Sheens Awaits Front Row Face-Off

Australia - Tim SheensBy STEVE MASCORD

AUSTRALIA coach Tim Sheens admits he’ll be taking a special interest on Friday night when his props James Tamou and Matt Scott face up to a combination that could form England’s World Cup front row.

Late team changes before South Sydney’s 32-4 win over Gold Coast on Saturday resulted in Sam and George Burgess packing down together upfront.

The crushing performance of the pair and brother Tom was labelled by veteran photographer Col Whelan “carnage a trois”.

“Obviously it’s going to be worthwhile watching,” Sheens tells RLW of the 1300smiles clash between the Rabbitohs and North Queensland.

“On one had you’ve got the fellas who are seen as the Australian pair and on the other you’ve got two young bulls who might be playing for England.

“The Burgess boys will be trying to show the England coach, Steve McNamara, even from Australia that they are capable of matching it with the Australian props.

“And the Cowboys season will be on the line. I’d imagine James and Scotty will primarily want to be playing well for the Cowboys.’

Sheens stressed he didn’t want to pre-empt the selection of George, Tom or Luke Burgess for England, although he expected Sam to be there.

phonto (1)“If they have more players who are performing at at this level over here, obviously they are going to be more dangerous,” he said.

“But I watched England beat the Exiles recently with domestic players and there were some good combinations there as well. We shouldn’t just assume certain players will be picked because they are over here.”

Meanwhile, the Test coach said Jarryd Hayne would be considered for selection if there was any chance of him passing a fitness test at the end of next month.

Parramatta are considering resting Hayne for the remainder of the season.

NB: Since this story appeared, Scott and Tamou scored a decisive win over their opposites, with North Queensland winning 30-12.

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