Future Wallabies backline post World Cup 2011
Rugby

Australia’s got talent

Australia’s got talent
The old guard

The old guard

While watching the games over the weekend, I was struck with the thought of how much young backline talent we’ve got on show in the Super 14 this year, some of which has already had a year or two’s experience. It got me to thinking about what the Wallaby backline could look like, should the current one fark off to France en masse after we win the RWC 2011.

So here it is, my stab at what it could look like. My one rule is that they need to have already played a game of S14. So none of your schoolboy tipoffs for this one. In brackets is how old they’ll be in 2012. As you’ll see, plenty of these guys will have a lot of running left in them!

Interestingly, there weren’t any many Brumbies that made the cut for me, which speaks to the experience in their backline. Looking at these names also makes the point about the impact the 4th team has finally made in unearthing new talent. Would a 5th magnify or dilute the effect?

james_oconnor_thumb15. James O’Connor (22) – He seems to have the talent to play anywhere and we know Robbie likes a play maker at fullback. Also looked the goods playing there against the baabaas last year

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lakky-thumb14. Lakky Turner (25) – You forget how young Lakky still is, as he plays in his 3rd year of S14 and looks all the better for it. Despite a struggling Tah backline, he’s been an excitement machine this year

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horne-thumb13. Rob Horne (22) – Despite his tender years has had no problems manning up and marking the likes of Morty. A direct runner with a spurt of gas, will be interesting to see him beef up a little.

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berrick_barnes_thumb12. Berrick Barnes (26) – Another one who you forget how young they are, especially with Berrick having already had a stint in League, started for the Wallabies at RWC ’07 and now captaining the Reds. Should be a rock by 2012

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nick_cummins_thumb11. Nick Cummins (25) – Despite the glam rock hairdo, is now a regular starter for the Force. Very strong on his feet and confident for his age.

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quade_cooper_thumbnail_image_410. Quade Cooper (24) – The precocious talents are starting to fall into place. A key cog in the Reds new look backline, if he can keep pulling his head in, he could be a legend.

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ben_lucas_thumb9. Ben Lucas (25) – His step and offload down the blind against the Shorks on Saturday to set up Byrnes try demonstrated his football ability and potential

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Reserves:

kurtley-thumbKurtley Beale (23) – Everyone lays shit on KB like he should know better, when the kids only 20. Has got a lotta miles under his belt already and it could well be him in the starting line-up in 2012. He could also have done a stint in mungo land by then which may have hardened up his defence!

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blair_connor_thumbBlair Connor (25) – He and Rob Horne seem to share a lot of similar qualities that make a great 13. Will be one to watch.

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Rugby
@MattRowley

Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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