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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s rugby news has Will Genia returning to the Wallabies starting team, Bernard Foley home at flyhalf, Brumbies sign Tom Banks and All Blacks make 12 changes.


Genia Returns

Will Genia is the only change to the Wallabies starting team to face Scotland this weekend.

“I think Phipps had two really good games, I do, against New Zealand then against Wales. But Genia, I thought he’s been one of our best all season,” Cheika said.

“I just feel that this is a good game for him to play, come back in and get straight into it and then Nick will finish the game.

“I think Nick’s standard has definitely gone up from what I saw earlier in the year and now there’s a real competition going on there.”

Meanwhile, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm and Tom Robertson all come onto the bench.

Foley Home at Flyhalf

Bernard Foley kicking for the Wallabies vs All Blacks in Sydney 2016

Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham says Bernard Foley has been comfortable since his return to flyhalf.

Foley played a couple of matches this season at inside centre as Quade Cooper got the opportunity at flyhalf but Foley has returned to form since his return to his preferred position.

“I think he’s had two good games in a row now, I think the New Zealand game was a bit of a standout for him as well,” he said.

“He certainly feels comfortable there, he understands the way we play really well, moves the team around the paddock and finds the space now.”

Brumbies Sign Banks

The Brumbies have signed exciting fullback Tom Banks to help fill their outside back stocks.

Banks has played two matches for the Queensland Reds over the past two seasons and has plenty of potential.

“We are delighted to sign a player of the quality of Tom for the 2017 Super Rugby season,” said Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.

“Tom has the ideal attributes we look for in a Brumbies player. He is young, strong in defence and attack and hungry to make his mark at the Super Rugby level.

“I am sure that the Brumbies fans will enjoy following Tom’s development with interest. He joins a number of players who are ready to impress in 2017.”

12 Changes for AB’s

The All Blacks have made 12 changes to their side which will face Italy this weekend.

Sam Cane will captain the side for the second time in his career and joins  Patrick Tuipulotu and Waisake Naholo as the only survivors from the starting 15 against Ireland.

Reiko Ioane is set to become the youngest All Black since Jonah Lomu at the age of 19 after being named on the bench.

“On behalf of the entire All Blacks squad, we want to congratulate Liam and Rieko on their elevation to the matchday 23 for the first time,” coach Steve Hansen said.

“They have both worked incredibly hard and deserve their opportunity.

“Whilst we have made a number of changes, as we indicated, we will be looking for a massive improvement in our performance from last weekend.”

  • Patrick

    OMG what kind of a bench is that – is Chieka just completely writing off Scotland??

  • Pedro

    Reg must be spewing about Banks.

    • SuckerForRed

      Don’t know about Reg but I am a little disappointed. But I guess he might get a better opportunity at the Brums.

  • Greg

    What happened to Fardy? I thought he had a great game.

    • SuckerForRed

      Mumm no longer suspended……..

    • Seb V

      He did have a great game!

    • jamie

      The great rugby legend dean Mumm is back..

  • Huw Tindall

    Slow track with wet weather predicted and a belief the Scottish will challenge us more around the ruck are probably militating towards the 6:2. Phipps at a stretch can hold a wing down, and we shift the rest of the backline around if 12/13 get injured. DHP to 15 Folau to 13.

    Skelton and Mumm/Simmons to come on around the same time when Arnold goes off. Skelton to keep the gain line momentum and Mumm/Simmons to shore up the lineout. Mumm offers more flexibilty than Fardy. Simple as that. Although personally with Simmons and Skelton on the bench I’d take Fardy to give you legitimate quality backrow cover. I’d like to see if Skelton has improved his fitness. He could make some serious dents against a tired Scotland at 60 mins. Hopefully he has got his running game back and will be interesting to see if Mick Byrne has pushed his handling to the next level.

    Genia probably the right choice too if it’s going to be a bit of a wet and slow pitch. Genia can control the game better and his kicking should help with territory. If it was a dry hard track I’d have kept Phipps to maintain the front foot pace. As it is it seems Cheika thinks the conditions and Scottish forward pack will challenge our offensive ruck a bit more.

    We all know Cheika likes to tinker and try things. There is Rhyme to his reason even if it’s hard to see sometimes.

    • McWarren

      “Mumm offers more flexibility than Fardy”, ya reckon? Skelton to provide gain line momentum, well maybe for his first and second hit ups, then he’ll be exhausted from running in the mud.

      • Huw Tindall

        Personally I’m not convinced on Mumm being better than Fardy. But I can’t believe I know more than Cheika and the other coaches.

        Re Skelton – in an interview Cheik said he had shed 10 kegs since joining the squad again. Looked pretty lean in the video footage with the interview too.

        • McWarren

          Mate I hope your right about Skelton. But I won’t be convinced by his worth until I see him string a lot of quality games together. The guys seems like the never ending project. His size is his biggest asset and liability.
          Unfortunately I’m starting to loose the faith I had in Cheika. Plenty of part-time experts on hear were calling for the likes of Kerevi and DHP and Timani to be selected well before Cheika was forced by injury to do so. They haven’t turned out too badly. So yeah I see Fardy as a better option than Mumm and I think the coaches have gotten this wrong as well.

      • first time long time

        I cheered hard the last time I saw Skelton make the gain line because it only happened once in the match

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Sorry mate, “Mumm more flexible than Fardy”?? Fardy did more in 40 minutes last week than Mumm has done all year. I really don’t see what Chieka sees in this guy. He’s ineffective in attack unless its an intercept and then he gets caught by a hooker, he arrives late at every ruck and he has no impact in defence. I’m starting to agree with the conspiracy theory mooted here that he’s got something on Chieka, can’t see how else he holds his position

      • Huw Tindall

        Personally I agree KRL. I can’t see what Cheika sees in Mumm on the field. I reckon he shades Fardy at the line out but that’s about it. Probably more disciplined too, but maybe only because he doesn’t get as stuck in at the ruck like Fardy. As per my note to McWarren below though, I’m don’t believe I know more than Cheika to second guess him on his selections regularly. I’m just trying to look for the rationale behind it!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m not so sure on the discipline. Mumm does a lot of niggly crap and while he doesn’t get penalized it doesn’t add to the game

      • Mica

        Not that I disagree with you KRL, but I reckon pretty much every lock/6 would get caught by that hooker, don’t you?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that’s true and probably a bit harsh

        • first time long time

          Hopefully not by Adrianne Strauss !!!

    • brumby runner

      “Mumm/Simmons to shore up the lineout”. Unfortunately, HT, they will be the entire lineout if Timani is the one replaced, as is likely.Can’t see Cheika taking either of Pocock or Hooper off uninjured. Only way all three of Mumm/Simmons/Skelton can be on the ground at the same time is if both Arnold and Coleman are replaced. If that happens before the 78th minute, then I fear the consequences.

  • McWarren

    Business as usual with the Wallabies, one and half steps forward and one back. What do Scotland have that mean we need 3 locks on the bench? What has Mumm done better than Fardy? Is Skelton really going to last more than 10 minutes in the rain?
    I’d like to see Slipper sent home for a rest. He wont regain his form carrying bags around Europe.
    Cant believe the Reds have let Tom Banks get away!! After two years of preparing him to be ready for super rugby, we then deliver him to the Brumbies?

    • Braveheart81

      He had a development contract with the Reds and was then offered a full contract with the Brumbies and took it. I’d definitely say there are a couple of Reds backs he could have got a full contract ahead of but it shows that Super Rugby teams lose talent if they don’t sign them. Shows clearly why teams are willing to offer contracts to young guys who are yet to prove themselves against adults.

      • McWarren

        Hence my disbelief. Taken from right under their noses. Too have him on development contract, watch him develop to a very high standard, then let him go to the Brumbies. Some things never change. Ah well at least we got an aging hooker in return.

        • first time long time

          His limited performances this year were excellent. He showed that he wasn’t overwhelmed in any facet of his play. I was excited to see him in a red jersey this year, but I fear we have backed the wrong horse again.

    • dane

      I can see merit in having a complete replacement tight five as selecting two locks on the bench provides. In Scotland, cold, wet, soft track. The heavy lads are going to slow right up after a while and given that the games is likely to be played in tight, we’ll want some fresh legs to play out the last 30 mins.

      If Cheika thinks that Skelton will tire quickly, I can envisage him leaving Coleman on for 60-65 mins before bringing Skelly on for the last 15 mins.

  • Dud Roodt

    Happy to see Robertson come in over Slipper. I think Slipper needs to reinvent himself a bit. He’s still young enough to be a top level prop but every time he’s come on this year we’ve been absolutely bitched in the scrums. Not saying that lies solely with him, but as with anyone, he has to take some of the blame.
    I think I speak for everyone when I say “Welcome back Dean Mumm”! Great to have him back in the squad.
    While everyone else is slagging Skelton off – I hope he comes on late and does some real damage in the wet. He’s got good hands which will be required on a typical fucking miserable day in Edinburgh.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Sorry mate but you don’t speak for me on Mumm. I can’t understand why him and Skelton are there unless it’s because you’re only playing Scotland and apart from a slip up a few years ago and the RWC when you had an off day they aren’t a threat.

      • sampro

        Maybe his Mumm line is a whole pile of sarcasm… hopefully.

        • Dud Roodt

          Got it in one!

      • Dud Roodt

        ha mate – clearly I was joking.
        I would say Skelton is there because he is more suited to wet weather conditions.
        Mumm’s inclusion, as always, has us all scratching our heads.
        Unless there’s something we don’t see (his effort rate/involvement/the Eddie Jones “how quickly you bounce up off the ground factor”), I honestly don’t see what he adds

        • muffy

          DR Please use the GaGR supplied sarcasm font in future.
          KRL… maaaaate, ….come on …. can’t believe you missed that, after all the good work you’ve done for your countrymen here, now you’ve dragged it all back to square one ;)

        • Dud Roodt

          I thought the keyboard shortcut for the sarcasm switch to be turnt to “ON” was the use of the word “Mumm” closely followed by a positive connotation?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I know – abject failure. I could say I’m still getting over losing to Ireland but that’s grasping. I hang my head in shame

        • DK

          We will let you off this once KRL. Seeing that your in the worst loosing streak in 2 years….can understand your head space now…R U OK?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Just mate. Just. But thanks for asking

      • Nutta

        Dude… anymore obvious and it would have posted you a letter and hung it in neon. Cultural work in progress. But when it’s all said and done I will always remember Mummy for this…

        https://youtu.be/BqlQQEh0g5M

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that was bloody great. Haven’t really seen any of that this year

        • brumby runner

          Or before or sfter that once in a lifetime event.

  • SickOfTheWallabiesShit

    Matt Rowley – interested in Cheika’s reasoning behind putting Genia back in if his choice to leave Quade out of the last couple of tests was because of combinations, and to now leave Foley in with the change of 9s.

    I’m of the thought that Genia is definitely the better player, but, there is merit to maintaining combinations (especially 9-10-12).

  • Brisneyland Local

    Wow, I am sure that Mumm is Cheika’s love child. And bugger me with a fish fork, Skelton back in the mix. Unless they have sent Skelton to 3 months worth of conditioning camp, this is potentially a total cluster.
    Happy that Genia is back into the team, he is the form 9, and deserves his jersey. It will be interesting to see how Foley plays along side him. Hopefully Mick Byrne has done some serious work on Foley’s kicking in the ensuing week.
    Hopefully we can tire them out in the first 50-60 and bring it home with some (and I say this with great hope) speed and power off the bench. Maybe Quade on in the last 15-20 to add some distribution.

    • Huw Tindall

      BRL – Cheika said in an interview Skelton had lost 10 kilos since rejoining the squat. Hopefully that translates into some on field performance! I’m an optimist. Only way to live as a Wallabies fan!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Very true, but I almost lose ten kilos everytime I hang a giant shit, but it doesnt mean I have gotten any fitter, or gotten more mentally resilient.

        • McWarren

          Thanks for that thought BL

        • Brisneyland Local

          As long as you didnt go visual! ;-)

        • McWarren

          I’m trying really hard not too.

        • Xaviera

          Fingers crossed that never make a GIF Friday post. Even SBS would reject that.

        • Brisneyland Local

          X,
          but the Germans would love it! Scheizer!

      • AB

        depends what the starting weight was – 155, 145, or 135 kgs. if he could get to 125 i reckon he would be better as a No.8 than a lock.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      It’s only Scotland mate, can afford to go easy

      • mikado

        Famous last words KRL

    • Keith Butler

      Maybe Mumm and Skelton are long lost twins.

  • Is Sean McMohan injured or is he the next Liam Gill?

    • McWarren

      Both I believe.

    • Braveheart81

      Hard to slot him into the 23 when Hooper and Pocock are both fit and Timani is playing well.

      • Yeah… I guess. I would prefer him to Hooper and would rather Pocock at open. I think Hooper would be sensational off the bench but I also guess that would not be an option.

  • McWarren

    So going on Cheika’s logic from the last Bledisloe and his reason for picking Foley over Cooper who I think we mostly agreed had livened up the attack, that is the combination with Phipps. Why isn’t Quade getting a run this Saturday? I’m not having a go at Foley, I thought his game was excellent last week, but this seems like the perfect game to give Quade and Will a run together. Me thinks Quade’s days on the bench are numbered exactly by the days Kurtley has left rehabilitating?

    • TheMountain

      Foley’s form over the last 2 games has been better than Coopers form in any game from NRC to wallabies from the last 2 seasons. Absolutely no argument to pick Cooper over him

      • McWarren

        I don’t argue with Foley’s form. Take the Quade hating blinkers off and you’d appreciate the need for the Wallabies to have two quality 10’s playing well, getting game time. I wasn’t ‘dropping’ Foley, cause lets face it that never happens regardless of form, I just think this tour is more about developing the squad, rather than winning a grand slam. Give Quade a run with Hodge and Kuridrani outside him. Give Hodge the kicking duties. If we just ignore exploring combinations then I think its a wasted opportunity. Scotland nearly beat us last year when Foley was in form and playing at 10.

        • Lindommer

          There’s no doubt Foley’s playing better than Cooper ATM, and conforming to Cheika’s and Larkham’s game plan, BUT, we do need two good 10s in the squad of potential Wallabies. I hope Cooper gets a start against the Frogs, preferably with Phipps.

          And that’s from a Tahs fan.

        • McWarren

          That must have been hard from a Tahs fan. You’ll probably have to wash your mouth out with soap if you verbally uttered Quade!!
          Yeah I’d like to see more exploring of combo’s. Nothing radical is necessary. But my concern is that a nailed down incumbent gets injured and we have to completely re-adjust our game plan to accommodate the replacement. Same goes for Hooper, especially now Pocock is away next year. I’d like to have seen Jordy Reid or another 7 given a few starts. What happens if Hooper breaks a leg in SR next year? I imagine with Cheika’s form he’ll go cap in hand to wherever Pocock is hanging out and beg him to come home early, or he’ll convert Dean Mumm into a 7.

        • Adrian

          Tah fans don’t even think about rivalry with other teams or cities. It’s not an issue. We sometimes compare ourselves with Manchester United (a team), or London, New York or Paris (cities for those in the provinces)

          We know that the coach wants to win. Period

        • McWarren

          Manchester United? Where are they from?

        • Kevino

          Scotland will be up for this one, a lot more than the Wallabies. I expect it to be a scrappy game with the weather forecast and would not be surprised if the Scots get over the line.

      • joy

        Has Foley suddenly found his boot, developed a long flat pass and taken his blinkers off and miraculously developed wide vision?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah but considering Quade has operated with Foley outside him – and that was an abject failure. It seems a bit rough. I’d have liked him to work with Hodge outside him and see how that developed. I’d argue Foley has played ok rather than well. He is let down by his kicking and poor defence – that admittedly wasn’t challenged against Wales.
        But lets face it this is only Scotland. probably a good time to let others have a run in preparation for the hard games against Ireland and England

        • Brisneyland Local

          I agree there KRL, I think Foley’s kicking both in play and for conversion / penalty has been flaky!

        • SuckerForRed

          “…it is only Scotland.” Problem is that we have been done by “only Scotland” in the past.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I don’t get that. I always thought Scotland saved everything up for the hate match with England and everything else was just training.

        • Parker

          Done and then nearly done in the RWC.

      • first time long time

        Although if you get 11 tests in a row unless you are completely useless you will have a couple of good games.
        Foley played well last week it was great to see him taking the ball forward at pace with a lot of runner options which is exactly the situation Quade thrives on.
        You are a bit rough on Quade.

  • Adrian

    Close to the team I would have picked.
    The run on team selects itself on form, including Genia

    The Wallabies will undoubtedly play this game “up the guts” with offloading heavy runner forwards.

    6:2 bench because heavy/ wet track will tire all the forwards, including Coleman and Timani, who otherwise would be left on for 80. Arnold is only 50 minutes in these conditions.
    There is an inference too that Pocock could be replaced in Cheika’s comments, but I think that will depend on how the lineout is going. It’s unlikely that he’ll have Skelton, Pocock and Hooper all on at the same time. Having said that, Skelton did take some lineout ball in the NRC, so he might surprise. Mumm is there for his discipline, versatility, leadership (including in lineouts, where he “coaches” the inexperienced guys). Mumm is also experienced in the wet and UK conditions.
    They have forward options towards the end of the game, and the lineout will hold up. So will the scrum.

    In the backs, Phipps covers halfback and wing, Cooper covers 5/8, fullback and inside centre. They would only have to do shuffling if Kurandrani gets injured. In wet conditions, Genia, and to a lesser extent Foley will tire. I expect Phipps and Cooper to be on early.

    This will be a huge undisguised assault by our heavy runners, backed up by backs playing right at the advantage line.

    This is the style that Cheika knows how to coach best of all

    • TheMountain

      I would expect Timani to leave the field for Mumm and Pocock to 8, then Skelton and Simmons come in gradually to the 2nd row. That keeps it pretty constant in terms of lineout options

      • brumby runner

        Please describe how the lineout remains constant when all of Pocock, Mumm and Skelton are on the field. Second row would be Simmons/Skelton (1 jumper), Mumm at 6 (another jumper), Hooper at 7, Pocock at 8 (no jumpers).

        We will need to be mnay many points in front (which we should be, but with Scotland we can never be sure) when Mumm and Simmons come on together. Not the strongest players in contact at the best of times, but likely to be even more ineffectual in the cold and wet.

        • Adrian

          I’d say Pocock will go off, so there will still be 3 jumpers on when Skelton comes on. Might be a surprise here and there, with someone jumping who hasn’t been a regular

    • McWarren

      Sorry Adrian you lost me at “Mumm is there for his discipline, versatility, leadership…”.

      • Adrian

        Hi McWarren
        Well….that’s my opinion about what Cheika thinks,..and I share that opinion with many others I know.
        An opinion, not a fact.
        Another fact is that many people share that opinion, but it still doesn’t make the opinion (or any other opinion) a fact.
        This doesn’t mean that Fardy is no good. Fardy has a higher work rate and can pilfer ball better, that’s true.
        Cheika would have noticed that the lineout started improving when Mumm became a starter.

        No big deal though

        • McWarren

          And you an everyone else are welcome to their opinion. I don’t believe any of us going to danger a fact. This whole site is built on opinions. You’re as welcome to yours as I am to mine.

        • Adrian

          Exactly

    • Adrian, there is far too much analysis and common sense in your post! You clearly didn’t get the “how to make a good comment” running notes. Just so you understand, this week you were supposed to say “Slipper was great and should be starting, Mumm is always shit, Skelton is always shit, Phipps is always shit, we would be better with Cooper at 10.”

      • Brisneyland Local

        Farkin hilarious Hawko! Tip of the hat!

      • Pclifto

        Precisely.

        Nice work Adrian. Far too much hyperventilating going on in these comments.

  • MST

    In other news I just saw that SBS has rights to Wallabies v England and France. will be shown on FTA.

    • Missing Link

      Team named to face England

      1. Scott Sionis
      2. Stephen Morski (c)
      3. Sekope Kepuvich
      4. Rory Arnold
      5. Adam Collosimo
      6. David Pocorski
      7. Michael Houpogiannakopoulos
      8. Lopeti Tortelli
      9. Will Ginnea
      10. Bernard Folich
      11. Henry Schwarz
      12. Reece Hodgdanowicz
      13. Tevita Kurigiannis
      14. Dane Haylett-Petty
      15. Israel Folej

      • Brisneyland Local

        We have gone Ruski today ML!
        Well that and a bit of Italian thrown into the mix.

        • Missing Link

          Well that’s the Rugbyroos team to play England, as selected by the coach Mikhail Czekavic

      • Ian

        And the Bench?

        • Missing Link

          ran out of room unfortunately

      • Dud Roodt

        Isn’t it pronounced Will Genisovic?
        “Timanic, passes to the new centre midfielder Hodgdanowicz, Hodgdanowicz with a deft tap to Arnold… I hope I pronounced that correctly”

        • Missing Link

          GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

        • Xaviera

          A Billy classic. Still use it from time to time – it never ceases to make me laugh.

      • Pclifto

        Brilliant.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Sweeeeeeeeeeet!

    • Greg

      Hooray SBS (ovich)

    • Haz

      Seems a bit unfair playing a combined team.

      Not sure many of the frenchies would get in thought tbf

  • DK

    If you pick both Simmons and Mumm on the bench its a little too same/same for me. Surely you pick Simmons and Fardy, and if its going to be heavy under foot and wet then surely you’d go with Fardy over Mumm.
    Going to be interesting at Scrum time, The Scottish scrum has pushed us all over the park the last 4 or 5 times we’ve played them. It kept them in the game in the RWC and was the backbone of their last 2 wins over us.

    • SuckerForRed

      I am starting to think that Fardy ran over Cheika’s puppy……..

      • DK

        HA yes, While wiping his nose with a tahs jumper and arse with a randwick jersey…or maybe he’s just not a beard man? Doesnt like the scratchy-ness.

    • Haz

      Be happy Nel is out then

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@Hughadams01

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

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