Wallabies team to play the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup semi final
All Blacks

Teams named for RWC semi final

Teams named for RWC semi final

An unchanged starting 15 has been named as the Wallabies team to contest this Sunday’s semi final against the All Blacks, pending the fitness of Kurtley Beale.

Nathan Sharpe will remain stranded on 99 Tests for one more week, with Rob Simmons taking his spot on the bench.

Sekope Kepu1Tony Woodcock
Stephen Moore2Keven Mealamu
Ben Alexander3Owen Franks
Dan Vickerman4Brad Thorn
James Horwill (c)5Sam Whitelock
Rocky Elsom6Jerome Kaino
David Pocock7Richie McCaw (c)
Radike Samo8Kieran Read
Will Genia9Piri Weepu
Quade Cooper10Aaron Cruden
Digby Ioane11Richard Kahui
Pat McCabe12Ma'a Nonu
Adam Ashley-Cooper or Anthony Fainga’a13Conrad Smith
James O’Connor14Cory Jane
Kurtley Beale or Adam Ashley-Cooper15Israel Dagg
Tatafu Polota Nau16Andrew Hore
James Slipper17Ben Franks
Rob Simmons18Ali Williams
Ben McCalman19Victor Vito
Luke Burgess20Andy Ellis
Berrick Barnes21Stephen Donald
Anthony Fainga’a or Rob Horne22Sonny Bill Williams

Here’s a great pump-up video for this weekend’s clash put together by johnbristow in our forums.

  • jimmy

    No Sharpe, No Higgenbotham, No Barnes starting.

    Deans will cost us any chance of victory with these decisions.

    • misplaced canuck

      Been thinking, I can actually handle not having Sharpe in the line up. Think about it, when has he been that critical to us, a game breaker of a player that we could not go without. He hasn’t. He reliable, and harworking but is he a must? Not in my opinion.

      Higgenbotham I think is a bigger loss by not even being on the bench. We need his game type when we play the Blacks, he puts fear into them and causes them to always have one eye open on the horizon and not on the ball.

      Happy enough with Barnes on the bench. Would like to have seen him starting but time will tell…think Deans will bring him on if our game plan isnt working early enough. But then again Deans does love to beat a dead horse….

    • Chunderstruck

      All this anti-Deans shit before every game is pretty tiresome. You think this team is so catastrophically bad?

      Even if we lose, you have absolutely NO way of knowing that a team of your favourites would have won.

      You’re blaming the coach before we’ve even lost. Man up.

      • Mr Logic

        Mr Logic is particularly interested in Chunderstruck’s argumentum ad ignorantiam. Mr Logic suggests Chunderstruck consider the following equivalent proposition: Mr Logis suggests that Robbie Deans selects his 3 elderly aunts as the front row. After all, if we lose we never would have known how Kepu, Moore & Alexander would have fared anyhow.

    • matt

      Honestly what is all the fuss with Higginbotham. He has done nothing since he came on and made one break against a tired all blacks 2 months ago. He had his chance against SA and was useless, he had a nother chance against Russia and was even worse. He is a glory boy fairy floss rugby super xv show pony not suited to test match rugby anyway. Sharpe and Simmons are much of a muchness and Barnes, although he played well against USA and Russia, is that really all he needed to do to convince everyone he is the saviour of the wallabies? Deans can not ignore how inept he has been for the waratahs these past 2 seasons. He could play a role particularly as a drop goal exponent late in the game but he does not have the penetrative running or speed to contribute to 80min of football.

      • Mr Logic

        What’s all the fuss about McCalman then? i.e why does he keep getting selected?

        • marky mark

          mccalman can play all backrow positions and is a decent test player with a high work rate. the flack he got against ireland was completely unfair considering how much work he did.

  • BDA

    NO SHARPE!!!! Is Deans serious…I can handle the guy sitting on the bench for the first 40, but WTF does Simo offer that Sharpe doesn’t ?!?!

    After last weeks lineout debacle you’d think sense would prevail.

    • Wallabies Fan 2011

      Hold back guys and lets look at this from a non-emotional point of view. When Simmons was on the field as a run on or off the bench, our Lineout was superb as he was the caller. The last few games our lineout has been woeful with both Sharpe and Vickerman doing a very average job in that department.
      Our scrums were very solid through the trinations with him in there are as well. Where you couldn’t say they have been great in the W/C. Yes they are better around the park when we have the ball but unless you win your own and compete for other peoples lineouts and lose our own scrum thats a useless point. Either way Sharpe will play next week and get his 100 tests & so he should. But last week our Pack in the set piece was average at best.

      • Sandpit Fan

        If we get over the Kiwis this game, chances of Sharpie playing in the final would have to range from slim to SFA. Deans would make no unforced changes.

        3rd/4th playoff, different story.

        • Wallabies Fan 2011

          Sandpit very good point I guess I was thinking on the negative side, nerves will do that to a man.

      • Serious?

        Do not blame Sharpe or Vickerman for Wallaby lineout woes. James Horwill is the weakest lock in terms of lineout ability by a country mile, he has no agility, he is predictable and the relative weakness of the Wallaby lineout in 2011 when compared to 2010 can be directly attributable to his presence and lack of ability.

        Also – take a look where Horwill was when Morne Steyn took his drop kick at goal last weekend. Fart-arsing about on the ground next to the ruck pretending to be injured instead of applying pressure at the ruck or rush pressure on Steyn. I have been a long-time Nathan Sharpe critic, but on the balance of performances this year i’d have Sharpe starting ahead of Horwill at the drop of hat. Horwill has to be the most overrated, blow-arse of a rugby player at this tournament.

        • suckerforred

          Are you serious?

      • Behind Enemy Lines

        I don’t know which lineout you’ve been watching buy I totally disagree.

        • Serious?

          Deadly serious.

          A couple of months back I got scorned for suggesting Quade Cooper was more of a liability to this Wallaby team than an asset. An assertion that is now gaining more support from some on this forum. I view Horwill in this same mould. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest he is a tad burnt out after a long Super Rugby season and starting most games for the Wallabies since. But I cannot fathom this constant pumping of the tires of this guy who could best be described as mediocre. His EFFECTIVE work rate i.e. not how many tackles he makes, not how many rucks he hits, not how many carries he makes, but how effective he actually is at these is abysmal given his size and apparent stature in this Wallaby team. He should be ruling games just as O’Connel, Thorn and Matfield do on a regular basis, but he very rarely does.

          I have lost count the number of times I’ve seen him, in the middle of games, look up to the big screen, spy his mug and then act up accordingly akin to the likes of O’Connor, Cooper and Ioane. This sort of shit is an embarassment from any captain and epitomises what this young Wallaby team is all about – all show and no substance. And so I hope for the sake of Wallaby rugby and the state of the World game this Wallaby team gets shown up for what it is tonight and the captaincy of the Wallaby team is reassessed and handed to a man of more substance i.e. Genia or Pocock

  • Uncle Percy

    I cannot understand Sharpie’s absence (unless he is injured). It would have been his 100th game! He must feel pretty dark about missing out. Simmons has not played well against the AB’s this year – he seems a year or two away from having a real physical impact. Plus the AB’s definitely respect Sharpie. There’s always next week big fella

    • bill

      Simmons is better around the park. Sharpie can be a bit of a passenger and our lineout not improving when Sharpie came on last week is probably the kicker.

      Don’t understand McCalman before Higgers or McCabe being in there. That looked like a dislocation last game not a stinger. Against about the best centre left in the cup in Nonu. And once again no backup for Pocock.

      • murph

        17 tackles in 30 mins = passenger…apparently

        • ozabroad

          For all of dean’s wisdom, doe sanyone know of nz players whom he did not nurture and as a result lost to other provinces.

  • GoForGold

    Great little video. I know people will be down on selection issues but none of that really matters – this team can win. GO BOYS!!!!!

  • Skippy

    Whilst I would have selected Sharpe on the bench, and think Simmons is a year or two away from developing the physical side of his game – I must agree with Deans’ logic here. Sharpe, against all nations, struggles the most against the All Blacks. I’m not talking lineout here I’m talking ball carrying/bending the line. He does not get over the game line against NZ as well, or as easily as he does against other countries. Their tackling, swarming defence and dominance at the breakdown has always made it a tough day at the office for Sharpy against NZ. They find him slow and not dynamic. Simmons is no ball runner, and won’t be used as one. And therefore its a straight up case of Deans deciding Simmons youth and pace is more valuable in this game off the bench. (if used). Simmons is more than capable of performing in the lineout (Sharpe may be slightly better) but Simmons is fine.

    • Behind Enemy Lines

      Skippy I disagree about Sharpes form against the All Blacks. He was man of the match against them in the 2009 Bledisloe in Sydney and his form has only improved since then. Simmons played well for the reds this year but has looked a few years shy of being a solid Wallaby lock.

      If he isn’t being used as a ball runner what is he doing when he isn’t jumping in a lineout?

      He has made an average of 4 tackles per match in the RWC so far with Sharpe making an average of 14.3, so he won’t be tackling.

      So we’ve chosen a guy who doesn’t run as much, doesn’t tackle as much and who we concede is not as good in the lineout. Now you’ve got to ask yourself what he’s doing in the ruck that compensates for all those disadvantages.

      Sharpe gives us the ability to settle by taking the one off hit ups with quick recycled ball, he provides a better lineout organiser and makes a mountain of tackles. To deny him his 100th test cap at this stage based on that is laughable,

      • bill

        Sharpe gets isolated on those hitups a lot. Turns the ball over. Against a team that loves turnover ball.

        I am a bit surprised, thought he looked ok against SA. 100 test matches. Irrelevant.

        • Nipper

          Is getting isolated really his fault? It’s not like he’s running away from his support, or he’s out prancing on the wing getting isolated. He’s consistently hitting it up close-ish to the ruck, where there should be support.

          And did you see his defensive performance at the end of the last match? I can’t see Simmons replicating that effort, against any opponent. Something along the lines of 15 tackles in 20 minutes. Many of them behind the gain line. Got off the line quickly and smashed them before they even had a chance.

          The only advantage Simmons offers is better mobility – is that the type of game Deans is seeing this playing out as? A historical look at RWC knockout matches tells us that it will be a tight affair – a game where Sharpe would offer much more than Simmons.

          Mind boggling…

        • bill

          I have seen Simmons replicate that effort, Nsw Reds second game this year. And in other games as well. I did think Sharpie looked ok last week, while Vicks has looked a bit flat lately.

  • robbie

    Simmons over Sharpe is absolutly mind bogling

  • andyq

    If Pat McCabe puts in another effort like he did last week I will dead set offer the guy my shoulder.

    Haven’t been a fan of his before that, but jeez have i changed my tune.

    I just hope that Simmons and Ant will transform opinion in the same way. And Horne if it comes to that.

    I’m so very nervous about this.

    But i bet the AB’s are too….

    Go the Wobblies

    • The Rant

      Nervous doesn’t begin to decribe it. It will seriously ruin my year if we dont turn up.

  • Caesar

    Would have loved to see Barnes at fullback- with Kurtley injured, would give us a backline very similiar in style to the one used by the Reds, with Barnes defending in the frontline, and able to come in to take the pressure off Cooper if he struggles. It would have been risky, but it’s a golden opportunity wasted to have Barnes skill set (which we desperately need) for the full 80.

    • Swat

      Surely you would be better having barnes at 10 and quade at fb…..

      That said, my question is if Rob Horne is fit enough to be on the bench why isn’t he the starting OC? He offers a lot more in attack and is equal or better on defence than any of our other options.

      • Caesar

        I just think Quade gives us so much more in attack, plus he’s been there all year, and throw in his combination with Genia. Plus, Barnes played there when he cam back from his concussion and supposedly loved it.
        But if Quade’s off, than having Barnes on the field is pretty good insurance.

  • Dogman

    On the eve of a World Cup Semi Final, I would MUCH rather be a Wallaby than an All Black! And the same goes for supporting them. This is when our boys become men, and proud wearers of Gold.

  • Scarfman

    Another week, another bizarre decision.

    • Red Kev

      Couldn’t agree more.
      I’ve given up on making sense of Deans’ selections.
      Bye Bye Bill.

      • Mark

        Deans will be devastated to know you’ve given up on him!! People have questioned his selections for months but at the end of the day we’ve just beaten SA and are playing in a WC SF, maybe he knows a little more than we do. Seems a bit pessimistic to be sulking, giving up and saying goodbye to the tournament because the bloke who has just won us the tri nations and gotten us through to the semis has different ideas on the bench make up to what you can ascertain watching form the couch at home. Lighten up a little bit, we’re looking ok here! Turn that frown upside down!

        • Brax

          Exactly Mark! I bet the same blokes whinged about last weeks team before the game to. Pull your heads in you mugs & get behind your team!

        • murph

          We were shit and lucky to get away with last week. If it weren’t for an inept performance by the Boks we would have been going home with the worst RWC performance ever. The Kiwis would have put 50 on us last week

          We can’t get fully behind the side because it isn’t the best at Australia’s disposal.

        • murph

          How much do you want to fuck Deans then Mark? Cunt

      • matt

        Red Kev as ever you are angry. You are angry because you are confused. You are confused because you know very little about rugby. Deans knows exactly what he’s doing and this will be shown when we destroy the AB’s

        • Garry

          and when we don’t, can he leave his gun and badge on the tableon the way out?

        • murph

          Grow up Matty boy. I know quite a few people who coach rugby and week in week out they shake their heads about Deans.

        • Red Kev

          Don’t worry about Matt, he thinks he knows everything, he bangs on the Fox Sports forums continually.
          The only surprising thing about his post is that it makes a mockery of his tightly held belief that A.Fainga’a is the most useless player in the Wallaby squad. Quite how he equates that to “Deans knows exactly what he’s doing” I’ll never know.
          And just for the record, I’m sure I know as much about rugby as the next punter (which is all this site is).

        • murph

          What’s your credentials, you monumental wanker?

        • Footy44

          Deans is replicating exactly what he did in tri nations – sharpie in against SA then Simmons back in against AB’s. We won both then.

          But c’mon both are good players so I think the difference between them is not going to win or lose us the match.

          Re higgers would love to see him get more of a go but I think deans see rocky as an 80 minute player so why have a specialist back up for him.

  • Thadeus Beaumont

    Just a thought…QC is a KIWI and therefore he carries the choking gene. Is this what happened last week against the SA ???

  • Matt NT

    Awesome Vid!

    Australia! F@#k Yeah!!!!

  • stinger

    All will be revealed Sunday. Have faith people, have faith!


  • Cantab

    No barnes in the starting line up, no shape on the bench, sounds like an inside Job.

  • joshbristow

    Wow, thanks for sharing my vid! Glad people are enjoying it :)

    • Lance Free

      Good work Joshbristow/Johnbristow…..

  • ozabroad

    So fucking nervous =. I’d give my left nut for the wallabies to win.

    • Lance Free

      Left nut? You mean both nuts don’t you son?????

      • ozabroad

        Only if I can have Pococks child

      • ozabroad

        Only if I can have Pococks baby

  • JJM

    It us hard to fathom a lot of Deans’ decisions…for a 50 50 call like Simmons v sharpe, surely 100 tests experience is what we need in the last 20 of a world cup!!! Simmons will have his time, but it shouldn’t be this weekend…. I have lost faith in Deans..,, but will be supporting our boys to the end…fuckin nervous, but think we are due to click… 1991, 2003 and now 2011 our time to knock off the blacks!

  • Pedro

    If you start Barnes who would you play if he’s injured? With our current squad you need a replacement 10 on the bench, because Barnes plays more positions he is the obvious option. I would also rather start with quade and have a fresh Barnes on the bench to close things out, a roll that would not suit Brain explosion prone players.

  • fetch

    I am dead set worried about Fainaga.The way he threw ball over side line few weeks back…That visual hasnt left my mind.Am worried about SBW ..loves the big stage..he could be huge.Im worried about TPN throws, Im worried by climate change, Im worried about Jourbert.

    First 15 minutes..Samo clearing ball from scrum..just grab it and run son.


    Fhark Im pumped…lol..this is ridiculous..GOOD vIDEO ….LOVE THIS SITE !!!

  • Footy44

    A couple 50/50 selections but nothing there to write off the wallabies before they even kick-off.

    I am more worried they think they are a bunch of tough nuts after last weekends win and they come out complacent like they seem to every 2nd or 3rd match.

    • ozabroad

      Your right there . They can’t think theyll be able to work their way into the game. Fucking everything from the kickoff is needed. I’d love to see a large man with headphones and a walkie talkie, down on the side line.

  • J-Rugby

    Complacency is definitely an issue with the wallabies, as to the ability to string together a few solid performances… maybe it is time they came of age.

    The Sharpie and Simmons selection is a bit odd but that is the nature of the best i.e. Deans…. could there be a method to the madness (?Injury ?Speed).

    A LOT will come down to what ‘game plan’ they have on the day and how well Genia/Cooper execute it!

  • ozabroad

    What would the wallabies do if they played without fear

  • mark conley

    On that line-up IMO the All-Blacks are superior in positions; 1,3,6,8,12,16,17,19,and 22 wheras IMO the WB’s are superior maybe 10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Darkhorse

    That’s the video Nine should be using for advertising. Bloody great effort!

  • campo81

    I despair. Pray that Kurtley is fit.We need to score tries to win this.With that centre combination we will not score tries.Pressure will be piled on Quade to pull out the miracle play and he will cop all the flak on Monday.
    If McCabe must be persisted with play him at Fullback,his correct position. His shoulder will not last the game at inside centre .

  • matt

    If beale is injured wouldn’t Barnes at 10 and cooper at 15 be ourbest option. If we push AAC to fullback and play Fiangaa and Mccabe together we have a completely un-balnced backline with both centres being defensive players. If AAC must play 15, perhaps Horne should go straight into 13?

  • tc63

    OK – fanitical wallaby – love my rugby.
    cannot believe that Sharpe is left out given hi amazing 17 tackles in 30 minutes performance last week.

    Field position is going to win the game and that is why Berrick Barnes is a must.

    Two errors in my view.

    Last thought – we should be taking every opportunity to take drop goals. Joubert wont give the penalties and both defences are very strong. Oh – another good reason for Barnes.

  • maxlord

    The wallabies need to apply pressure with the rush defence and accurate kicking, then the ABs insecurity will do the rest. There will never be a more under pressure, and vulnerable, ABs than this one without Dan Carter. Cooper must, at minimum, kick as well as he did in Brisbane. Horne is the genuine 13 in this team and should be starting if Beale is out, but this would be a tough call and can be forgiven. Quite simply the truth is that, given the brisbane win and the injury to Carter, the wallabies are ahead here and must make the most of the opportunity by putting the ABs away.

  • GB

    KB out boys, Ant in & Horne on the bench according to Fox.
    Still dirty there is no sharpy or higgers. Bad juju but at least we saw some mongrel last week.
    Stick it to em lads & lets pump kiwi butt for the full 80.

  • Caesar

    The problem with Deans is he’s great at building players skill and establishing team culture, but lacking tactically and with selection. You can get away with that in provincial rugby, but not so much in Test rugby.
    Good luck though- I’m bloody excited!!

  • J-Rugby

    I would rather the Wallabies lose playing exciting running rugby then play like the French or Welsh did tonight…

All Blacks

Moses spends far too long on G&GR, dealing with the totality of the strength and conditioning, the medical, the rugby side of things, strategy, the review, preview of the internet itself and also the individuals. A Waratahs apologist and rib-eye steak enthusiast, he is often found working behind the scenes keeping the G&GR juggernaut afloat.

More in All Blacks