BaaBaas team

Matt Rowley June 3, 2009 27

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As a nice touch Phil Waugh has been announced as captain of the Barbarians.
There’s a head fuck for you.

As per last week , there’s a lot of class in this team (except for Balshaw), although perhaps a few positional oddities; I haven’t seen much of McAlister at 10 for example. Look out for Shalk Brits from the bench  – had a cracker last week.

Oh yeah, and there’s some ex-Mungo starting at 13.

15 Geordan Murphy (Ireland) – 64 Tests
14 Iain Balshaw (England) – 38 Tests
13 Sonny Bill Williams (uncapped) – 0 Tests
12 Seilala Mapusua (Samoa) – 9 Tests
11 Josh Lewsey (England) – 58 Tests
10 Luke McAlister (NZ) – 22 Tests
9 Chris Whitaker (Australia) – 31 Tests
8 Rocky Elsom (Australia) – 40 Tests
7 Phil Waugh © (Australia) – 77 Tests
6 Jerry Collins (NZ) – 48 Tests
5 Paul Tito (uncapped) – 0 Tests
4 Chris Jack (NZ) – 67 Tests
3 BJ Botha (South Africa) – 18 Tests
2 Sebastien Bruno (France) – 20 Tests
1 Clarke Dermody (NZ) – 3 Tests

16 Schalk Brits (South Africa) – 3 Tests
17 Greg Somerville (NZ) – 57 Tests
18 Martin Corry (England) – 70 Tests
19 Serge Betsen (France) – 63 Tests
20 Justin Marshall (NZ) – 81 Tests
21 Glen Jackson (uncapped) – 0 Tests
22 Ben Blair (NZ) – 6 Tests


  • Juan Cote

    Where’s Ratu?

    Great stuff that Ranga Tito made it.

    Jerry Collins must be in good form to shift Rocky to no. 8

    • Cameron

      do you think it makes a huge difference, where the backrower plugs in at the scrum?

    • Eddo

      not sure about ratu.. he got time against England? .. I didn’t get to see it. Maybe he got shown up.

  • chriscullen

    An ok side but one which the Wallabies should be able to overcome. Apart from mcalistair,murphy and whitaker the backs are pretty ordinary. never liked the pommy wingers. would have liked to see brits and somerville start.

  • Matt

    Think the first line should read ” Phil Waugh has been announced as captain of the Barbarians” :)

    • Gagger

      Extra points for spotting the deliberate mistake! ;)

  • Hugo

    Schalk Brits was absolutely outstanding against England – going to be a very interesting battle at hooker.

  • Langthorne

    The Baa Baas look very strong, except for 11-14, who will do a good enough job, but are maybe not quite at the same standard as the rest of the team.
    Even without the captaincy,I’m sure Waugh would have been fired up, but with the captaincy…bring on Saturday!

    • Gagger

      Head to head with Smith – it’s his chance to prove you right LT!!

      • Langthorne

        One game won’t prove anything to anyone, mostly because when it all comes down to it rugby is a team sport. The player who scores the try is not always the one who makes it. The player who gets the steal may be building on someone else’s good work.

        If Waugh has a stinker I’ll be disappointed (and very surprised), but I would regard it as an aberration.
        If Smith has a stinker I can’t imagine anyone preferring Waugh because of it.

        I regard this match very much like a trial for later tests – with the added Possibles Vs Probables element (in my experience, often pretty tough matches).

  • Patrick

    Bloody hell that’s a tough backrow though. Elsom is only at eight because he can a) pick up the ball, and b) pass.

  • Pedro

    The Baa Baas are a formidable force, but the obvious truth is we will folk them in midfield. The forwards could cancel each other out or even have an advantage towards the tourists, but the center pairing of Sonny Bill Williams and Seilala Mapusua will be exploited by Mortock et al.

    Betsen off the bench is a worry though.

    • beeza

      yeah, would love to see mortlock land a decent hit on SBL!

  • Eddo

    My tip,…

    Berrick Barnes injured in first game of the year.

    Mapusua and SBW are just too big, too strong for the tendons holding BB together like dollar store sticky tape.

    For those of you who didn’t see mapusua play this year,.. he’s more than capable of handling the bash and crash style of mortlock and if Berrick happens to take the wrong line just once – it’s curtains.

    • Patrick

      I’ll tip Barnes to survive, and win the head-to-head. Mapusua’s problem won’t be Mortlock’s bash’n’crash or Barnes, it will be trying not to look useless as the gap opens on both sides of him at once.

      SBW v Mortlock is more interesting, although again you would have to expect that SBW will be a bit at sea with Mortlock running onto Giteau’s long balls.

      • Bobas

        all the tape Barnes is getting is making him look more like larkham, he just needs a couple of broken noses and he’s there.

        Then move him into fullback, Then move him into 5/8th.

        It will be like when wolverine gets his bones converted to metal, barnes will get his muscles converted into egyption cloth.

  • Pantsman

    Inexperienced centre pairings historically bleed tries. That’s prob why aac was picked, he’ll run through the inside channel all night.

  • Eddo

    Has anyone actually thought about this.

    McAlister, Mapusua and SBW.
    Pretty much all kiwis. (Mapusua played for the Highlanders.) All three of them are monsters by any backline standards.

    If I was a forward out there,.. I’d be running at the props to get away from the back rowers and 10-13.

    I think missing Cliffy Palu may mean we lose some of that essential go-forward ball our backline needs,..

    • Eddo

      I always get nervous before the first test of the year..

      • Gagger

        Pull yourself together Eddo!

        Kiwis can’t tackle Mortlock. Fact.

        • Eddo

          note to self.

          Can someone explain to me again how mortlock ended up on the wing for the brumbies? I think i took it personally

  • chriscullen

    TAB is giving Baabaas 8.5 start.
    Kiwis like me are probably most interested in McAlistairs performance as currently the All Blacks are only 1 injury away from Piri Weepu starting at five eighth. Think the Aussies could run away with this game in the second half.

    • Bobas

      If the allblacks were serious about winning this year they would have selected Robbie Deans in their squad.

    • Patrick

      Oh please Lord give us Piri Weepu at five-eighth!

  • Lance Free

    1. Mapusua won the Player’s Player of the Year Award at the annual RUPA (equivalent) awards night a couple of weeks ago. What does that say about his form?

    2. Geordan Murphy (Leicester) and Whits (Leinster) both played in the recent Heineken Cup Final.

    3. Luke McAlister had a stellar season with Sale and was regarded as one of the best centres in the UK (sure, he’s playing five eighth this weekend – maybe his natural position?).

    4. SBW was a significant improver with Toulon once over his injuries and his form was terrific in the latter half of the season.

    I reckon the Baa Baas backline will be sensational – all of these players have been firing this season and if they can get some sort of combo going will be hard to stop.

    Remember the first Wallabies game of every season – they’re generally crap. I think we’ll have a fully-fledged test on our hands?

  • Pantsman

    SBW was a great league player and all round athlete but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being able to contain an international back line. Just ask tim tam, let’s face it 13 is the hardest position to play defensively.

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