With all Australian Super Rugby sides, bar the Waratahs, now knocked out of the competition and with the first Bledisloe Cup still a few weeks away, Rugby Australia has announced that a full-contact trial will be played as part of the Wallaby’s preparations.
The match will take place at Leichardt Oval next Friday (3 August) night from 6:45pm. The match will be free of charge and will also be live streamed at rugby.com.au
No Waratahs will be considered for the match, regardless of the outcome of their Super Rugby Semi Final this weekend. Instead the teams will be a “Michael Cheika Select” outfit up against a best of Super Rugby squad. The Super Rugby squad will be c0-coached by Australian 7s coaches John Manenti and Tim Walsh with further support by Kevin Foote of the Rebels.
While the match will be full contact, the intent of the game is more than just ensuring the players remember how to tackle and be tackled.
“It’s not just about the contact, because you can get all that in training. But just the little things. The pressure in front of a crowd, the referee telling you what to do, the dressing room build up, all those things. The mental side of footy,” Cheika said.
In other positive news, there will be no TMO for the match!! And while the match will be free, a gold coin donation for the Australian Rugby Foundation is encouraged with all proceeds going to grassroots rugby.
Possible teams for the match could be:
Michael Cheika XV:
15 Tom Banks, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Will Genia, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 David Pocock, 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandaon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Scott Sio
Super Rugby XV:
15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Mack Mason, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Matt Phillip, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Harry Hockings, 3 Allan Alaalotoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Tetera Faulkner