A SCRAPBOOK put together by the mother of Luke Lewis highlights Australia’s inexperience when it comes to touring Britain. Included in the worn pages, among the footy action shots and newspaper clippings, is the 2003 Australian team photo and the five Penrith representatives from that season, side by side in green and gold.There will be just four survivors of that tour when the squad has its team photograph today, two of them Panthers of that year, Lewis and Trent Waterhouse. The others are Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva, who was a Bronco back then, and the tour skipper, Darren Lockyer. And of the players in today’s photograph, only Parramatta’s Nathan Hindmarsh has joined them in being traditional Kangaroos tourists.”I was actually having a look at those photos the other week,” Lewis said yesterday. ”I was having a flick through looking for a couple of mates that we’d seen at a party the night before and I came across those ones. Then we got the phone call the next Wednesday saying all four of us had got in the team. It was a bit weird.”Lewis and Waterhouse might be somewhat surprise tourists, almost bolters, but they come with something 19 of the travelling Australians do not have at this particular level, the experience of being a Kangaroo in Britain. Back then, Lewis was a bit quicker, playing out on the wing, but much lighter. But he also admitted there was more green than gold when it came to his own experience then. That is something he can give to this year’s debutants.”It was the best feeling in the world because we won the grand final that year and five of us went over,” Lewis said. ”I think I can appreciate this one more because we were all so young and it was almost like it all came easy.”When you’re a kid everything just happens, you don’t mean it to happen and now you’re playing first grade and you realise you’re playing the hardest rugby league in the world. You appreciate every game that you play in first grade and when you play for your state or your country it hits home even more.”Waterhouse’s first Ashes memory was Great Britain prop Adrian Morley being sent from the field for a high hit on Robbie Kearns in 2003. With 10 Tests to his name, he is something of a veteran with two tours to his name.”It’s handy for the boys, if they want to come up and ask any sort of questions about what to expect,” Waterhouse said.”I’ve been there a couple of times and I could offer them my experiences over there, just let them know it’s an enjoyable trip and a great place to play. It’s cold, but I loved it, the atmosphere at the games. You go to grounds and there’s only 30,000 there but it feels like there’s 80,000.”Waterhouse is also one of just three players to survive from the 2005 squad, which was beaten in the then Tri-Nations final by New Zealand. There is one big lesson he will take into this tour from his last one.”I think we just got a bit complacent over there,” he said. ”I’m not sure if we took it a bit lightly in the final and they whacked us. It was pretty disappointing. We saved our worst performance for the last game.”
Nanjing Night Net

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