For weeks we’ve had an idea of just how tasty this Barbarians outfit was looking. What we’d hoped was that it would be high performing shell of a Wallabies team with a few wild cards in to spice things up that they’d be playing. With the Australia team announced today though, the team selection policy looks closer to “whoever’s left”.
At the bottom are the teams head to head. I’ve put the names in bold of who in those match ups I reckon will have the edge in terms of quality and form (no bold means equal). While there’s a fair bit of promise in the Wallaby line up, there’s a heap of experience in the BaaBaas. By my reckoning, in the run on 15 there are only two names that shade it for Australia and to many they’d be arguable.
On the up side I look forward to seeing some of the bright stars of the future like O’Connor and Cooper face a real test and show their stuff. On the down side this may never have a chance of happening if the scrum takes a mauling at the hands of Pucciarello (plays for Munster & Italy), Smit and Johnson (who got the better of Sheridan).
I’m looking forward to being at a great game tomorrow night, but I fear it’s going to be a tough lesson for a young Wallaby team.
15. James O’Connor vs Percy Montgomery (RSA)
14. Lote Tuqiri vs Bryan Habana (RSA)
13. Ryan Cross vs Rico Gear (NZ)
12. Adam Ashley-Cooper vs Jean De Villiers (RSA)
11. Digby Ioane vs Joe Rokocoko (NZ)
10. Quade Cooper vs Francois Steyn (RSA)
9. Brett Sheehan vs Fourie DuPreez (RSA)
8. Richard Brown vs Jerry Collins (NZ)
7. George Smith (Captain) vs Richie McCaw (NZ)
6. Dean Mumm vs Schalk Burger (RSA)
5. Hugh McMeniman vs Johann Muller (RSA)
4. Mark Chisholm vs Bakkies ‘Baby Eater’ Botha (RSA)
3. Matt Dunning vs Federico Pucciarello (ITA)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau vs John Smit Captain (RSA)
1. Sekope Kepu vs Census Johnson (Samoa)
Run on reserves:
16. Adam Freier vs Mark Regan (Pom)
17. Ben Alexander vs Rodney Blake (Aus)
18. Peter Kimlin vs Chris Jack (NZ)
19. David Pocock vs Nick Koster (Western Province)
20. Luke Burgess vs George Gregan (Aus)
21. Lachie Turner vs Ollie Smith (Eng)
22. Drew Mitchell vs Shane Williams (Wales)