout of St Helens.

Ryan Girdler, Penrith Panthers

A prolific points scorer, Girdler, 31, became the first player to score 100 tries and kick 500 goals in the Australian premiership. Endured an injury-riddled two seasons but recaptured his best form in Penrith's run to the premiership.

Craig Gower, Penrith Panthers

The 25-year-old Made his first trip to England with the 1997 Australian Super League side but hit rock bottom 18 months ago when he lost eight successive matches after being appointed Penrith captain. Boasts a kicking game that ranks as one of the most accurate in the business.

Shannon Hegarty, Sydney Roosters

Received the call-up to the Australian team when Darren Lockyer missed the mid-season Test against New Zealand through injury. Consistency, pace and strong defence are the features of his game. Hegarty, 24, played on the wing in the Roosters' World Club Challenge win over St Helens in February.

Robbie Kearns, Melbourne Storm

The senior member of the touring side, Kearns earned selection after an outstanding season with the Storm. Injuries and bad luck have dogged his representative career but the 31-year-old returned to his best form with a resurgent Melbourne side in 2003.

Brett Kimmorley, Cronulla Sharks

Failed to hit the heights in 2003 but Kimmorley, 27, has never disappointed at representative level. Won a premiership under Anderson's charge at Melbourne in 1999 and was named Clive Churchill Medal winner the same year.

Luke Lewis, Penrith Panthers

Celebrated his 20th birthday in August but displays a maturity well beyond his years. A prolific tryscorer for Penrith, running in 18 tries in 25 games in 2003. Off-field pursuits include motorbike riding and water-skiing.

Darren Lockyer, Brisbane Broncos

Widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest full-backs of all time, Lockyer, 26, oozes class and has been Australia's first-choice number one for the past five seasons. A triple Premiership winner with the Brisbane Broncos, Clive Churchill Medal winner in 2000 and three-time full-back of the year.

Willie Mason, Canterbury Bulldogs

Black Afro wigs have been one of the hottest merchandising items at the Bulldogs since "Big Willie" burst onto the NRL scene two years ago. The 23-year-old is at his best when running on the fringes of the rucks and, as Britain discovered in 2002, is almost unstoppable at full pace.

Anthony Minichiello, Sydney Roosters

The 23-year-old had spent the bulk of his career on the wing but has stood out at full-back this year. Adapted to the role like a natural and, after starring for New South Wales, won his first Test jersey against New Zealand in the position in the absence of Lockyer.

Luke Ricketson, Sydney Roosters

Long regarded as one of the game's most dedicated toilers, Ricketson had to wait until five months past his 30th birthday to don the green and gold jersey. Played for Ireland in the last World Cup and was in the Roosters team that thrashed Saints at Bolton earlier this year.

Steve Simpson, Newcastle Knights

Was rated one of the game's most durable performers until a series of injuries ruled him out of representative rugby in 2003. A damaging runner, Simpson made his debut in the 64-10 demolition of Britain last year.

Matt Sing, North Queensland Cowboys

Said to be approaching the twilight of his career but produced some of his finest football for the North Queensland Cowboys this year. Sing, 28, broke the club's try-scoring record in successive seasons and his outstanding form for Queensland in the Origin series earned his recall to the Australian side after an absence of four years.

Richard Villasanti, New Zealand Warriors

Fans will travel long distances to watch his battle with Adrian Morley. Born in Canberra and raised by his adoptive Spanish mother and Paraguayan father, the 23-year-old became the first New Zealand-based player to play for Australia when he made his debut in Wellington last week.

Trent Waterhouse, Penrith Panthers

The surprise selection of the tour party, Waterhouse, 22, was working 50 hours a week as a forklift driver until he was called into the Penrith senior squad at the start of the 2003 season. A hard-running forward, he has a high work-rate and rarely makes a mistake.

Shane Webcke, Brisbane Broncos

Webcke, 29, remains a cornerstone of the Australian pack. He has repeatedly proved himself to be as tough and unyielding as any front rower in the game. Has played in three Premiership-winning sides for the Broncos.

Craig Wing, Sydney Roosters

Along with Roosters' team-mates Luke Ricketson and Anthony Minichiello, Wing, 23, is one of the pin-up boys of the Kangaroos. Backs up his off-field appeal with outstanding on-field exploits. A talented kicker in general play and an elusive runner from dummy-half.






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