Expert predictions for Wallabies grand slam 2009

Experts: Wallabies Grand Slam predictions

Experts: Wallabies Grand Slam predictions


It’s been 25 years since we last had a crack at a Grand Slam (why?) and won it. So can Australia do it again with the current Wallabies mob? G&GR talked to a number of Aussie rugby experts, and here’s what they came up with:

Lote Tuqiri Ex-Wallaby “I’m hoping for a clean sweep but i do worry about the Welsh and the Irish on home soil. Totally different rugby up there as u know..Sharpey will b a massive loss in the tight 5, lineout calling etc, We just really need to assert some authority in that area.”

Bob Dwyer

“The Wallabies could have a turn-around on this tour. I sense a new air of determination on the part of the coaching staff to ensure the “new” style of play that they have been seeking, and on the part of the captain to support this.
I’m guessing two wins – v England and Scotland – a draw – v Wales – and a loss – v Ireland. Given my woeful tipping record, this should give us the Grand Slam.”

Peter Hewat

“Aus to beat a depleted Eng side, win a tough game against Ire, beat Scotland well and go to Milennium and narrowly miss winning grand slam.”

Rupert Guinness
Journo SMH

“The Wallabies will win 3/4, but trip up against Ireland; but England always a danger no matter what the form guide says.”

Mark Cashman
Inside Rugby
“Injuries to all the home nations could well work in the Wallabies favour. Of all the games Ireland will be the toughest”

iain paytenIain Payten
The Telegraph

“Grand Slam? Do-able, but only if Aus forwards get so mongrel-dog they need rabies shots. NZ bullied us and uk teams will try it on too. Danger team: Wales”

Phil Lutton
Brisbane Times

“A non-event in Tokyo, some old fashioned force-em-backs in Europe, acres of UK press coverage bagging our scrum and Gits sulking – lots.”

UK Telegraph

“Plumb last in the Tri-Nations with only one win from six to their name, this is hardly a golden era for Australian rugby. They are like a punch-drunk boxer on the verge of a knockout blow. All three of Ireland, Wales, and even injury-ravaged England, will be targeting an Aussie scalp.”

In short, it’s not looking good for the guys in Green and Gold. I can’t even find odds on them doing it, is no-one crazy enough to put money on it?

For me, all of the home nation teams, apart from Scotland, are a realistic threat. England, and to a lesser extent Wales, are  hamstrung by injuries and these new enforced combinations should provide an edge to a Wallabies side that’s been together for a while now.

This brings you to Ireland, in front of 80,000 plus at the historic Croke Park. There’s a history to the Irish reeling the Wallabies to close, scrappy games. Here you’d say that the battle hardened Irish tight 5 and kicking options give them the advantage.

For me, it’ll be 3/4 to the Wallabies therefore. Close, but no cigar. What about you?

  • bobas

    I think they’ll do it, eng, scot, ire, wales aren’t good compared to NZ and SA.

    • Patrick

      I agree. I think they will score at least one scrum try too (including no8 off the back).

  • Sorry guys you havent a chance – you need a pack (more specifically a tight 5) to win in the NH. 2/4 = a pass 3/4 = successful tour 4/4 beyond all hope.

    • Harry Batt

      We’ve got a world class front row and a world class back up hooker.
      We just have no lock depth, but the two starters are good enough.

      Australia winning a grand slam is going to be a lot more likely than you with a woman, so perhaps not quite beyond all hope.

  • fatprop

    I expect us to do rather well, as we did last year after Deans had a solid month at them last October, they went on to play bloody well in Europe.

  • Scarfman

    70% chance against England
    40% chance against Ireland
    80% chance against Scotland
    50% chance against Wales

    = 11.2% chance of a Grand Slam.

    You heard it here first.

    Back it if you can get $9 or better.

  • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

    I’m bloody concerned. We didn’t play well in the 3 Nations and since then it’s been either back to club rugby or the gym. Hardly top preparation for a Grand Slam.

    Add to that the continued mucking about at 10 and 12 and the waste of a chance to develop combinations in the Tokyo dead rubber and we just keep on shooting ourselves in the foot, so who needs opposition?

    Agree the Irish will be toughest in the GS. But then Wales & England may be tougher than they appear on paper. Surely we can beat the Bonny Scots. Surely! Wallabies 2/4. Sorry boys but that’s how I see it.

  • Robson

    Some realistic thinking going on here and can’t blame anyone for being like that.

    I tend to think it won’t hinge on the quality of the opposition so much as the consistent quality we can put together on the park. In other words if we reamain clear of injuries (fat chance) and the on field combinations reamin intact after Tokyo, we will be in with a royal chance.

    Take Barnes out at any stage and Palu, TPN or Rocky and hopes will start sinking like the mercury near a polar ice cap.

    Injuries are the biggest threat to a successful tour not so much the opposition. And our tier 2 players aren’t diamonds encrusted class either. On the other hand there will be some heroes come out of this and I’m picking that one of them will be Digby Ioane. The other David Pocock.

    WB v AB – WB by 8
    WB v EN – WB by 12
    WB v IR – IR by 6
    WB v SC – WB by 18
    WB v WL – WB by 10

    It’s being sidelined by the general public, but the Tokyo test is very, very important for both sides.

    • Crapppp…

      Well… Sounds like we’ll partially put your theory to the test this weekend vs. the ABs, since Barnseys now out of it…

      • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

        What the f#@k! Not Barnsey injured again??? Crikey give me a break.

        Er…..just on that point about me wanting Giteau at 12. That should have read ‘I have every confidence that Gits will excel at 10′.

  • Scotland always concern me, we never have an easy game against them…

    As for tipping? Grand Slam all the way :)

  • CanadianRugby

    Yep, on board with everyone that Ireland are the toughest test on tour. I have to give the Wallabies 3/4. I actually think England are going to terrible. Yah, yah, Wilko is back, but they will have no combinations at all. And their forwards will be terrible. Steve Thompson?!?!? He’s 1000 years old. Moore, TPN….Adam Frier is probably better than Thompson right now.

    And besides Wilkinson, the backs are a mess, and bunch of too young and too old. Gits and Barnes will slice them apart. Don’t even worry….

    Also, Scotland is not a real rugby team. They are a practice squad. I would be happy for Canada to play Scotland right now.

  • mudskipper

    Ok Gentlemen… here goes…. The Wallabies lose in Tokyo. All Blacks pack to strong and backs to large for Wallabies make shift light weight backline… However the Wallabies go on a beat a odds and ends England. Then Mortlock returns and the Wallabies just slip pass Irish and win. Scots lose ground at Murryfield and Wales show up without a decent flyhalf and an openside flanker, the welsh crowd try to sign their team home but Giteau kicks well and its over… So the Wallabies win all 4 tests to return to the Australian public and the media still say they’re not worthy….

    mean while Lote Tuqiri signs a cracker of a contract with Leicester Tigers and is the biggest winner of the season…

  • Ishmael

    With Barnes out it’s going to be a huge ask. As someone said earlier, 2/4 would be a pass mark, 3/4 would be a success. Ireland will be the toughest but both Wales and England are more than capable of knocking over this Wallabies side. I’d expect a win against Scotland, but you never know.

    Also, I’m pretty confident the AB’s will win in Tokyo tonight. If we still had Barnes I’d give the Wallabies a good shot in Tokyo and then be looking for 3/4.

  • happy hooker

    I think we’ll get done easily by the ABs (again). Unfortunately AAC/Cross centres were poor in Perth and wont have overcome it on limited preperation. I’d like to see QC given a go at 10 with Gits at 12. That will test the mustard of the young bloke and see if he is a long term Wallaby. Gits at 12 is magic and would work well with a big Cross outside him running straight and hard. I like the wings now with Diggers and Hynes, but I just think the Irish boys with O’Connell leading the way in tight might be too good. They have the nucleus of their team for the last few seasons and have learnt how to win the tights ones with great leadership (O’Driscoll/O’Connell etc… 3/4 but It’ll be tight at Cardiff too, and Jonny will keep England in with a sniff.


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

More in England