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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has David Pocock starting at blindside flanker, June 2017 test schedule announced, Jack Dempsey re-signs with the Waratahs and Gethin Jenkins to captain Wales.


Pocock on Blindside

David Pocock has been selected to play at blindside flanker for the first time in his test career against Wales this weekend.

With Dean Mumm suspended, Michael Hooper and Lopeti Timani round out the backrow.

“I still think that our lineouts are good and we’ve been working hard on the options. Lopeti’s worked hard on his jump as well, he’s jumped in Melbourne so he’ll have role, a jumping role,” said Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

“We believe that we have the right strategy, it’s just about getting ball.

“Wales are quite good at the defensive lineout, they’ve got some tall timber so we’ll have to be on our game to get that but what we’ve got we’ll back that.

“We have to make sure our lineout’s working. We can’t play the game without the set piece.

“We’re very well aware of that. We know that will be a big challenge for us to make sure our lineout is strong in that formation.”

Meanwhile, Tevita Kurindrani returns to outside centre whilst Scott Fardy, Tolu Latu and James Slipper come onto the bench.

2017 June Series

Allianz SFS

The ARU have announced the schedule for the 2017 June Internationals with all matches to be played in the afternoon.

The Wallabies will face Fiji in Melbourne, Scotland in Sydney and Italy in Brisbane over three weekends in June next year, with all matches to kick off at 3pm, the first time this has occurred since the professional era began.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver has listened to fans desire to see more afternoon rugby.

“Fans have told us that they would like more opportunities to watch Test Rugby in the afternoon, with clearly the biggest reason being that an afternoon timeslot makes it much easier to take the family along,” he said.

“The 3pm kick off across all of our June Test matches for 2017 gives fans, particularly our youngest fans, the opportunity to come out see the Wallabies play at a time that’s more convenient for families and to experience the game in the best rectangular stadiums in the country.

“We set new attendance records at Allianz Stadium and AAMI Park during our England Series this year and had another very strong crowd at Suncorp Stadium. All three venues are purpose-built for Rugby and the afternoon kick offs always attract strong interest and create a tremendous atmosphere not just in the Stadiums but right across the cities.”

Dempsey Re-signs

Current Wallabies development player Jack Dempsey has re-signed with the Waratahs for two seasons.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is excited to see what Dempsey can bring next year after a breakout Super Rugby season this year.

“Jack is amongst a number of new and exciting players that have stepped up this year and that I am sure fans will enjoy seeing continue to progress,” Gibson said.

“Next year he has an opportunity to cement a regular starting spot and fulfil his enormous potential.

“Competition for back row spots will be fierce and will push Jack to greater heights.”

Jenkins to Captain

Wales have announced their team to play the Wallabies this weekend with experienced prop Gethin Jenkins to captain the side.

Wales have named a strong backline which includes the experienced Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies in the centres, Alex Cuthbert and George North on the wings and Leigh Halfpenny at fullback.

Wales interim coach Rob Howley was pleased with the return of their regular starters to the starting team.

“It’s great to welcome back Leigh Halfpenny, Dan Lydiate, and Alex Cuthbert who missed the New Zealand tour plus George North and Gethin Jenkins who left the tour early with injury,” he said.

“We have a vast amount of experience in the squad, we’ve trained really well over the last two weeks and are really excited for Saturday.

“With losing Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau and Alun Wyn Jones, we have spoken a lot about the leadership group this week and their importance on the field.

  • TheMountain

    Who’s mum did Fardy root to be treated like this?!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think its more about what’s Mumm got on Cheika that it takes a suspension to get him off the field

      • Brisneyland Local

        I heard something about a video with a goat!

      • Wendy Wills

        And more to get Foley off the field!!

    • Huw Tindall

      Welsh back row is going to be super mobile without Falatau and Warburton so I think Poey and Hoops and Timani will be a great foul and too much for them. We have tall timber on the bench in case the line-out goes to shit.

      • Kevino

        Warburton is out.

        • Huw Tindall

          That’s what I mean. He’s neither Warburton or Falatau are there. Tipuric and Moriarty are in. Both looser faster players.

    • PeterK

      Both Wales and Wallabies have chosen a similar pack.
      Both have 2 opensides. Both have only 3 lineout jumpers.
      Both are mobile packs.
      Since Foley was chosen who has a poor kicking game then having a stronger lineout that can’t be exploited is not much use. Obviously Wallabies are keeping ball in hand. If Foley was chosen correct to not select Fardy against the Wales selection.

      • Xaviera

        Multiple kicking options now, especially with Hodge at 12, so let’s stop taking cheap shots at Foley. Weather forecast is 9 degrees (maximum!) and wet, so smarts will win this game. Having Pocock on the field will only help that, irrespective of the number on his back.

        • Willem Labuschagne

          Good points.

        • Seb V

          We’ve had multiple kicking options for a while now and it hasn’t helped deter our kicking woes whilst Foley was at 10.

        • Xaviera

          That part of the game is still evolving. Hodge is now at 12, which puts him closer to the action and makes the kicking options more realistic, whereas before he was more isolated. Plus it puts the defence in two minds – who will kick, and where? I like that – all we really need now is a strong left foot option. Plus, in a tight game with a surfeit of loose forwards, penalties could be the decider, and with a player who can genuinely kick them from 60m, all of a sudden it’s shaping up well. In a match like this, having the Pooper in action looks smart to me.

        • Missing Link

          England put pressure on Foley to clear our lines in June and it worked. We had no other options back then, so good to have Hodge there to mix it up as you mentioned.

        • Seb V

          I hope your right, but I refer to England Test 3 where Toomua was 12, he was rarely used and Foley still kicked the majority of the time. I think Cooper makes a big difference naturally staying in the pocket at 10 and clearing effectively. Switching doesn’t seem to be quick.efficient enough.

        • Xaviera

          Funnily enough, we probably had the better of that Test – scored more tries, and lost one to a suspect call with the overhead camera and then a poor Moore throw, distracted at the time by chat from the AR. In terms of kicking, I rate Hodge far ahead of Toomua, and with Mick Byrne now in the fold, I’m sure we’ll see that mixed up, plus Mick has the smarts to enable both to be better kickers. I’m looking forward to it – should be a ripper.

        • Patrick

          Not a fair call at all.Multiple kicking options don’t count unless they are actually kicking.

      • mikado

        Spot on.

    • Garry

      Six is Fardys regular position, so Cheika won’t pick him there. He’s on the bench to cover the props, and the right wing.

  • Dud Roodt

    Anyone else wondering what the fuck the go is with the 3 tests next year?
    I mean, awesome Fiji get a test. But what exactly is the upside to one test against Fiji, one against Scotland and one against Italy?
    Where’s the 3 test series against a top tier nation?
    I’m fucking glad I’m not in charge of promoting rugby in Australia cause that’s a fucking hard sell

    • Pedro

      I think the aru is ensuring we don’t lose all three this time around. We should be able to nick a draw against Italy you’d think.

      • Dud Roodt

        If we can get Suzy to come along and run the room service in their team hotel, we’re in with a shot.
        but seriously, if you were channel 10 you’d have to be wondering if it’s worth buying the rights from Fox Sports

        • PeterK

          its only because of the lions tour to nz.

        • brumby runner

          What’s with this attitude that Ch 10 buys the rights from Foxtel? All FTA have first dibs on the tests and if they take it up they buy the rights from the ARU. Fox only comes in if none of the FTA channels secure the rights or if the successful FTA channel invites them to take up a share.

    • PeterK

      The other top nations the best players are in the lions so weakened teams would be played. France is touring SA.

      I don’t have issue for variety playing these teams, they are also in the afternoon which are more condusive to get families to go to games.

      • Thoms

        edit: France are in SA, d’oh!

      • Dud Roodt

        Yeah I love afternoon footy. Definitely happy with that. And I think it was a very wise decision by Pulver to do that given the caliber of the teams coming.
        I actually hadn’t even thought of the Lions. That makes sense.
        OK, I am at peace now and can skulk off into my day

    • Tomthusiasm

      Didn’t you know, you fullas are officially tier two now :-)

      • Dud Roodt

        Yeah, but we’re probably one of the best 8 teams in tier two, so jokes on you

        • Tomthusiasm

          I feel humbled, which is a strange feeling for a Kiwi

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah I thought they would have gone for France with the Lions on and no UK teams available

      • Braveheart81

        France hasn’t toured South Africa for a mid year test series since 2010. They came to Australia in 2014. France was never going to be an option so soon after the last series for Australia.

      • Missing Link

        Not necessarily directed at you KRL, but why are we playing Scotland if the home nations are tied up playing as the Lions? Is there an assumption that only 1 or 2 Scottish players will make the Lions squad again? Hogg and someone else?

        • Braveheart81

          Yes, I think the assumption is that they will only have a few players missing for the Lions tour.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah it’s a bit of smack to Scotland but in all fairness they probably won’t have a lot in the Lions.

        • DrewB

          Yep, and hopefully Richie Gray.

    • McWarren

      Would have been a good opportunity to play a combined South Pacific team. Even a three game series against them. Although a win would be no sure bet

      • Seb V

        I like this idea. But wonder if the south pacific would want to play together.

        • McWarren

          yeah I don’t know. For the greater good maybe they would? I still think a South Pacific team in the same vein as the West Indies cricket team is a way to make rugby in the Islands commercially viable. Imagine a Lions tour through Fiji, Somoa and Tonga. Or at least a game against them each time the Lions tour Australia or NZ.

        • HK Red

          I’m with you on the need to give more Tier 1 game time to the Pac Islands and overall improve their standard. I just worry about the ability to make this work administratively. In which country will they be based for training? How do they split the revenue? How do they split the costs?
          I know these hurdles aren’t an excuse and they need to be addressed and overcome, but with these country’s RFUs already struggling financially, World Rugby really needs to drive this and to date they’ve shown no desire to do so.

        • McWarren

          Yeah there’s no easy answer, except to say it needs everyone from Tier 1 and IRFU to commit 100% to working it out. Even then it may not be achievable.
          One thing I have been mulling over is a type of commission system. If your team/state selects a Pacific Islander then you need to pay their home union a fee. Again just something I was mulling over and hadn’t put any real meat around the idea. Almost like a transfer fee of sorts.

        • HK Red

          That’s a very interesting idea, but to ensure fairness and avoid favouritism, where does it stop? Would The Rebels be obliged to pay NZRFU for the services of Ellison or Thomson? It’s a tough one, but all ideas should be looked at and you’re right, needs 100% buy-in from everyone.

        • McWarren

          I guess it would be up to the player and if he declares allegiance to on of Fiji, Samoa or Tonga. It may just make it harder for those guys to get contracts?

        • Willem Labuschagne

          Indeed. The politics are very complicated.

      • DrewB

        Didn’t work when tried 2004-08.

        “The original concept was basically to provide an opportunity (to play) every two years. There were two aims, to get revenue to help in the running of the activities of the unions (and) to provide players with the opportunity to play against tier one sides. But the International Rugby Board changed the schedule for the Pacific Islands team to play every four years. Every four years won’t generate the revenue needed to run our rugby.”

        — Peter Schuster, SRU Chairman,

    • I agree it’s not the best competition but daytime rugby and the fact we should win 3/3 is a nice compromise with most of the top nations unavailable to tour here.

      • ozrugbynut

        Wonder if there was also some additional cash on offer to the ARU as well. Obviously the figures stacked up for the arvo games. Good move in my view. On a side note, rugby can do a lot better at their game day proposition – id like to see some womens games, juniors, grade games, development teams, or 7s on to get the crowds in early and exposed to different formats and convert them to paying customers for these formats. Its all about the revenue.

    • McWarren

      It will be a great opportunity to play Mumm, Foley, Phipps, Gits, Mitchell, AAC, Horwill, Moore etc into some form and give them some experience without the hassle of losing!!!

    • Seb V

      It’s probably better then a 3 game series against either of those teams given we should whitewash all of them. 3 series against Wales, Ireland, England, France or Argentina would be great.

    • McWarren

      Just a thought, it might have been a good opportunity to get England back?

      • Braveheart81

        Half their team will be touring with the Lions. England won’t be playing test matches in June 2017. They will probably have an A side tour somewhere (England Saxons).

        • McWarren

          Yeah BH my badly made point/joke was that they would be depleted and we may stand a chance of dusting them.
          I simply refuse to use lol in my comments. This one excepted.

        • John Tynan

          lol!

        • mikado

          England are touring Argentina (same as last Lions year).

        • Braveheart81

          So they did. Thanks for the correction.

    • John Tynan

      Lion’s Tour year. And although not great opposition on paper, a great advertisement for the diversity of rugby around the world – ie as opposed to the RL “4 nations”. And the afternoon thing is awesome. Our whole family is there for sure.

    • DK

      Lions in NZ takes out the 4 home nations. Guessing Scotland wont get too many Lions. Whats left in world ranking order: France is in Sth Africa & Argentina, We play Fiji, Georgia is hitting the pacific and Nth America, Japan are doing the same, Italy are travelling all over including the test vs us, then it drops away with Samoa,Tonga, Romania, USA and Canada…pickings starting to get pretty slim.

    • Parker

      I think the ARU is working on a three test series with Georgia, with one game to be played in the Urals at altititude. ;)

  • Brisneyland Local

    I just dont undersand why we keep playing Pocock out of position. Yes he can cover those positions, but for gods sake he is the 7.

    • Huw Tindall

      Poey just wanted to complete the full wallaby back row jersey set before going on sabbatical

      • Brisneyland Local

        A good start to Friday Morning!
        Tip of the hat, Huw. Tip of the hat!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I agree mate although to be fair he cannot be worse than Mumm so at least the team will be better for it.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Like Huw, KRL, we are all on fire this Friday morning!
        Bravo!

    • Missing Link

      He’s become the AAC of the forwards, “Mr. Fixit” too good to leave out of the XV

    • Hooper’s been playing too well to drop and Poey is too good not to be in the starting team. Pocock is more versatile, hence he is the one that plays ‘out of position’.

      • McWarren

        and so the vicious cycle continues

      • Seb V

        Why is poey more versatile? I think Hoopers skillset is more suited to 8 or 6 then Poey.

        • He’s got a bigger body than Hooper so is more suited to the other backrow positions. The only other position on a rugby field I could legitimately see Hooper playing in is inside centre.

        • Tip

          You can see him play wing most games

        • Pclifto

          Yawn

    • Seb V

      Cheika unfortunately is in the small % of rugby fans, players and coaches who prefers Hooper.

      • Dud Roodt

        You mean the small % that voted him the John Eales Medalist this year?

        • McWarren

          Dud that argument would hold true if we could compare Pocock playing at 7 with Hooper playing at 7. Imagine the votes Poey would get playing in his preferred/natural/experienced/perfected position.

        • PeterK

          Hooper won because Pocock was injured.

          In the games when both played Pocock outscored Hooper in the medal votes.

        • Braveheart81

          That is incorrect. Hooper scored 296 points from 15 tests at an average of 19.7 per test and Pocock scored 189 points from 11 tests at an average of 17.2 per test during the 18 games that made up the 2016 JEM.

        • PeterK

          You obviously did not read what I wrote.

          I said Pocock scored more points when both played (not every game but on average).

          That is different to a statement on average points per game played. When both play Pocock takes away most of Hoopers points. When Hooper plays without Pocock there is 1 less quality player to compete against.

          There is no doubt.
          After the RWC Pocock was on 140 points, Hooper on 60. After the june series Pocock was on 148 and Hooper 171.

          Hooper scored his points when Pocock doesn’t play.

          Pocock did not play 1 game that Hooper didn’t.

          So my extrapolation is if both played all the games then Pocock would score more.

        • Braveheart81

          Hooper missed the Wales game at the RWC which Pocock played. Pocock then missed the Scotland game that Hooper played. Pocock played the first England game in that June series as well as four of the six Rugby Championship games. Clearly Pocock substantially outscored Hooper in games they both played at the RWC but then Hooper outscored Pocock in the games they both played in 2016.

        • PeterK

          I said on average Pocock outscored Hooper in games they both played.

          The ones Hooper outscored Pocock were close like 14 pts per game to 10 pts per game. Pocock far outscored Hooper in the rwc.

          On average when they both play Pocock outscores Hooper.

        • Dud Roodt

          I think your argument is a little on the silly side to be honest.
          As BH81 pointed out, Hooper averages more points per game than Pocock, and has his fair share of games when both play of outscoring Pocock.
          It’s a moot point to say “if Pocock played 7 he would have got more points”. A player isn’t totally hamstrung by the number on his back (e.g. Izzy).
          The voting is based around the effect someone has on a game, the skill level both of the players in question have is immense, and if Pocock’s effectiveness was nullified by playing 8 (or 6) then he wouldn’t be there.
          So my originally statement was to make the point that the rest of Hooper’s team, his coaches and A LOT of fans think he’s a fucking good footy player who deserves everything he gets due to the hard work he puts in.
          And yet some poster’s on here act like he’s a waste of space.

        • PeterK

          No I said when they both play together i.e Pocock at 8 and Hooper at 7 Pocock outsocres Hooper in the voting on average.

          So if they had played all the games together Pocock would have won.

          When he was injured and Hooper had no one taking so many points off him that allowed Hooper to win. Hooper scores a lot of points if Pocock doesn’t play. If both play Pocock scores more.

      • jamie

        And he’d be completely right. Bloke’s a freak. He’s our most complete footballer, maybe not our best, but our most complete.

    • Julesie Bolwell

      Very true, extremely frustrating. Although I wouldnt be surprised if the Wobs adopted the French left/right flanker system if Poeys gonna be packing down on the side of the scrum rather than the back. Still a very valid point on him being out of position though.

    • Braveheart81

      Wallabies trying to get their best two players on the park playing against a backrow that has picked 3 players who all play 6 or 7.

      • McWarren

        I understand the logic, but what about picking a backrow to play our game rather than counter theirs?

        • Braveheart81

          We’ve picked our best two players in the starting backrow and Timani has retained his spot after a couple of good games. Seems like good options to me.

          The alternative could be that we couldn’t play the game we wanted because they picked a small, fast backrow to go hard at the breakdown and we couldn’t get the quality of ball we desired because we couldn’t counteract it well enough.

        • McWarren

          Perhaps, or maybe as usual we are trying to shoe horn all our best players into the team regardless of its impact on the team.
          Look if our long term game plan is to play two opensides every week, then yes I guess this makes sense. But for me we looked far more formidable with a conventional back row last start against the best team in the world. Now we come up against Wales and we revert to the type of backrow that lost to England and started the RC poorly. I don’t know how the Wallabies are to ever discover their style of play when from week to week that style changes. Surely it would have been less disruptive to the team to pick Fardy at 6.
          For me I’d go with Fardy, Timani and Hooper. Yes, I’d leave Pocock out. I think he is the best openside in Australia but he ain’t here next year. Put him on the bench, where I think one of either himself or Hooper should always be.

        • Braveheart81

          Pocock was injured for a bunch of those games and I don’t really think playing both Hooper and Pocock was ever the reason the team didn’t perform. Likewise I don’t think a good performance last weekend was in any way related to Dean Mumm providing a good combination with Timani and Hooper and meaning a like for like replacement was essential. We’ve retained two form backrowers and brought in our best overall player to join them.

          I completely agree we are shoehorning our best two players into the starting XV even they though preferably play the same position.

          The likely options were to start Fardy, Hooper and Timani and finish with Fardy, Hooper and Pocock or select it this way and start with Pocock, Hooper and Timani and finish with Fardy, Hooper and Pocock. It’s not a massive difference in the scheme of things.

      • Andy

        I think hooper would be the perfect 6 if he had another 10-15kgs on him

  • Thoms

    Is the New Zealand/Ireland game on TV?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      IN NZ it is mate but nothing here. All Black.com are streaming it live.

      • Kevino

        As long as you sign up by this afternoon. They are expecting high demand.

      • Tomthusiasm

        Do you happen to know what time the game is? (Australian Eastern Daylight Time, preferably)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          0900 in NZ so 0700 here on the Eastern seaboard

        • McWarren

          That must be an afternoon game in Dublin. The Beggars Bush will be packed from 10am.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Cheers, looks like I’m taking it easy Saturday

  • Tomthusiasm

    Just read that Kiwi first-five, Jackson Garden-Bachop, has signed for the Rebels. Debreczeni is going to have someone breathing down his neck.

    • McWarren

      You know a sign of talent is 3 surnames.

      • John Tynan

        And suitably hyphenated for the private school mob.

        • Xaviera

          AKA “Three Dads”.

        • HK Red

          This bloke is still “Two Dads”. Though a triple-barrel would be a wonder to behold.

        • Xaviera

          Isn’t that the joy of nicknames – the flexibility?!! Only two surnames in the surname itself, but another surname as a Christian name, so “Three Dads” works. I’m sure that would be passed by the Australian Reality Surname Enterprise (they’re pretty clever with this stuff, hence they are known as smart ARSE).

        • HK Red

          Hahah, I’m not sure his two-dads would be best pleased about this imaginary interloper, but fair enough, well played!

      • jamie

        Never trust a man with 2 first names. A man with 2 last names? Absolutely.

        • McWarren

          My covers been blown

    • brumby runner

      Shocking news – I’ve been hassling here for the Brumbies to sign him for many weeks now.

      • Tomthusiasm

        Yeah, who’s playing 10 for Brumbies in 2017?

    • The Jackal

      It’s a decent looking Rebels squad, plenty of depth and that might make them the best bet in the Aus conference next year.

      Looking at the NZ squads I don’t know which team will miss out on the finals, each squad seems stacked.

      Wins will be hard to come by out of conference again for the AUS teams. Will only get one team in again.

      • Tomthusiasm

        Too soon to tell but Rebels must improve on 2016. Crusaders are being tipped for wooden spoon in the Kiwi conference but I think they’ll actually perform.

        • The Jackal

          1.Moody 2.Taylor 3. Franks 4.Whitelock 5. Romano 6.Tafua 7. Todd 8. Read
          9. Hall 10. Mo’unga 11. Ioane 12. Crotty 13. Tamanivalu 14. Macilai-Tori 15. Dagg

          16. Funnel 17. Crockett 18. Alaalatoa 19. Barrett 20. Samu 21. Drummond 22. McKenzie 23. Havili

          If that’s a last place team I doubly fear for the Australian sides and overall competitiveness in the competition

        • Xaviera

          100%. That’s a Test team for most nations, so I’d be surprised to see that team last in the NZ conference, although I suspect, like this year, it will be tight again, with local derbies in the final round being the ultimate separator.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Good point! Also, Tamanivalu’s nephew, Manasa Mataele, is a gun winger and should force his way into the squad at some point.

        • jamie

          Nah man, the fact they have an Aussie at 11 will kill off their success :-) Ull Blucks Ull Dey Bru

  • Seb V

    I think they should have just made a 3 game series against Argentina. Even though we play them another 2 times for the Rugby Championship, would still be better watching.

    • Braveheart81

      Argentina host their own games during that period to generate revenue.

  • Seb V

    Actually a 3 game series against Japan would have been okay.

  • Brendan Hume

    I’d love to see the Wallabies use the June window to run an Australia A series against and England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales A team in regional centres. Wouldn’t it be great taking Australian A and the Saxons through Dubbo, Goondiwindi and Charters Towers, on a bus, stopping at a few pubs in between, strongest bladder determining the piss stop schedule…

  • John Bands

    Bit of a missed opportunity imo. Folau has to be moved to 13 at some stage, and with Serevi out, this would have been the best time to try him out. Tevita is out of form and was never great at setting up his outsides, which is the centre’s primary role. Unless you are Mortlock of course who was so good at bending the line that that quality alone was enough to warrant his selection.

    • The Jackal

      Starting to think that the fact Kerevi was really coming into his own at 13 has changed Folau’s trajectory. In the coaches minds Kerevi is the outside center for the next World Cup cycle so Folau is staying at FB but really should be moved to the wing to accommodate DHP

      • John Bands

        But this is where the All Blacks coaching team are miles ahead imo. Succession planning and building depth is paramount in the ABs setup. Just putting all their faith in Kerevi and not blooding another centre is fine, until Kerevi gets injured. Then what? Hansen and co have just selected Moala to face Ireland ahead of Leonard Brown so that they can broaden the talent base. It’s no surprise that NZ’s depth is so good atm, a lot of it is down to the selection policy and succession plans that have been put in place. Cheika could learn a thing or two from them.

        • Braveheart81

          Kuridrani is 25. He will come back into top form at some point. In 2014 and early 2015 he was one of our best players. Clearly you wanted Folau at 13 but claiming that not selecting him there is poor succession planning by the coach seems really misguided.

        • John Bands

          When was the last time you saw him set up his wingers? Isn’t that what a centre is meant to do? The guy is not a centre, and the fact that Cheika can’t see that is worrying.

        • John Tynan

          Mortlock? AAC? Dan Herbert? We haven’t really had passing centres since Little/Horan maybe? and even Horan wasn’t really….

        • jamie

          I thought our Outside Centre was generally our strike/crashball runner. While most NH teams seem to run a crashball at 12, ours is 13, and we have the playmaker at 12 instead of 13.

        • PeterK

          the depth is there due to the number of elite players they have.
          Look at the quality of the super rugby and M10 sides.

          If rugby was australia’s national sport the wallabies would have the same depth.

        • John Bands

          Peter K, test quality depth still needs to be built and that comes from planning. You work within the framework that you have. Take Moala for example, he could command a starting test jersey in two years time, but only if he is given some time atm to gain exposure at test level, and Hansen is smart enough to see that.Look at what Hansen is dong with Jordie and Scott Barrett by taking them on tour as apprentices. Australia doesn’t need to have NZ’s depth but they need to aim to have two test match quality players in each position.I don’t see a lot of foresight or clear plans with Cheika’s selections to achieve that.

        • McWarren

          Cheika has taken development players with him and a pretty handy League winger, but don’t get me started on that again.

        • joy

          Cheika has rattled on all year about increasing depth and he has part succeeded. More to go.

  • Adrian

    Its not a bad team really, given the circumstances.

    Wales are pretty good, but injuries have weakened them.

    Our unavailable player Genia has weakened us, as has our injured list of TPN and Beale.

    Pocock strengthens us.

    We’ll see how Timani goes in lineouts.

    We’ll see Folau in backline a lot.

    Hopefully we’ll see Cooper somewhere in the 2nd half.

    We won’t see free to air TV …€#&@!%#*

    • Adrian

      We’ll miss Kerevi a lot. I forgot to mention him

  • Adrian

    Folau is where he is because of high balls (nothing to do with giraffes or cocktails)

    People forget, that collectively the Wallabies were atrocious under the high ball before Folau arrived.

    Everyone kicked high to us and we dropped it, … or on occasions replied with a pathetic kick of our own.

    Folau running it back even for 10m is a better response than how it was before Folau.

    Having said that, I agree he’s a natural winger or outside centre, but he’s fantastic under the high ball!

    • jamie

      I think Folau at 14 could easily see us still utilise him under the high ball. Usually at least one winger drops back when the opposition is playing narrow, or off set piece

      • Huw Tindall

        and DHP ain’t half bad under the high ball either…nor Foley for that matter

        • joy

          Add Genia.

  • Brendan Hume

    What’s the go with the FTA TV coverage?

    • Huw Tindall

      only on Foxtel…beIN sports channel

  • Brisneyland Local

    Just saw the news that Anthony Faianga has just returned from Japan and signed with the Brumbies. Re-united Saia! Both are a loss to the Reds, but good to see them kept within the Australia rugby family, back at the Brumbies where both of their carreers begun.

    • Huw Tindall

      Have to start calling them Siamese twins

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate, so on fire!

  • Wolfman

    I think it could be a good idea to come up with other “combined teams” to tour when the Lions are touring and build a bit of tradition around that.

    eg

    British and Irish Lions vs NZ
    Nth American Lions (USA/Canada) vs Australia
    European Lions (France/Italy/Georgia/Romania) vs South Africa
    Pacific Lions (Fiji/Tonga/Samoa) vs Argentina

    They might not be competitive enough immediately but they will get stronger.

    Maybe something with Japan as well.

    • jamie

      I’d love to see an ANZAC vs B&I Lions one day. Even though we know the result.

      There’d have to be 7-8 Aussies in the 23 surely? In form Folau, Poey, Hooper, Kerevi would certainly be starting.

      • mikado

        Yes that would be a lot of fun.

      • joy

        Like hell. Definitely a quota system, equal opportunity. 50/50 is fair. And we reserve the right to select the team, coach and captain.

  • Jb15

    Jesus. Mumm finally isn’t in the team (even if it is due to suspension) and you’re all still complaining. Glass half-full people!

    They are both great players ( Poey and Hoops) and most of us were itching to see Timani on the field a few weeks ago. We get to see all three! Glass half-full!

  • jamie

    This team will be the first in a long time there are no reds players starting…

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@Hughadams01

Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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