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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 17:07 GMT
Wing shock at selection
Craig Wing
Wing plays most of his rugby at hooker
Australia's Craig Wing has admitted he was surprised to be picked at centre for Saturday's first Ashes Test.

Wing, who plays most of his rugby at hooker or half-back, will fill in at centre due to Australia's worsening injury crisis.

Ryan Girdler would have been favourite to start but his calf injury flared up again in the 76-4 win over Wales.

"Initially when I was told I was a little surprised but I'm really looking forward to it," said Wing.

Although he plays most of his club rugby for Sydney Roosters at hooker, Wing has experience playing in a variety of positions.

"When I first went to the Roosters, they couldn't put me in one position so I ended up playing on the bench as a utility. I did that for about two years and got a bit of centre experience then," he said.

We are expecting a very physical game
Australia centre Craig Wing

"I'm lucky in that I have Shannon Hegarty beside me, which is pretty much the way I play at home, and it's worked well this year."

Wing is one of six Sydney Roosters picked in the 17-man squad for the first Test.

"Having another five Roosters in the side definitely helps," he said. "I know their play and they know mine, so combinations form a bit easier."

It is 30 years since Australia last lost an Ashes series - a fact not lost on the 2003 tourists.

"Trust me, we're very aware of it," said Wing. "None of us want to be part of the first losing team after so long.

"We try not to talk too much about it or think too much about it, but the bottom line is that it's there.

"We are expecting a very physical game. It will be very tough and we expect it to be very close as well."


GB V AUSTRALIA ASHES SERIES

THIRD TEST

SECOND TEST

FIRST TEST

PAUL SCULTHORPE

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