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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees the Wallaby squad announced, young guns included, Brumbies lineout break down, and the Super Final


 

Wallabies Named!

First the big news. Christian Leali’ifano is back in gold for the first time since 2016. Lilo, in this reporters opinion, has been the best flyhalf in the country this year it only remains to be seen if that form can translate to test rugby. Hopefully, we’ll have a better idea after he plays his 20 test, this time against the Springboks, in a couple of weeks.

Lilo’s inclusion probably comes at Quade Cooper’s expense but that’s probably not that surprising. With Bernard Foley being a long term favourite of Wallaby coaches for years and Matt Toomua being more than a one trick pony Cooper was always going to make way for Leali’ifano.

Young gun Joe Powell, Lilo’s halves partner, has also made the squad. No prop ever really likes a halfback. Yap yaps with a Napoleon complex is the general consensus. Powell must have talent because he annoys this old prop from an entire state away. His inclusion comes at the expense of long term bench man Nick Phipps whos Wallabies career may be over.

The Squad:

Forwards

Allan Alaalatoa (32 Tests, Brumbies, 25)
Rory Arnold (19 Tests , Brumbies, 29)
Jack Dempsey (10 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Folau Fainga’a (7 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Michael Hooper (c) (91 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 27)
Luke Jones (3 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 28)
Sekope Kepu (103 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 33)
Tolu Latu (12 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)
Isi Naisarani (uncapped, Melbourne Rebels, 24)
Tom Robertson (24 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 24)
Izack Rodda (17 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Rob Simmons (94 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 30)
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (11, Queensland Reds, 22)
Scott Sio (55 Tests, Brumbies, 27)
James Slipper (86 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
Taniela Tupou (11 Tests, Queensland Reds, 23)
Jordan Uelese (2 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 22)
Rob Valetini (uncapped, Brumbies, 20)
Liam Wright (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 21)

Backs

Adam Ashley-Cooper (117 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 35)
Tom Banks (3 Tests, Brumbies, 25)
Kurtley Beale (83 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 30)
Bernard Foley (68 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Will Genia (100 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 31)
Dane Haylett-Petty (31 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)
Reece Hodge (33 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 24)
Samu Kerevi (25 Tests, Queensland Reds, 25)
Marika Koroibete (20 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Tevita Kuridrani (58 Tests, Brumbies, 28)
Christian Lealiifano (19 Tests, Brumbies, 31)
Jack Maddocks (7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 22)
Joe Powell (4 Tests, Brumbies, 25)
Matt Toomua (42 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)
Nic White (22 Tests, Exeter Chiefs, 29)

Have A Go, Get A Go!

Liam Wright offloads to Brandon Paenga-Amosa

And good news for three uncapped backrowers!

Liam Wright: A favourite up here in Queensland, Wright is about ten centimetres taller than our last three great openside flankers. The term future Wallaby captain has been used more than once. At 193 cm and 97 kgs, Liam could probably add a few kilos of muscle but it hasn’t really affected his game so far.

Wright will struggle to become Australias first choice openside with the great Michael Hooper captaining the side and sitting on a five year deal with RA.

Ise Naisarani: Is Ise the power number eight we’ve been looking for since Toutai Kefu retired in 2003 (wow 16 years!). Ise, the oldest looking 24 year old on the planet, is a similar build to Kefu and plays the same kind of power game he played. He’s about 195 cm and 110 Kgs and has run a crap ton of metres in the middle channels this year for the Rebels and there are plenty of Wallabies fans who have waited, a little impatiently, for Ise to become Wallaby eligible.

Rob Valetini: The youngest of the trio has had an injury-interrupted year but there is no denying the obvious talent the flanker has. Rob has spent most of his time on the blindside of the scrum but plays eight as well. At 193 cm and about 113 Kgs Valetini is another power backrower who can make plenty of metres in close to the ruck.

So there you go, three exciting young backrowers that could change the way Australia plays the game. Add Jack Dempsey with 10 tests, Luke Jones -with three tests and Lukan Salakaia-Loto and you have the makings of a new look backrow to partner Michael Hooper.

I recommend clicking the link above and having a look at Hoiles’ video in the article.

Stopping The Unstoppable

The Brumbies loss to the Jaguares in Argentina last weekend has bought up some interesting analysis. Over at Foxsport Stephen Hoiles has had a look at the Brumbies lineout and how the Jaguares took away the Brumbies biggest strength. Basically, the Jaguares gave the Brumbies the front of the lineout and competed for everything thrown further back.

Although they lost by 32 points on Saturday, the Brumbies weren’t altogether poor.

Travel takes its toll and a loud home crowd doesn’t help either.

Instead of trying to exploit the weaknesses of the Brumbies, the Jaguares made the visitors’ biggest strength into a liability.

A dysfunctional lineout was enough: the Brumbies trailed by 20 points after as many minutes.

Former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles pointed it out on Monday’s Super Rugby Wrap, saying that the Jaguares tried to force the Brumbies to throw long, challenging them to throw to where there was opposition.

“I think the Brumbies needed to be a little bit more patient, more intelligent, and just slow it right down,” Hoiles said.

“Essentially, everything went out for them.

“(Hooker) Folau Fainga’a got a little bit spooked; you can see them talking to the callers, and they’re not happy how things went. The timing of the delivery from nine to first receiver: everything was off because of the lineout.”

 

Super Final

Over here at GaGR we tend to switch off once the Aussie sides have been eliminated from the finals. That isn’t really fair on the teams who have done the hard yards and made the final. I got this far into the news and realised I hadn’t mentioned the biggest Super Rugby game of the year!

The Crusaders have lost two key players. Is anyone at the Crusaders a key player? Anyway, Scott Barrett and Ryan Crotty are both out of the final through injury.

Mitchell Dunshea is a straight swap for Barrett but replacing Crotty has resulted in a bit of swappsy in the centrefield. Jack Goodhue, best mullet in the game, moves to inside centre to accommodate  Braydon Ennor at 13.

The Jaguares have made three changes for the final.

Prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, who boasts 50 Tests, replaces young loosehead Mayco Vivas while winger Ramiro Moyano (30 caps) and flanker Marcos Kremer (21 caps) demote Sebastian Cancelliere and Tomas Lezana to the bench.

Matias Moroni switches from the left wing to the right to cater for dangerous speedster Moyano.

The reserves have also been bolstered by the addition of 36-year-old forward Juan Manuel Leguizamon, who has played 85 Tests but only been fit enough to start four matches for the Jaguares this year.

Crusaders

15-David Havili, 14-Sevu Reece, 13-Braydon Ennor, 12-Jack Goodhue, 11-George Bridge, 10-Richie Mo’unga, 9-Bryn Hall, 8-Kieran Read, 7-Matt Todd, 6-Whetu Douglas, 5-Sam Whitelock (captain), 4-Mitchell Dunshea, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Codie Taylor, 1-Joe Moody

Replacements: 16-Andrew Makalio, 17-George Bower, 18-Michael Alaalatoa, 19-Luke Romano, 20-Jordan Taufua, 21-Mitchell Drummond, 22-Mitch Hunt, 23-Will Jordan

Jaguares

15-Emiliano Boffelli, 14-Matias Moroni, 13-Matias Orlando, 12-Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11-Ramiro Moyano, 10-Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9-Tomas Cubelli, 8-Javier Ortega Desio, 7-Marcos Kremer, 6-Pablo Matera, 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Guido Petti, 3-Santiago Medrano, 2-Agustin Creevy, 1-Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Replacements: 16-Julian Montoya, 17-Mayco Vivas, 18-Enrique Pieretto, 19-Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 20-Tomas Lezana, 21-Felipe Ezcurra, 22-Domingo Miotti, 23-Sebastian Cancelliere

 

  • Happyman

    Small rant
    Tolu F/$)’ing Latu I understand that being in sky blue gives you the inside track. But apart from being a fellow Drunkard. He is not even the best Hooker in NSW. He cannot hit a line out and is a penalty magnet. FFS MC has done it for me this time by picking this idiot.

    • So you’re not a… Happyman?

      Thank you, I’ll show myself out.

      • Happyman

        Unfortunately sometimes my true self comes our.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Entirely forgivable with that selection. I can’t believe they are really going to rely on AAC and if they need him for his experience (Which by the way is more about losing than winning) then it’s a sad indictment on the coaching team.

        • Happyman

          5 months mate and the new dictatorship comes in.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Can’t wait buddy

      • Yowie
    • Hoss

      That’s enough thank you Chuckles. I think the growing anti-Tah’s selection sentiment in the squad is an outrage. Only 9 Tah’s picked, no Flanders, no Bovine Sprinkler, it’s becoming a pandemic. And got get me started on how Cam Clarke missed out.

      • Happyman

        True Hoss
        Fortunately Simmons and Tom Robertson redress the balance.
        I would actually been ok with Cam Clarke the kid is actually a rugby player.

      • Mica

        Cam Clarke has more claim than Latu!

        • Hoss

          I personally think the Deltiologist should be starting hooker and VC.

        • Geoffro

          and driver of the team bus

        • Hoss

          Yep – typical Tah. Multi-talented and an asset to any team.

          Dont get me fucking started on How Lurch gets picked over Stanniforth either. What KPI does Arnold EVER outplay Stanniforth. Its disgraceful.

        • Geoffro

          They’re good at that sort of stuff in Canberra,bloody beureaucrats

        • Who?

          Best. Pseudonym. Ever.
          :-D
          :-D

    • Mart

      Apart from being a drunk and a penalty magnet. I’d argue he is probably one of the best in Aus. Can put hits on, jackle, great scrummager, has mongrel…not the best thrower

      • Max Graham

        Exactly!

      • Who?

        Who can’t get a start in his 6 games for his province this year, and didn’t start for them last year, either.
        If he’s so good, why can’t he get a start over a bloke who everyone praises as being consistent but not Test level?

        • Mart

          Because of aforementioned reasons

        • Who?

          His hits can turn into penalties (hence his new, Tah-fan Hoss-given name, The Delitologist (card collector)), he’s not the only good scrummager in the country (it’s arguable that Mafi, BPA and Rangi all go ok there). It’s not like the Tahs scrum has been terrible this year, and he’s scrummaging alongside Kepu and the much hyped HJH, and Chris Talakai (and the Talakai brothers are good scrummagers), and Tom Robertson – so, two Wallabies, a vaunted future Wallaby and a scrum technician), and unbridled aggression turns into cards….
          .
          If we’re picking on form, then he’s nowhere near the squad. If we’re picking on potential, then we pick Uelese (who also made it). So, we’ve got our second and third hookers who’ve played a combined 8 or 9 games this year, something like 300 minutes between the pair. When we’ve got Mafi and BPA, who split the season 50-50 at the Reds (neither is a poor option), Rangi… We’re not without options.
          .
          Many on here were calling for his file to be stamped ‘Never to be selected again’ on here last year, after consecutive cards (I wasn’t among them – I didn’t think he’d earned his selection, but wasn’t writing him off permanently). If he’d shown some form of form this year, there’d be argument for him to be selected. But he’s done nothing. At least Uelese can point to injury – all Latu’s time off was created by himself (i.e. dirty play and then criminal behaviour). And the time he was around, he wasn’t able to shift a Super-level (i.e. not considered Test quality) player from the starting position. Latu’s selection is completely unjustified.

    • Agree!

    • Wonky Donkey

      Tolu has been included so that most Aussies (overweight naughty drunks) have representation.
      You see its all about intersectionally now, especially since we have the Folau saga apon us. Gotta make sure we have all the sinners here. Haha

  • Hoss

    Morning Mr Sully.

    What ‘Steven Hoiles video link above’ ??

    • Geoffro

      Heh,heh, I always quote in centimetres.By the time she’s worked it out it’s all over anyway

      • Hoss

        6 degree entry angle, 135 kg’s of thrust = none the wiser, perhaps better explained thus

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4276c102be43f84d0df18eb3a22510b9c58e772349d2d7229d59ceb11ce4fb0.jpg

        • Greg

          You could have some issues there @HossRugby:disqus

          I am just trying to visualise what m-dot, being dm/dt, being the rate at which your mass (not the religious one) changes, looks like. All of the images are not happy ones!

        • Geoffro

          Its all rocket surgery to me (of which I’ll by no means admit to) and completely without inclusion or explanation within the 2 minute timeframe I usually allocate to such activities

        • Brisneyland Local

          Stud. that is twice!

        • Geoffro

          Not when you’re including foreplay ;)

        • Yowie

          what?

        • Geoffro

          You know,a little begging and saying how much you love them

        • Missing Link

          calm down Will Hunting

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sad thing is I actually understand that attachment! Gee I need a new life.

        • Hoss

          We cant be friends now. i have a strict policy of not being friends with anyone smarter than I, which, admittedly does rule out 98.63% of the population, some single cell life forms, but it does leave me friends with all Kiwis and most of Queensland and considered a genius in South Australia, so, all not lost.

        • Keith Butler

          Nice coloured letters. We can be friends.

        • Brisneyland Local

          See living North of the border has dumbed me down!

        • Hoss

          I love Robert Muldoon’s quote about Kiwis emigrating to Oz – ‘it raises the IQ of both nations’

          Banter should be clever and incisive.

        • Geoffro

          An absolute classic

        • Brisneyland Local

          Oh yep! The best kind.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ouch!

        • Hoss

          Through osmosis your infused with Australiana mate – your a hybrid Aussie. Like the dim cousin at family get-togethers, you know, one of us.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Actually got my Citizen exam next month mate, Soon I’ll have to swap Black for Green and Gold. That may be a bit hard

        • Yowie
        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha gold mate

        • Parker

          Mate, you have to give KRL a leg up on trick question number 11. The answer is nobody knows.

        • Hoss

          Some study tips, if i may

          – National Anthem = Advance Australia Fair. Previous anthem about sheep theft, cowardice and suicide not entirely reflective of current goals
          – How many other countries anthems have ‘girt’ in it
          – Meaning of ‘girt’ – no one knows, its a mystery
          – Aussie Principals – a fair go, plenty of paid sick days and to hang shit on any parties as required
          – Aussie Values – protect those who have shit hung on them, unless its by us and also to bail out the Poms in a fight
          – National Dish – some sort of curry
          – National Day – Jan something or other
          – Current leader – Alan Jones
          – Secular breakdown – pass
          – Average IQ – higher in NSW that’s for sure
          – Population – lots
          – Language Spoken – some form of retarded english
          – Prospects – bonza, ripper, you little beauty.

          Good luck shagger – we could use another good man.

        • Who?

          Builders know ‘girt’. Because a ‘girt’ is a type of member in a wall. I have to use them all the time to surround buildings. :-)
          I dunno, white collar types thinkin’ the blue collar blokes don’t have enough words! :-P
          .
          We bail out almost everyone in a fight, don’t we? Never start ‘em, but always end up dragged in by some dodgy mate or another. Be it Asquith, Winny Churchill, LBJ, Dubya… There’s always someone wanting a hand, and we’re rarely clever enough to figure out how to get out of it! Probably because we’re top blokes and sheilas. :-)
          .
          A secular breakdown is somewhere you don’t find fullbacks. Or almost any backs. They’d mess up their hair. ;-P
          .
          And an Aussie passport doesn’t require you to hand in your other passport(s). Hence why I’m an Aussie citizen (they wouldn’t let me in the country without signing me up!), but recently obtained my Irish passport.

        • Yowie

          “I’m an Aussie citizen…. but recently obtained my Irish passport”

          Is that two passports to be sure, to be sure?

        • Who?

          Can’t even fake an Irish accent…..
          One passport – the Aussie one’s overpriced, and I needed to get mine so the kids could get their passports. Which means they’re able to work anywhere in Europe without a visa, and they’re also aware of their Section 44 obligations. ;-)

        • Parker

          The kids better hurry before the Brexit debacle

        • Who?

          Think we’ll be ok – my wife has a British passport and an uncle still living in Surrey. We’re covered on both sides.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate thanks. Wife (ex ADF Soldier) almost snorted her wine. Good to see I’m covered

        • Parker

          There’s a medical procedure for that.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah mate me too

        • Damo

          I believe this is the formula Cameron Clyne used to propel the Force out of Super Rugby.

        • Hoss

          That’s gold mate – chuckled out loud

        • From NooZealand

          I do not see that working when you have to massess (-since two bodies of different mass) in conflicting direction and action; but then when you have two bodies coming together by mutual consent. It kind of works. ((:))

        • Greg

          In either case momentum must be conserved and that is a scary thought at 135kg….

        • joy

          This is a formula for hot air!

        • Hoss

          I was waiting for you or Eloise to challenge its veracity.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully,
    Some interesting selections there but TBH there’s enough of the old that I’m not too excited. We’ve seen people brought in before and either not get time, get time out of position or been brought in and blamed for not performing because other established players have been allowed to not perform. I like some of the selections but the whole package includes the players, coaching team, tactics and on field skills and reaction to what happens. In my mind so far the players are probably 80% there but not sure of the rest yet.
    The lack of Crotty will hurt the Crusaders but I still think they’ll be too strong. I think the Jags will come out storming and if the Crusaders can hold them out then come back they’ll be fine.

    • Jason

      Best thing for Australia is to get slamed this Rugby Championship and Cheika gets told to pull his head in and play some guys on form not reputation, but it’s a big ship to turn around this late in the day.

      • UTG

        Who are these in form players not picked in the squad that you want to play in the matchday 23?

        • Dud Roodt

          You know, just anyone who wasn’t picked by Cheika! Even subbies players if we must

        • Onside

          Henry Speight for a start.
          Tom English could have a case as well , better than AAC this season.

        • UTG

          Speight? Don’t see how he makes it into the 23, we’re not going to carry a specialist winger on the bench and he’s not going to unseat Koroibete. Nor is Tom English going to be playing in the 23 and we’re never going to pick an older, uncapped player, who is heading overseas, as a squad member in a WC year.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I’d argue Speight is better than Koroibete. Koroibete can run but his defence and decision making is shit

        • UTG

          Nah, Koroibete is a better defender than Speight. The Brumbies just realised they had to hide Speight after his horror defensive year last year (got skinned on the outside by Taqele of all people). He also got to defend outside the best defensive organiser in Australia in Kurindrani. Koroibete, on the other hand, had to defend in the 13 channel because of the bizarre defensive pattern the Rebels cooked up earlier in the season.

        • Max Graham

          English? You’re kidding. I agree that Speight is unlucky.

        • Hambone

          Meakes worthy of a look in surely

        • UTG

          How’s Meakes going to get a look in in the 23? Who of TK and Kerevi is he going to replace as a starter? And how does he get a bench spot ahead of more experienced players in Toomua or Hodge who can also kick for goal?

        • Hambone

          Kerevi killing it in attack, but defence still a bit of a leaky boat, and opposition know it. TK at outside, as I’m sure kurtley will be FB.
          Meakes had been the one shinning light of a fading rebels season, voted players player I believe. As for toomua. They kept pulling Billy from the 23 for him and suffered. I caught a few games this season being a rebels bloke. It’s worth giving the bloke a good run, one of the few that steps up and matches intensity

        • UTG

          Meakes was 10th for most missed tackles in Super this season and Kerevi was 6th (and, as an aside, old mate Tom Cusack who some on here claimed should have got a spot ahead of Hooper topped the MT count) and Kerevi missed one more tackle than Meakes. Given this similarlity, I think I’ll take the guy who topped run metres, defenders beaten and was top 5 for offloads and clean breaks over Meakes, thank you very much. We’re not going to be giving Meakes a bench spot over more versatile options like Hodge and Toomua who can kick.

        • joy

          Toomua lost his fly half spot years ago because of his poor field kicking. He has not improved.

        • UTG

          I was talking about for goal…but even if we’re talking general play his kicking is superior to Meakes. Anyhow, we’re not picking a specialist inside centre, in Meakes, on the bench when we have more versatile, more experienced, and frankly better options.

        • Hambone

          I love kerevi don’t get me wrong chief. He nailed it this season. But we have tried the ‘power centre’ combo of kerevi TK at test level in the past and had our pants pulled down. We need to mix and match and find something new. Not saying meakes is the new messiah, but he might be a very naughty boy at 12.. ;)
          Unfortunately toss coffee to bill and our while backline is up in the air

        • Max Graham

          Yeah. Meakes ahead of Kerevi…. I hope that’s the stupidest thing I read in 2019.

        • Hambone

          Probably will be champ..

        • Max Graham

          It was; however I came across a flat-earther that gave you a run for your money.

        • Jason

          McCafery! He was probably the best Brumbie this year, he’s in exceptional form.

          Any other hooker — Mafi, BPA Mann-Rea, Rangi… fucking ANYONE!
          Someone under the age of 35 instead of AAC… (probably Speight)

          Beale and Foley are borderline and we have other options who I’d like to explore before we go back to ‘old faithful’.

        • UTG

          McCaffery is not in exceptional form. He had his chance against Test quality opposition and was found out against the Jags. Also don’t really want a backrower who feels the compulsion to kick away the ball with men in space on the outside

          AAC is the backup 13, Speight is a winger…AAC won’t get a game anyhow so long as TK is not injured so no need to worry about him being in the 23.

          Tolu is the only test quality hooker aside from Uelese and FF. BPA and Mafi may crack it next cycle but are too raw for a WC year. Rangi’s as much of a grub as Tolu but without the upside. Also, Latu has served his punishment from RA and is available for selection. It’s not up to the selection committee to screen for morality unless it’s going to worsen the performance of the team.

          Beale played well when he was moved to 15. People just need to cut the parochial bullshit and accept there are no good 10s in the country right now and Foley is as good an option as any we have.

        • Jason

          McCaffery has had the best season of any Brumby, he has one not-exceptional game against the semi-finalists when his whole side played poorly and you want to throw him away like yesterday’s jam… yet Beale plays *okay* for a handful of games and he’s locked in at 15! Oh and Dempsey hasn’t had any form… yet gets in the squad.

          This one really takes the cake! Saying Latu and Uelese are test quality hookers, then saying BPA and Mafi are ‘too raw’ BPA has been our best test hooker since the last RWC – solid dependable and reliable, against probably the second best front row of Ireland, and Mafi manages to force him out of his spot with outstandingly consistent play and you say — too raw. Uelesea has had 450 min of Super Rugby, and maybe a half of Test rugby total! BPA has more test experience than Uelesea!
          As for Latu even if we ignore the fact that he was found passed out while driving, well over the legal limit BAC (a considerable time after he was found I might add)… If we set that aside. We have his on field discipline issues last year he was the most penalised player per minute in Super Rugby he was the second most carded player — this year because he only played in 6 games off the bench (and the games were typically over by that point) because of how much of a liability he is.
          I’m sorry but EVEN IF we assume BPA and Mafi (or any of the other hookers) ‘aren’t up to test rugby’ they are far better options than Latu and we develop for the future at the same time.

          Finally on flyhalf, I accept Cheika is conceding that his forward pack can’t or won’t get us front foot ball so we are going with the ultra safe option in Foley. That’s ‘fine’ (I mean it’s not but that’s their decision) just really disappointing that he’s not even having a look at Quade. Especially after Foley had such a poor season.

        • UTG

          BPA got hooked at half time against the Irish twice because he wasn’t up to it and was overtaken by FF by the time the RC came around. Not sure in what world he’s been our best test hooker since the RWC when he’s only played 4 tests…

          Claiming McCafferey had the best season of any Brumby is laughable. Arnold, AAA, FF, Sio, Samu etc. were all far superior. McCafferey couldn’t even nail a starting jersey. He had his chance against test quality opposition and didn’t look up to it. Dempsey was injured for half the season but has shown he can stand up at test level, of course he’s going to get selected over McCafferey.

          Quade dropped off at the end of the season if he’d kept up his early season form he would have been selected.

        • Max Graham

          He wouldn’t make the Brumbies on his best day if they were full strength. I really like him as a player but he’s not going to ever crack the XXIII unless the first team’s plane crashes.

        • Jason

          Remember Stuart MacGill by any chance…

        • Max Graham

          This is too painful. I’ll come straight out and ask directly – which of Pocock, Samu or Valetini would you drop for McCaffery? I like McCaffery and thinks he’s one of the smartest players in the country, but unfortunately there are some really, really good players getting around. Overseas are more better players – e.g. MacMahon, Gill and Fardy. He’s good but he’s just not good enough this year.

        • Jason

          Easily Valetini, but I’d also have McCaffery in there above Samu too.

          I agree if we look overseas we he’s not in the squad but we can’t/don’t so he should be in my books.

        • Max Graham

          I reckon Samu was close to the ponies’ best this year and hopefully he’ll get plenty of time in gold. Losing him for the Jags was massive.

  • Geoffro

    Gotta give these young guys a good run not warming the bloody bench.We’re not going to win the RC so use it for development.I can just see these blokes finally being run out against Samoa and the only learning experience they’ll get prior to the WC is how to get bashed by angry Islander lads.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m picking that too mate. Then it’ll all be about how they aren’t ready yet

      • Geoffro

        Then it’ll be too late for RC then eh.Banks (and Valetini) who look a good thing to feature could have been eminently more well prepared if given a bit more game time on last years eoyt instead of rolling out fossils like AAC or favorite son Hanigan

        • Damo

          Tom Banks reminds me a lot of Chris Latham- including how he wears his socks. He is a very good fullback in development I reckon and the kind of guy who can crack open very structured defense, which we are going to face a lot of at RWC 19. His direct running style will be much more effective than Beale’s lateral running. But he needs serious game time with the Wallabies in these RC matches. Is he going to get it?

        • Geoffro

          I dont think they can seriously deny him,he is in good form and matured quite a bit this year.He at least deserves to be on equal footing with Beale or Petty

  • Yowie

    “…Jack Goodhue, best mullet in the game, moves to…”
    Honourable mention to Jason Eaton during the “hillbilly mullet” phase.

    • Geoffro

      Liam Squire was the progenitor of the AB mullet.The mullet’s gone and now so is he.Is it a Sampson thing ??

      • Who?

        I’ve read Kiwis writing that Goodhue’s doing the reverse Samson thing – that as the mullet’s grown, he’s come off his game…

        • Geoffro

          He needs a new hairdresser.Maybe Hoss with his knowledge of aerodynamics could sort the mullet

        • Hoss

          In the 80’s it was called a ‘permed wave’ – much more refined.

        • Geoffro

          lotta patience in getting a permed wave (not that I’d really know through personal experience of course)

        • The bits I’ve seen I don’t think that’s fair (those Kiwis are a tough crowd). I think it’s more that the other Kiwi sides (that’s pretty much half his opponents) have started to work out how to handle him a bit more and he’s adapting to that. He still looks pretty damn good against other opponents. It will be interesting to see how he does against the Jags tomorrow.

        • Who?

          Regardless of how he goes, he’d go better without the mullet. :-P

    • Timbo

      Pete Samu was rocking a filthy Business front, party back recently. Surely he gets a look in?

      • Alister Smith

        I thought Samu’s was more prison at the front and party down the back. Of course, “party down the back” has a different meaning in prison.

    • Missing Link

      Elton Jantjies still holds the title of rugby’s worst haircut. honourable mention Joe Marler

      • Hoss

        Rugby.com has the tattooed, shaved head, gypsy hater back from retirement and in the Soap Dodger squad.

        • Missing Link

          did learn to scrum straight during his hiatus?

        • Show me a prop in the world who scrums straight…

        • Yeah, I saw Fast Eddie call his name. Not in person, but on the TV up here as I was “supervising” the builders.

          Bit of a shock tbh, I thought England didn’t have a shortage of decent props, and Marler’s a bit antsy. Maybe with Hartley not making it he wanted a bit of snarl in the front row?

  • Mart

    Is Pete Samu injured still? was on fire back end super

    • Geoffro

      Strained hammie.Was prob left out more as a precaution

      • Mart

        Shame, hope it doesn’t halt his form momentum

        • I am a newcomer to the Pete Samu fan club but fully agree was really in form this season. A must for the Australian 23 if fully fit. Trust he has signed for the Brumbies next year.

      • Huw Tindall

        100% coaches said wasn’t considered due to injury. Same as Coleman and Poey. Expect as soon as he is fit he’ll bump out Wright or Valentini.

        • Geoffro

          Hope its Dempsey

  • Mart

    I’d pick Matt Phillip in front of Jones

    • Kevino

      If his picking a lock yes,

      But I’d pick Jones as a 6, played his best rugby in the back row not second.

      • Mart

        agreed But i think Phillip could be an asset at Wallaby level at 6 too. Although I’m not a fan of picking players out of position, he’d do a very similar job to what he already does.

    • Missing Link

      One of a few Rebels unlucky to miss out. Meakes is another

      • Who?

        But didn’t AAC do SOOOO much more than Billy this year?
        .
        I think you’re the first I’ve seen to rightly point out that Billy was unlucky. He had a very good season. Simone stormed into form late in the season, but Meakes was in form pretty well the entire time he was picked. He had a few dodgy moments (dropped balls) and periods of less involvement (as the Rebels’ pack got dominated), but more worthy of selection than AAC.

        • Geoffro

          Not just this year,hes been solid for a few years now.Its annoying how as soon as the likes of AAC and Foley have a couple nice touches,they come roaring back into contention when the majority of the time lately they have been mud

      • Mart

        complete madness when the Rebels changed a working backline

      • Hoss

        Surely you jest my evolutionary puzzle piece ? Zoolander has no business being in gold.

        • Missing Link

          Blue Steel has never been tried against the power of the NZ haka. now is the time!!!!!

        • Yowie

          What about “Magnum”?

  • Timbo

    “…Ise, the oldest looking 24 year old on the planet…”
    Agreed. He looks like he’s been working the field for 30 years.

  • Mart

    A backrow of Valentini, Niasarani and Hooper would be pretty appealing

    • Brisneyland Local

      Valentini is a great player. Comes in under cooked.

    • Not bad especially if Pete Samu is on the bench. No point saying David Pocock anymore. His injury seems to be career ending.

  • Greg

    I know that the ABC is a lefty rabble… but I thought this was worth a read.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-04/gay-religious-rugby-player-says-folau-comments-dont-impact-him/11273926

    • Who?

      Mate, you’re risking the end of this (so far brief) run of IFFD’s! :-P

      • Custard Taht

        I thought Greg has been of the ones bemoaning the constant Folau “discussion” on this website, to the point of keeping a running tally of Israel Folau Free Days.

        Yet despite there being plenty of actual rugby news to talk about, drags this shit up again.

        Can’t wait for the Ground Hog day, with the same shit being regurgitated.

        • Who?

          Exactly. Though it is a good story…

        • Greg

          Hi Custard Taht, hope you are well. No obligation for you to read the article.

        • joy

          There is a direct correlation between the number of Folau free days here and Folau good news days in the non-fake general media. Check it out.

        • Andy

          Who is the non-fake general media? Just out of interest

    • Geoffro

      Fake news,bloody ABC and their sensationalist journalism.

  • Missing Link

    Too many Waratahs hahahaha
    no seriously, too many Waratahs! probably 3 Robertson, Simmons and Ashley-Cooper, then in contrast it’s great to see so many kids 25 or under in the squad, so you need someone like grand daddy AAC to chaperone the kids and show them that you always need to be prepared, don’t be complacent and order a pie and a beer as you might find yourself in the match day 23

    • Brisneyland Local

      AAC cant be the Chaperone. Cant have some one advising on the rules that doesnt know them,or ignores them and is constantly breaking them himself.

      • Damo

        He will get his mother to do it for him!

      • Dud Roodt

        Can I just say BL – I don’t think I’d much enjoy being an employee of yours. No offence intended of course.
        2 minor infractions in 15 years (aka 1 every 7.5 years) of service and I’m not allowed to chaperone the youngun’s?!

        • Brisneyland Local

          well taht and being part of a Coup. Pplenty of reason enough there not to be in charge of the young uns

        • One was last year and laughed off instead of mea culpa-ed.

          When the story first came out, I honestly thought as squad “dad” he pretty much should have been sent home: he’s meant to be showing the kiddies how to behave on tour, and while I don’t expect rugby players to be saints, I expect the old, married ones not to have women back to their hotel rooms ffs.

          As the details came out – my main thought was WTF? If he’d come out the day after and said “I’m really sorry, I didn’t think, it was my sister in law and I hadn’t thought about the rules because she’s family,” then it would all have been over. Even if there was actually a five-way orgy going on. As it is, eight months later, and I didn’t look the details up, so my memory might have got fine details wrong, and I don’t remember who his roommate was off the top of my head, but I remember it pretty well I think.

          For that reason, no, AAC can’t chaperone the young uns.

  • Not a bad Wallabies squad but can’t agree with your comments vis-a-vis Cooper and Toomua. Cooper’s form admittedly dropped a bit at season’s end BUT Tommua never had any form to drop. If anything he was instrumental in the decline in form of the Rebels back-line.
    Selection of Nick White is 50/50. Does his form in the UK equate with Super Rugby? Wondering where he will play next year. He like many is a Brumbies Man but do they need him?

    • Brumby Runner

      That’s an interesting question. By the time Nic will be available, the Brumbies could conceivably be down to two No 9s on the roster; Joe Powell the (maybe) incumbent Wallaby bench No 9, and Ryan Lonergan, ex U20s No 9 from 2018 (I think). As far as I know, Matt Lucas was signed for one year only, so would potentially be at the end of his tenure as Nic comes on stream.

      The Tahs have also been mentioned as a likely home. By the end of 2020, the Tahs will have Gordon, who is pretty much at the same level as Joe Powell, and Mitch Short who is more experienced than Lonergan though with a probably lower ceiling in the long haul. But much of a muchness.

      The Reds look to be very well served for No 9s with McDermott, Sorovi and Tuttle.

      Looks like the Rebels will be most in need with both Genia and Ruru leaving this year. How long has Frank Lomani signed for? Goddard (?) also looks to have a bright future and is probably in front of both Lonergan and Short atm.

      Maybe either the Rebels on the basis of need, or the Brumbies if loyalty is a factor.

    • I think Cooper et al. and Toomua were there for different reasons. Cooper, Foley and Lilo were there competing for two spots as starting 10. Actually, while Cheika is still there, QC and Lilo were probably competing for one spot, but it should have been all three competing for 2 spots. IMO they made the wrong call, but that’s that.

      Toomua is not the squad in that role, at least I hope not. I think he’s there as a pine-warmer, as a utility back. He can cover 10, 12, 15 and at a push maybe 13 as an injury replacement. By putting him on at 15, you can shuffle to cover an injured wing too. 6-2 split, covered. He can probably cover 10 and 12 as a tactical substitution too, at a push.

      You might scream and froth at the thought but I think it’s not a bad selection for someone wearing a big number. The Rebels can’t afford to bring a big name back from Leicester and not play him really. But the Wallabies can pick a Rebels player as a replacement for sure. Even if it inspires him to piss off back up here quicker.

  • Andy

    I’d say I agree with 80% of the squad.

    Glad Hannigan and Phipps didn’t get picked. They simply never deserved to be there. No doubt the new selectors had some say in that this time.

    I think Cooper was unlucky as was McCaffery.

    I also think Robertson, Maddocks, Kepu and Toomua were luck to get a swag. AAC was as well but I’m not as fussed that he was included as I think he add something in D which we really lack. But again, I don’t think he’ll be near the 23.

    Never been a big fan of Simmons but he has been one of the better tahs this year and on form probably deserved it.

    And the hooker situation is a real mess. Not sure what the answer is here. Latu clearly lucky. Same as Uelese but for different reasons. Maybe Fitzpatrick is the real unlucky one here? His stats are pretty’s decent and he is a reliable option.

    • Huw Tindall

      I more up towards 90% Andy. Have to remember Coleman, Poey and Pete Samu are injured so weren’t in contention. Coleman may bump out Simmons (which I personally think would be wrong this year as Simmons played his best ever year while Coleman was outplayed by Phillip at the Rebels). Poey and Samu probably bump out Wright and Valentini. Both fair calls probably.

      Also, this is a 34 man squad and 31 go to RWC. We will lose one of the props (probably Robertson) and maybe one of the halfbacks (we took 2 to RWC15) and an outside back (Maddocks IMO).

      • Brumby Runner

        I’m also more in the 90% range too Huw.

        Interesting comment on Simmons form this year. I have to say that I don’t see it that way at all. IMO Holloway was the best performing lock at the Tahs this year and Rob did nothing more than he had done for years at the Reds. Like to see the views of a few Reds fans about Rob’s form this year. Otherwise, I think both of Matt Philip and Sam Carter had better form this year than Rob.

        But, the Brumbies showed against the Jaguares that a disrupted lineout can escalate into a poor performance across the board. So, as Simmons is regarded by the coaching staff as offering more in terms of lineout operations, I will reluctantly concede his spot in the squad.

      • Andy

        Fair call. Agree with all of that.

        Based on Cheikas comments it’s likely he will push for Coleman to get a swag regardless of form.

  • Mart

    No Sefa?

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@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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