Rookies aplenty in Wallaby Training Squad - Green and Gold Rugby
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Rookies aplenty in Wallaby Training Squad

Rookies aplenty in Wallaby Training Squad

Robbie Deans, and his selectors, have named a number of new faces in the 43 man Wallaby training squad in preparation for the Grand Slam tour later this year.  Perhaps the most notable rookie is scrumhalf Richard Kingi of the Queensland Reds who only last week signed an Academy contract with the QRU.

King

Kingi: LOVES his footy.

Other un-capped players are Kurtley Beale (flyhalf, Waratahs), Nick Cummins (wing, Force); Rob Horne  (Centre, Waratahs); Mitchell Chapman (backrow/lock, Brumbies); Ben McCalman (backrow/lock; unsigned); Dave Dennis (lock/backrow, Waratahs); Salesi Ma’afu (prop, Brumbies) and Damien Fitzpatrick (hooker, Waratahs).

The uncapped players are joined by returning Wallabies back in favour Digby Ione (outside back, Reds); Josh Valentine (scrumhalf, Brumbies); Stephen Hoiles (No 8, Brumbies); Matt Dunning (prop, Force); Sekope Kepu (prop, Waratahs).

The squad is:

James O’Connor (Western Force), Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs), Drew Mitchell (Western Force), Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds), Nick Cummins (Western Force), Peter Hynes (Queensland Reds), Ryan Cross (Western Force), Stirling Mortlock (Brumbies), Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), Matt Giteau (Western Force), Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds), Berrick Barnes (Queensland Reds), Josh Valentine (Western Force), Will Genia (Queensland Reds), Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs), Richard Kingi (Queensland Reds), Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs), George Smith (Brumbies), David Pocock (Western Force), Phil Waugh (NSW Waratahs), Stephen Hoiles (Brumbies), Matt Hodgson (Western Force), Rocky Elsom (Brumbies), Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs), Richard Brown (Western Force), Mitchell Chapman (Brumbies), Ben McCalman (Sydney University, unsigned), Mark Chisholm (Brumbies), James Horwill (Queensland Reds), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Dave Dennis (NSW Waratahs), Al Baxter (NSW Waratahs), Matt Dunning (NSW Waratahs), Pekahou Cowan (Western Force), Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs), Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs), Damien Fitzpatrick (NSW Waratahs), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs).

Greater analysis will follow, but one name not there that surprises me at least is Force signing Tim Fairbrother. The much mooted seelction of Greg Holmes failed to eventuate as well.

  • I think the selection of Damien Fitzpatrick is a great selection. He is a future Wallaby #2 and I will also say Captain – the leader we are looking for.

    Also think the selection of Ben McCalman is an excellent choice as his form for Uni has been outstanding.

    Three cheers for Deans who has selected some players based on their club form!

  • Epi

    Am I reading this right? 43 players and no Frank Fainifo.. WTF??

    • Grandmaster Flash

      see Frankie’s attmept at catching on Sunday?

      • Epi

        Nope – in Melbourne and didn’t get to see it.

        That bad huh?

    • James

      did you frankie set up that second try?
      awesome.
      he should be there.

      • Epi

        Glad someone agrees. Looked to me during the super 14 like he was just about the most dangerous winger in the Aus teams and he doesn’t get a run in a squad this large.

        I think it’s a joke to be honest.

        • James

          agreed epi. picking nick over him is a big joke in my mind.

  • Noddy

    And it SEEMS to be listed positionally, so Beale is listed with the fullbacks!

  • are we playing midweek games?

    if not surely the money spent on the 20 gys who dont get a run could have provided some aus a action closer to home!

    • Noddy

      This is only the training squad. Touring squad will be 35. Apparently there are 2 mid week games.

      • Robson

        From the published playing schedule the internationals are all exactly one week apart.

        Who are the two midweek games against?

        • Lance Free

          Gloucester was definitely one but I can’t really remember the other….was it the Ospreys?

          Disappointed that Will Caldwell and Tyrone Smith aren’t rated.

        • Newb

          i guess with AAC, stirlo, cross, digby and horne in the fold there isn’t room for another outside center type. and i’d say that’s definitely what he is at international level. i agree tough break though. maybe a good super14 season can get him in the mix, but he needs playing time more than anything.

        • Epi

          Cardiff Blues was the other one..

  • JR

    Seriously, can you guys do some investigative reporting and find out why Shep is so out of favour?

    • Mark

      I thought he was still injured. He hasn’t been playing any club footy. There is no way they would leave him out of a top 43.

      • James

        guy or cam?

  • Ozrugbynut

    Whoever Deans picks for the final touring squad, I hope he picks a side with more:

    size – particularly in the outside backs. We keep getting monstered in the breakdown because we don’t have solid ball carriers who make it across the advantage line.

    aggro – intensity at the breakdown and in your face aggression will help the side win the physochological battles and inspire the troops.

    workrate – We’ve suffered from poor workrate, particularly at the breakdown, resulting in very few turnovers to us and many against. Witness what occurred in Brisbane.

    • Brisbane was our best game!

      • Ozrugbynut

        that’s what i mean – what a turnaround!

  • Bobas

    no kimlin either.

  • Rocky Elboa

    My problem Mr Robbie is “Where are the specialist Locks” We all know that this has been a major issue for the Wallabys since Vickerman left (Vickerman should be making is debut in the Guinness Premiership for Northampton soon) but what if he get injured? Do we really leave Horwill, Sharp and Chisholm unchallenged as alternatives? Surely someone (Caldwell at least) deserve a chance to prove themselves in a squad environment

    • Fucking excellent point RE.

      It only seems to be Australian rugby who’s obsessed with non-specialist locks, which completely devalues the position’s vital skill-set.

      At the same time we all sit in awe of Matfield and Botha. Wtf.

      He might be a seaguller, but it’s not a coincidence that we haven’t seriously contested in the lineouts since Sharpe was crocked. Wellington was a joke.

    • Caldwell has been very unwell, got a fever on the Saffa trip at the end of S14 and is still down.

      • Lindommer

        But he’s getting better. Will’s over his stomach complaint and is back in Sydney; he recently started some physical work in preparation for 2010.

  • CanadianRugby

    DIG-BY! DIG-BY! DIG-BY!

  • Rob42

    There was some talk when the trial match was torpedoed that there would be an open training session instead – does anyone know any details?

  • Mark

    Fitzpatrick = the future

  • Aussie D

    Hoiles? Dunning? Baxter? These guys simply are not up to test standard so why pick them over and over again?

    Is Dan Palmer injured?

  • Mark

    Ok so possibles v probables has been axed. Does anyone know where and when these full contact opposed training sessions that they are replacing them with will be held?

    I wouldn’t mind getting down for a look if they are at Coogee oval or somewhere close.

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