12 Jun 2009

Gower says he feels more nervous about rugby union test debut

6:42 pm on 12 June 2009

Craig Gower admits to feeling more nervous about making his Test rugby debut for Italy tomorrow than when he played State of Origin rugby league for New South Wales for Australian league side.

But he's anything but overawed at the prospect of going head to head with Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau.

Gower's maiden Test will also be just his fifth match at first five havnig spent most of his seasons rugby in the midfield

for Bayonne in the French Top 14 competition.

Gower led Penrith to their 2003 NRL grand final win over the Sydney Roosters before once captaining the Kangaroos, in France, in a 2005 Tri Nations Test.

Even Mallett concedes he's unsure how Gower - whose knowledge of the Italian language is restricted to backline calls - will handle the occasion.