Finegan urges Wallabies to take Mowen on European tour
Owen Finegan wants Brumbies captain Ben Mowen in the Wallabies. Photo: Stefan Postles
Wallabies great Owen Finegan has implored Test selectors to take a chance on ACT Brumbies captain Ben Mowen to add leadership to the injury-hit squad.
Australia will desperately try to avoid finishing last in the inaugural Rugby Championship when they play Argentina in Rosario on Sunday morning.
Coach Robbie Deans's squad has been depleted by injuries to most of his senior players and there is doubt whether they will recover in time for the tour of Europe next month.
Mowen didn't get an SOS to help the Wallabies in their clash against Argentina, but Finegan believes he should get his opportunity in Europe.
Mowen was part of the initial Wallabies training squad before being cut.
He had an outstanding season as the Brumbies' leader, but Finegan fears that Wallabies officials have tagged Mowen as a player not suited to the Test arena.
''Benny Mowen has played well enough and he's got enough experience in a leadership role that he could be useful for the Wallabies,'' Finegan said.
''I see a lot of similarities between Ben and Stephen Hoiles - tall and athletic - and the last couple of Wallabies coaches have gone more for a bigger style No.8.
''I get the feeling they've pigeon-holed him as not big enough for Test rugby, that's the only thing I can think of [why he's not in the team].
''His form during Super Rugby was good enough and consistent to definitely be in the mix … there's no harm in putting him in and this would be a good timing for Ben.''
There are just three Brumbies players from last season in the Wallabies team - Ben Alexander, Pat McCabe and Michael Hooper.
A host of others - including Stephen Moore, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White and Joseph Tomane - are sidelined with injuries.
Scrumhalf Ian Prior has been floated as a possible inclusion for the spring tour with Will Genia suffering a knee injury and White having shoulder surgery.
Mowen could add experience to the forward pack with injuries draining the Wallabies of leadership.
Finegan said two years of constant rugby was one of the major reasons behind the growing injury toll.
And if players were struggling with the workload, Finegan said Deans needed to find a mix of new blood and Test experience for the tour.
''The Wallabies are paying the price for a full-on two years, it's been non stop,'' Finegan said.
''You get injuries when you're run down and fatigued … not many of the guys in the Wallabies have had much of a break.
''There's a good opportunity to throw some new guys in, but you have to get the mix right.''
Rugby Championship: Argentina v Australia at Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario, 10am. TV Time: Live on WIN and Fox Sports 1.