Lemon plans to put squeeze on Brits
The Aussies are renowned for their laid-back style but national team boss Mark Lemon insists there’ll be no nice guys once the helmets are on for Saturday’s huge test match against Great Britain in Glasgow.
Lemon has named the six men who’ll don the green and yellow racesuits for their first official fixture against the Brits for several years.
Although he’ll have to go without World Champion Jason Doyle, after he was ruled out following his crash at Cardiff last month, it’s still a side packed with experience and quality.
Chris Holder – the 2012 World Champion – will Captain the team, which features Premiership stars Max Fricke, Rohan Tungate, Sam Masters, Brady Kurtz and Chris’s younger brother Jack.
And Lemon insists they’ll travel North with the aim of giving the hosts a hard time of it.
“It goes without saying that we’re desperate to win, we love racing and living here but we want to beat Great Britain,” he said.
“The rivalry will never die and it’s great that the Ashes is back, it’s a friendly rivalry but we want to win and when the boys put their helmets on they mean business.”
Lemon faced a selection dilemma with a whole host of exciting Aussies to choose from – but admitted it was a “nice headache to have”.
He said: “I’d rather be in this position, where you have a lot of guys at a good level, than having to pick riders not at that level yet.
“We have a lot of depth and a lot of quality, not so much quantity because we don’t have as many guys over here as other nations but the riders we do have are of really high quality.
“There are always peaks and troughs, but obviously we’ve recently witnessed Jason Doyle going from also-ran to World Champion. A few years ago he knuckled down and really focused on his fitness and dedication and now I think the other boys look up to him.
“They think ‘if he can then why can’t I?’ and their mindset has changed. We have a young bunch coming through in Fricke, Kurtz and Holder and the others have to step it up to stay ahead. There’s definitely been a change of mindset in recent years.
“Chris (Holder) has been the backbone of our team for years so it’s great for him to have this opportunity again to show what he’s capable of in Australia colours.
Chris (Holder) has been the backbone of our team for years so it’s great for him to have this opportunity again to show what he’s capable of in Australia colours.Mark Lemon
“Chris brings a calming influence to the young guys and it creates a good atmosphere. He’s got a challenge on his hands because these young guys want his mantle, but it’s a great dynamic we have, it’s a nice place to be.
“When you look across, you see Poland and they’re probably head and shoulders in terms of their depth but we’re not too far behind them.”
Tai Woffinden leads the Brits backed up by Craig Cook, Dan Bewley, Chris Harris, Adam Ellis and Steve Worrall.