Wallabies Squad for 1st 2017 Bledisloe - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallabies Squad for 1st 2017 Bledisloe

Wallabies Squad for 1st 2017 Bledisloe

The big M. Checks has picked the squad for the 1st Wallabies squad, and he has a pocket full of bolters.

There are 7 uncapped players in the squad of 34. While capped, Jack Dempsey, Tetera Faulkner, Ned Hanigan, and Joe Powell only have 10 caps between them, a further sign of this squad’s youth.

2 of those uncapped are former leaguies – Curtis Rona and Marika Koroibete – while the biggest bolter of them all is surely Jordan Uelese, with the Rebels young’un seemingly being the third-choice hooker.

Adam Korczyk, Izack Rodda, Izaia Perese and Billy Meakes are the other 4 debutants in the squad.

As announced earlier this week, Michael Hooper is the new permanent Wallabies captain. Old captain Stephen Moore makes the squad, and it’ll be interesting to see if he or TPN – or maybe even Uelese – is given the 2 or 16.

Bernard Foley and Will Genia have been named as vice-captains.

Meanwhile, Japan-bound Sean McMahon has made the cut.

rugby.com.au has helpfully also compiled a list of those cut and/or injured, who were in the Wallabies camp or may have made the Wallabies camp.

Cut: Jermaine Ainsley, Sam Carter, Pek Cowan, Sef Faagase, Richard Hardwick, Campbell Magnay, Taniela Tupou

Injured: Kyle Godwin (knee), Karmichael Hunt (ankle), Tolu Latu (neck), Eto Nabuli (knee), James Slipper (achilles), Lukhan Tui (knee), Sefa Naivalu (ankle), Jake Gordon (ankle)

Forwards:
Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Kane Douglas, Tetera Faulkner, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Sekope Kepu, Adam Korczyk*, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda*, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Lopeti Timani, Jordan Uelese*

Backs:
Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley (vc), Will Genia (vc), Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete*, Tevita Kuridrani, Billy Meakes*, Izaia Perese*, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona*, Henry Speight.

Players per club: Brumbies, 6; Force, 6; Rebels, 5; Reds, 7; Waratahs,8; Other (Beale, Genia), 2.

  • Adrian

    Shame about Naivalu and Latu being injured.

    At least Izack Rodda is in. It’s now theoretically possible to have 3 locks in game day squad that have a bit of physical presence.

    How the backrower stack up is interesting, but I hope Timani is there with Hooper, but I’m not sure about the 6….

    • McWarren

      Do you think Rodda will get a bench spot? I think he has potential but I put him in the same category as Hanigan, Dempsey and Korczyk, just not ready yet and none of them have shown the form that warrants a meteoric rise to Wallaby starter ( I know Hanigan is capped but I just don’t think he is yet physical enough hold any right to the 6 spot).

      • Adrian

        From the very, very little I’ve seen of Rodda, he seems physical, and can jump.

        I think that we should challenge NZ physically in the first test. We have no hope any other way, but if we challenge physically, we just MIGHT get them on an off day, and our backs can capitalise on that.

        If Rodda isn’t that physical, I’d have Douglas, …much as I have trouble saying this. Putty Lukhan Tui’s injured

      • Brumby Runner

        I’d rate Rodda as being closer to ready to play test rugby than any of Hanigan, Dempsey or Korczyk.

  • jamie

    Tahs, the most miserable team in the Australian conference, with the most players. Truly fascinating. How Phipps and Robertson are there truly defies my knowledge, and Hanigan is nowhere near there yet. He was a good NRC player last season and didn’t exactly stand out in Super Rugby…

    • JimmyC

      Who do you suggest replaces them? Its not like the guys left out have been bashing down the door.

      • Brumby Runner

        Come off it JC. Robertson had a very poor second half to the Super season after failing to impress in the test series. He was a shadow of his 2016 self. A LHP from the Force or even Ben Alexander on his form this year would be expected to outperform him in the RC. Phipps was dropped from the Tahs, one of the least performing of all Super teams, and battled to get back into the sqiad at the end of the season. He is so far out of form that there are at least 3 or 4 other No 9s who could have, and possibly should have been selected before him, incl Gordon, Lucas and Ruru with Louwrens to overtake them all as he returns to fitness. The only substantiating aspect to their selections is the light blue jersey they wear.

        • JimmyC

          I disagree about Phipps. His last couple of games were real good. Also you might want to brush up on current events because Gordon is injured, Louwrens is injured, Ruru is a Kiwi and Lucas struggled to get time at the tahs.

          Robinson hasn’t been flash and neither has Hannigan however the alternatives are great. If it is line ball I’d prefer they go with a you bloke rather than an old bloke.

        • Adrian

          Excellent comment Jimmy.

          I’ve made the same comment about Phipp’s recent form here today.

          People with selective memories remember a few bad games in 15,16, but forget the good ones.

        • McWarren

          Or people with selective memories remember the few good games and forget the dozens of bad ones. He’s too inconsistent Adrian and only seems to perform from the bench when he’s been dropped.

        • McWarren

          Young bloke to replace Hanigan = Hardwick? Simple. I think Hanigan will develop, but in this years form Hardwick should be in ahead of him, Dempsey and probably Korczyk. Phipps has a habit of lifting his game only after being dropped, he lacks consistency in performance and a reliable pass = Tuttle is in better form and are you sure Ruru isn’t eligible? And Robertson needs to be dropped, he needs to learn there are repercussions for his drop in form.

        • JimmyC

          Hardwick isn’t a 6. Simple.

        • McWarren

          You better tell him and his coach.

        • JimmyC

          Well telling him or his coach isn’t going to make him any bigger/taller or the swing six/lock in the team. He is the same size as hooper.

        • McWarren

          Alright look at it this way, Dempsey, Hanigan, McMahon, Korczyk are all variants of 6 and 8. And although Hardwick has spent plenty of game time at 6 and 8 and plays very much in the mould of McMahon I tend to also think his best position is 7. So in my opinion he should be still in the squad as a 7 to cover Hooper. Why have 4 players, 5 if you count Simmons to cover one position and only one open side? Add to that the fact Hanigan and Dempsey have not been in form in SR or the Jones ne tests. Cheika seems to love utility and Hardwick can play all 3 back row positions.

        • JimmyC

          Clearly Cheika thinks that McMahon, Dempsey or Korczyk can cover Hooper if he went down during a match. Again you are trying to make an arguement with me about something else. I made the point earlier that Hardwick probably missed out because of Dempsey or Korczyknot Hannigan

        • Brumby Runner

          That is probably right, but then RHP would have missed out to Hanigan, and I’d rather see both RHP and Hardwick in the squad to cover 6 and 7, than Hanigan and Dempsey.

        • JimmyC

          Agreed but getting back to my original point I don’t think that they would be at home kicking stones thinking they should be in the team because there super forms was so good.

        • first time long time

          Aren’t they just numbers that don’t really matter?

        • JimmyC

          Generally I agree but with the suggestion that Hooper and McMahon are the starting backrowers we need a strong lineout option. Hence why I said earlier I wish Higgers had a better season because he is dominate in the lineout.

        • Who?

          That’s ok. Hooper is. Hardwick on the field wearing 6 but playing 7 with Hooper playing 6 but wearing 7 is the same as Hooper playing 6 and wearing 7, Pocock playing 7 but wearing 8, and Timani playing 8 but wearing 6.
          Someone needs to tell Cheika was jerseys are actually meant to say to the fans… To clarify, Hooper plays more like a 6 than a 7. That’s not intended to disparage the current Wallaby captain (though I’ve no compunctions about that), it’s an attempt to clarify what he does. A traditional Aussie 7 is a breakdown pest and a ruck monster, not a ball runner. A ball running and tackling machine is what we normally play in 6… Which is exactly what Hooper does well – he runs, and he tackles and tackles.

        • JimmyC

          Who, it was more a comment in relation to lineout ability and me expecting that Hooper and McMahon will start. We need a third jumper

        • Who?

          McMahon shouldn’t start. If we’re starting players with overseas contracts, then the form backrower is (the much maligned by Cheika) Scott Fardy. If Fards is purely not there because he won’t make Japan 19, rather than he’s heading overseas, then Skelton should be there (along with McMahon – Skelton did improve a lot this year, absolutely ragdolled Retallick, his time at Sarries was excellent, and he should be there over Douglas). But he’s not. So why is McMahon there, and why should he start? He and Hooper are the same style of player – love to run the ball, will counter ruck (McMahon more effectively than Hooper), both are short for forwards. It doesn’t provide the breakdown balance of the Pooper (though obviously that upset the lineout). I don’t believe McMahon and Hooper should be starting together.
          On seasonal form – before Cheika took Higgers to Wallaby camp and he went home to the Reds injured – then Higgers should been the six in the June Tests (Hanigan is light weight and was ineffective – if he was ineffective in June, what’s he gonna be in August?! Is he the new Mumm?), and if fit, the incumbent 8 (Timani) should’ve been selected (as he’s not moving overseas). If not fit/suspended, then we needed to find more than just one other player, and he should’ve been a tighter player. Asking Higgers to do all the tight work wasn’t the solution. Higgers is a tighter version of Hooper, Hanigan’s a taller/lighter/less effective version of both. He needs a few years and 10-15kg.

        • Brumby Runner

          According to Wikipedia, Ruru played for the Spirit in 2014. If he has been domiciled in WA ever since (and I don’t know if he has), then he would now be eligible for Wallaby selection. Anyone got the facts?

        • JimmyC

          Not sure but I thought Tongan Thor, ainsley and Ruru were all ineligible.

        • Who?

          Pretty sure Ainsley’s been over here long enough that he’s now eligible. Taniela’s eligible this spring. Ruru, I’m not sure…

      • jamie

        You don’t think Ruru, Cowan and Hardwick are better selections? Hanigan isn’t even a backrower…

        • JimmyC

          as noted above Ruru is a kiwi and no I don’t think he is better than Phipps. Cowan played well at the back end and had a great last game so that selection wouldn’t worry me. Hardwick has been ok but he isn’t going to play six or swing into the row if there is an injury or yellow card so I think Korczyk has been picked over Hardwick.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Ruru is eligible I am fairly certain. And yes, he is 100 times better than Phipps, Ruru has been the best halfback in Aus since Louwrens’ injury, and Phipps hasn’t even been a consistent starter for the Waratahs (Gordon has been far better) and he has been pathetic for the Wallabies for the past two years.

          Clearly you haven’t been watching the Force.

        • JimmyC

          You can’t say he hasn’t been a consistent starter so he shouldn’t get in all the while saying RHP and Alexander should be in the team. Phipps started more games than Ruru this year.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Ruru didn’t start because Australia’s best halfback, Ryan Louwrens, started ahead of him. Tom Banks spent most of the season behind Toua and, god, wasn’t Banks an improvement when he started starting too?

          RHP has performed consistently, Phipps has not.

          No loosehead is standing up particularly (unlike halfbacks, where we have a lot of relative quality). Alexander is starting behind Australia’s best loosehead, and also has been part of Australia’s most dominant scrum, and has been excellent scrummaging this year, and has always been excellent around the park.

        • JimmyC

          Louwrens got injured After 5 games. He was playing well but I am certainly not going to anoint him “Australias Best Halfback” as you have.

          Agree Banks had a good season and if the brumbies didn’t make the finals I think he would have been in camp for the first week.

          Phipps wasn’t playing at his highest level and Jake Gordon beat him out with some impressive efforts from the bench. Phipps pushed through regained the starters position and played well.

          Getting back to my original point I don’t think that anyone has played amazingly well and been left out. Cheika has picked younger guys and guys whom have been in his programs before if the form call has been tight.

        • Adrian

          See comment above.
          Phipps was outstanding in last 3 matches this year, before ankle injury.

          Just saying the same thing repeatedly, doesn’t make it true

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          “Phipps was outstanding in last 3 matches this year, before ankle injury.”

          No he wasn’t, and even if he was, he has been rubbish for two years, and appalling at international level since the RWC.

          Just saying the same thing repeatedly, doesn’t make it true, Adrian.

        • Adrian
        • jamie

          Ruru would be eligible by now if he wished to play for Aus.

          Not that I could see why someone would want to, but still.

      • idiot savant

        Yeah Higginbotham has been crap all season. And the Force and Brumby props have been crap too.

        Phipps I would keep. I still think he could be a key to unlocking the backs.

        • Adrian

          Phipps form in his last 3 matches this year before injury was outstanding.

          Critics should check this out before shouting..

        • idiot savant

          I agree. Ive always been a Phipps fan. Sure he throws some bad passes but its through rushing because he clears the ball faster than any other Australian half back. It was the key to the Tahs premiership and frankly Ive always been surprised Cheka dropped the quick ball approach when he took over the Wallabies. Genia has some very good qualities but in terms of a game plan, if you want quick ball for the first 60 minutes he’s not the man.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Unfortunately for Phipps he is just not up to it at international level. He is far too erratic and too inaccurate in his pass. I think he has conceded us a try through unforced errors in 3 of the last 4 Tests against England.

          His pass is less accurate than Gordon’s, Powell’s and definitely Ruru’s. His decision making is worse than all of the above.

          The last really good game Phipps played in gold was coming on in Bled 1 last year onto the wing, where he didn’t have to make decisions and could just run and tackle hard.

          Unfortunately, he has neither the accuracy or level head for an international 9. We can’t accept someone who concedes to many tries from nothing.

        • idiot savant

          While Genia on the other hand played no part in the recent Scottish victory? All half backs make mistakes. Its arguably the hardest and most exhausting position to play on a rugby field.

          I think Phipps perhaps didn’t mature as quickly as we would all have liked. And I think he’d be a better player if he moved to another franchise and got away from the smart arse, self satisfied Sydney Tahs vibe.

          But I still think he has a potential he hasn’t reached that could be very good for the team.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          So Genia played a single terrible match out of, how many now, about 80? Phipps plays an awful match more often than he plays a really good one.

          Phipps was at his best between about 2012-14, he has been hugely on the decline since, and his form dropped even further in 2017.

          I love Phipps’ attitude and work-rate. If the rest of the team played with his intensity then the Wallabies would do better, but I just don’t think we can select an international halfback who is both erratic and prone to cataclysmic unforced errors, and who has a shockingly inaccurate, albeit fast, pass.

        • idiot savant

          You’re a hard man Mr Braithwaite. Btw Genia has played a lot of ordinary games where he has given slow service, particularly for the Reds. And I have the utmost respect for him. He’s clearly the best halfback wev’e had since Gregan (who also got too slow in the second half of his career).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Agree that Genia has played a lot of poor games for the Reds, but he also has a lot more standout performances than Phipps (and he was named Wallabies’ played on the year on GAGR last year, and I think performed similarly in a lot of lists).

          His service is generally more accurate and he makes fewer cataclysmic errors than Phipps. I would have Phipps below Powell, Gordon and Ruru (who is the form Aussie halfback and yet is somehow overlooked despite, I think, being eligible).

          I’d have Louwrens over any of them, but he is injured, so you make do.

        • Jack Mallick

          Louwrens is saffa and Ruru is kiwi. You’d have to check both they’re eligibility, but pretty certain Ruru hasn’t been in Aus long enough.

          Gordon is injured

        • Adrian

          Check Phipps’s last 3 games this season before ankle injury before you shout too loud

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          As I said, he can have blinders at Super level, but he is too erratic and his pass is too inaccurate and he has demonstrated time and time again that he doesn’t have the head for international rugby (unforced errors leading to tries in 3 of the last 4 matches vs England, the pushing incident against the Argentine water boy, Fekitoa’s shoe).

          He is 52 Tests and 6 years into his international career and his pass is still inaccurate and wild. His form has regressed since 2012-14.

          If he hasn’t been able to improve his head and pass by now, is he really going to be the option going forward? He’s lucky to be the 5th or 6th best halfback in Australia.

          Also disagree he was fantastic before injury. I would say he was decent at best. Ruru or Powell wouldn’t have been praised for putting in performacnes like his, it is just such a contrast to most of his matches.

        • Who?

          To be fair to Genia, he was left on the field for the full 80 in the middle of a series of training sessions that would’ve been flogging him (given he’s come not from a Super team, but from France, where players aren’t necessarily known for maintaining aerobic fitness).
          Cheika must take some of the blame for not giving Powell minutes. And the fact that Powell’s got less than 20 minutes of Test Rugby makes me sadly confident that Phipps will be on the bench for at least Bledisloe 1.

        • Adrian

          Yes, it’s a real shame that Cheika dropped the quick ball tactic. I think it’s Cheika’s main strength.

          Match against Wales showed signs of it though, and Phipps was at 9

        • McWarren

          Adrian you keep repeating this over and over, and it’s still not true. He was very poor in the last game. Both he and Hooper had no idea how to lift there team or change tactics.

        • Adrian
        • JimmyC

          I didn’t say that. I don’t think Higgers forms was spectacular. I would have liked to see him play 6 with McMahon at 8. Higgers is the best lineout jumper in Australian rugby.

          The brumbies have two props in the team. Surely you are not wanting Alexander or Les Makin or that kiwi bloke. In terms of the force ainsley is a kiwi, Daley no chance, Vui too young and Pek Cowan maybe.

        • idiot savant

          Higgers made more tackles than Hooper against Fiji and played 20 minutes less. He also hit more rucks. He was no worse against Scotland than any of the others because they had all been flogged all week and were all slow. Tellingly, Higgers was not on the field in the last 20 minutes of either game when the opposition pack ran over the top of us. There is no back rower in Australia who can draw several defenders and offload like Higginbotham. He is respected by his fellow players and by kiwi players. Lets be honest here, Higginbotham has been dropped for reasons other than form. But I agree with you on one thing, he would be a good 6. Which is not say I don’t like Hanigan. I do. I just think he has been brought in to the Wallabies too soon.

          Robertson on the other hand has struggled at scrum time this season. I like his work rate around the park. Yes id take Cowan, Ainsley (whose qualified) or Daley (who’s injured) before him.

        • JimmyC

          You are a hooper basher. I won’t engage with you any longer because you have just shown you complete utter lack of knowledge for the game.

        • idiot savant

          Oh Dear. I wasn’t bashing Hooper at all. I was merely comparing Higginbotham’s performance to the standout forward performance benchmark! Which is Hooper. Its a complement if anything…

        • McWarren

          That’s the best uppity dummy spit I’ve seen in a long time. I imagine Mr Savant is really upset now.

        • JimmyC

          Guess you’re one too.

        • first time long time

          “Hooper basher” Come on Jimmy let’s not spoil rational discussion with that old chestnut.
          It was a point about how much work Higgers got through not how little the players who’s name cannot be mentioned negatively got through.

        • JimmyC

          I like Higgers and have noted that many times in the comments above. He played well at the beginning of the Super Rugby season and deserved to be in the mix in June. I think he played better in test 1 v Fiji than test 2 v Scotland but that could be said for many. His second half to the season wasn’t as good. I get angry when people constantly bag Hooper. I think they must watch a completely different game to me.

        • Who?

          It’s quite possible to watch exactly the same game but have different KPI’s. I have VERY different KPI’s for a few positions than Cheika… For instance, I like pace on the wings, or at least in the back three. Whereas Cheika’s consistently picked a backline (until this year) that has contained converted slow centres… Because Cheika rates line defence as more important for them than finishing ability, which is somewhat understandable given his inside backs can’t figure out how to get the ball out to the wings (from memory, the only time we scored a “wingers’ try” – i.e. last back against the sideline – at the RWC was Giteau against England, after he got smashed. Otherwise, the ball generally didn’t get past Giteau…). But then, I have different KPI’s for my playmakers… And defensive coaches.

        • Mica

          Agree with everything except taking Daley.

        • Bakkies

          ‘He is respected by his fellow players and by kiwi players. ‘

          I don’t know about that after kneeing and head butting McCaw in the head?

        • McWarren

          I respected him for that.

        • idiot savant

          I think a lot of kiwis who didn’t play for Canterbury or the Crusaders might have liked to do the same. Its a fine line, but that was intended to show that McCaw wasn’t sacred. And to try and get under his skin. Importantly, Higginbotham’s actions did not have the brutal intent of Richard Loe’s nose breaking of Carozza for example. They were more ceremonial. It was observed at the time how little real violence was involved. Its the kind of thing Cheka loves incidentally. And if I recall correctly Higginbotham did that in a game where the Wallabies drew against the All Blacks. Imagine that? Yes they respect him for that because it had an impact on the game. And if my ears weren’t deceiving me I think I heard the kiwis Fox commentators saying how they respect Higginbotham in games played this season.

        • Patrick

          Like McCaw at higher speed against Parra in the RWC final? FFS I bet McCaw got over that a lot faster than you did.

        • McWarren

          Sorry, ‘Ainsley is a Kiwi’? He may well be, but he was just released from the extended Wallaby squad which suggests he is eligible, no?

        • JimmyC

          What about Tongan Thor? He isn’t eligible.

        • McWarren

          Isn’t he? Are you sure?

        • JimmyC

          Yes. I am sure and he is not

        • McWarren

          Okay, so what difference does that to your comment about Ainsley?

        • JimmyC

          I’m not sure he is eligible.

        • Mica

          Phipps the key to unlocking the backs. Really? How’s he going to do this? By passing to a forward that goes behind him and need a back to clean up. Phipps best performances for the Wallabies have been on the wing. Wouldn’t have him anywhere near 9.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Okay, Jimmy, this ought to be an easy challenge.

        – Robertson: Robertson sucks at scrummaging, his core job. As an added bonus he is shockingly underpowered around the park.

        Literally any other starting Aussie loosehead would be better, and I would actually select Ben Alexander over him too, who has been one of the best scrummaging Aussie loosies, and the most dynamic around the park.

        – Hanigan: He’s just a complete passenger and myth (look at his stats from the June series – pathetic stuff).

        Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham and Ross Haylett-Petty have all staked strong claims to be in a starting spot in the team, and yet none are in the extended squad.

        – Nick Phipps: Can we just admit that he has been horrendous ever since the 2015 WC campaign when Genia came back and stole his spot? Even before then he was well behind Nic White until Cheika decided White’s time was up.

        Michael Ruru is the form Aussie halfback now that Ryan Louwrens is injured, and should be in the 23. Failing that Jake Gordon has been starting at the Waratahs ahead of Phipps a lot, which tells you enough.

        – Jack Dempsey: Seemed to be decent in the few matches that I have seen him play this year, but he has been injured and thus totally unable to demonstrate any SR form, and we also have two great 7s in Hooper and McMahon, and Dempsey isn’t really tall enough for 6 or 8.

        Hardwick is a better 7.

        Ross Haylett-Petty, Scott Higginbotham and Fardy are better 6s.

        Higgers is a better 8.

        And, yeah, some would say that Michael Ruru, Higgers, Haylett-Petty and Hardwick have been banging down the door with their form. With Robertson it is just plain as day that he is nowhere near standard, and thus, everyone has been banging down the door by comparison to him.

        • JimmyC

          I am certainly not a fan boy of Robertson or Hannigan but I just don’t think the alternatives have done much. As they are young and have spent some time in Cheikas system I understand why they have been picked.

          I really like Phipps it is just disappointing that his number one job (passing) is his worst attribute.

          I think RHP will make it at some point. Hardwick will be good two but they needed a 6. McMahon to play 8. Higgers was ok alright but not going to change or get better and Fardy is off overseas. Ruru is a Kiwi and has been overally talked up for half a dozen super games. Actually thought Cowan was good at the back end of the season and he might get a crack.

        • Patrick

          No but that is the whole problem. Play for NSW, do sweet FA but get picked because you have been “in X’s system”, i.e. played for NSW…

          NSWRU should be forced to give up the Tahs to someone who can manage them because no team in all of Super Rugby has done so little with so much money and players at their disposal.

    • Patrick

      My thoughts exactly, gee I hope those young Tahs who’ve shown roughly three-fifths of FA this year do something to justify their inclusion.

    • Gottsy

      While I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I really think that a lot of the tahs woes this year came from bad coaching. Maybe Cheika thinks he can get more out of these guys?

      • Adrian

        Agree 100% re coaching. I’d also add that some Tahs players were barely club standard, and couldn’t deliver even if they tried.

        Key players weren’t in the team for various reasons, but the main issue was coaching

      • Brumby Runner

        It is widely acknowledged that the Tahs’ biggest problem this year was their defense. And yet Cheika brings their defense coach into the Wallabies’ setup. I really don’t think Cheika has the nous to know whether he can improve the players when he clearly doesn’t know sub-standard coaching when it is as obvious as the nose on his face.

        • Gottsy

          Yeah that’s just madness isn’t it. I don’t get it at all.
          We really need to get Matt Taylor back from Scotland

      • Who?

        That supposes that Cheika’s a good international level coach… I’m yet to be convinced.

      • Gottsy

        I’m not either.

  • first time long time

    In his limited appearances in June, Hardwick was really good.
    What did he do wrong at camp to get dropped?
    I’m starting to wonder if Cheika gets guys names mixed up and is then to embarrassed to come clean and say “shit I didn’t think I was dropping that guy”

    • Jack Mallick

      But would McMahon be dropped as the second openside? It’s clear how highly Cheika rates Dickie, his time will come probs later this year.

      • Gottsy

        Well considering he’s going overseas, you would think so..?

    • Andy

      Was surprised he wasn’t picked. He looks a very good prospect. Can only think Dempsey and Hanigan are there over him for line out presence

  • Tim

    Richard Hardwick not in the squad is an outrage. Jack Dempsey better not get any where near the starting line up.

  • Simon

    I’m surprised to see Carter and Hardwick dropped. Especially Hardwick, there are a total of six back rowers in the squad now and the closest thing to a ball runner is Timani, who’s been low on form this season.

    So the back row looks like Hanigan, Hooper and Timani for 6, 7, 8. No dedicated on-baller and two of them are hybrid locks.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had such misgivings about a Bledisloe series. And that’s saying a lot…

    • JimmyC

      No way, McMahon will start.

  • Bobas

    So we’re picking McMahon, despite saying we won’t play players that signed overseas next year?

    What next Horne starting in 13?

    • Braveheart81

      Based on what Cheika has said already this year, it implies that he considers McMahon likely to be a starter. Looking at the squad it would seem likely.

      • Bobas

        you’re thinking McMahon, Hoops, LT?

        • Braveheart81

          Yes, hopefully.

      • Brumby Runner

        BH, the only way McMahon will be a starter for Cheika is in the No 8 spot as far as I can see. He has a love affair with Hanigan which would seem to protect his spot at 6. It would be a travesty if McM started at 8 in place of Timani given their respect form in that position for the Wallabies over the past year or so.

        I really don’t think he is a certain starter at all and nor should he be for the good of the Wallabies. He doesn’t play 8 for the Rebels, and nor does Timani to the everlasting shame of the Rebels, and he has had very limited game time this year, just a couple of games back from injury where his form was way below Super standard.

        I can see no justification at all for his inclusion in the squad given it has been written large for quite a while that he was leaving for the gold in Japan, and he should not be considered for even a bench spot on form.

        If he starts at 8 and the Wallabies are towelled as expected, given the appearance of an U16s backrow of Hanigan, Hooper and McMahon, I wonder what the excuses will be from Cheika, though I fully expect they will be on show here for all to see via posts from a couple of Tahs’apologists whom we all know and love.

      • first time long time

        I like McMahon but why start him when we can’t rely on him to be back for the RWC?

  • Rebels3

    Swap Hardwick for Korcyk and i think we are just about right. Sefa and Latu would be in if it wasn’t for injuries.

  • James Gledhill

    Oh my goodness … Douglas and Simmons still in the squad. I guess if he’d left Carter in the squad he would need to make him a VC and that would never be acceptable – he’s not from the Tahs!!!!

    • Andy

      Hopefully he can get the best out of Douglas. He’s don’t it before. But in principle I agree. Neither’s form warrant selection.

      Not that fussed on Carter though. Just never been up to standard imo

  • Stin

    Naivalu was one of the better players in June wasn’t he? But – gone! (Head scratch)

    • joy

      Injured

      • Stin

        Ah ok. Only read ‘he was excluded’.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well holy fucking shitbags, once again we are stuck with some pretty shite selections.
    – Kurtley is going to be out injured, his hammy is farked from all reports! At least we know he wont get drunk on the bus and punch Michael Hooper in the face!
    – Tom robertson, who are fucking kidding here. He had a shocker in the last 5 Warratahs games. Complete shite.
    – Nick “I am the biggest fuckwit in the world, I throw boots away and push medical staff in the back, and my pass is all over the shop” Phipps, give me a fucking break!
    – Kane Douglas, man he was lucky to get slected for the Reds let alone for the Wallabies!
    – Foley as VC, when he learns to kick I will let him have that honour! But seeing as my 10 yo daughter who just finished Aus kick is a better kick than him, I dont think that is going to happen.
    – Rob Simmons (Personally I dont mind Rob) but has no club contract. Reds dont want him, and apparently no other club does, so how is he in the Wallabies.

    Sorry GAGR’s but Cheika is a dick, and this selection is just sad. Rant Over!

    • Miss Rugby

      When ever I am having a crap day I will come back and read this comment.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am glad I provide others mirth in my despair ;-).
        Mind you an old friend of mine once said:
        “Just because you are in a fucked up place at a fucked up time, doesnt necessarily mean YOU are fucked up!”

    • Bernie Chan

      Feeling your pain…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thanks Bernie, then I am in great company!

  • Tim

    This is the team Cheika will pick. Not saying i agree with it but he is predictable
    1.Scott Sio
    2. Stephen Moore
    3.Allan Alaalatoa
    4.Rory Arnold
    5.Adam Coleman
    6.Ned Hanigan
    7.Michael Hooper
    8.Lopeti Timani
    9.Will Genia
    10.Bernard Foley
    11.Henry Speight
    12.Kurtley Beale
    13.Tevita Kuridrani
    14.Dane Haylett-Petty
    15.Israel Folau

    • idiot savant

      I think this is bloody close. I think he is trying to get some real competition going for front row spots so not sure how that will play out. I think TPN will start at 2. Theres no future in Moore starting any more. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Douglas start with Coleman and if Beale is injured, maybe Hodge starts at 12.

    • Brisneyland Local

      My inside mail says Beale wont start at best on the bench! So I think your squad is pretty close!

    • jamie

      There’s been whispers that Kurtley beale’s hamstring is absolutely borked. Might be Hodge at 12.

      • idiot savant

        If thats the case there must be a mystery back up for Foley (other than Hodge) hiding in the wings.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      If Samu is available Cheika will pick him over TK. Cheika is no fan of TK, dropped him after Bled 1 last year where he made 17/17 tackles in a match where the team missed over 30, and the dropped him after the Scotland Test this year when he was one of the better performing backs, and made one error (one terrible pass), and brought in Rob ‘can’t catch, can’t pass, can’t run’ Horne.

      Plus, Kerevi is a beast and is the best Wallaby back.

  • idiot savant

    Cheika has had two years now to asses the playing stocks in each position domestically and internationally and set in place plans for their development. With Japan in mind, he should know by now (by and large) who needs developing, who will do for now to compete, and who he wants ideally to try and win the RWC in 2 years time.

    Im pretty sure he’s viewing deep down this coming RC as a development exercise for the future, regardless of his public statements. So Im not holding my breath for any wins. The interesting thing will be the game plans and the way the young players develop.

    Hes had 2 years to think about a number of positions. The tight 5 is looking OK with a number of new props and locks coming through. The back row (6&8) appears to be more of a development exercise at this stage. There are a few 9s in development and I doubt Genia will have the legs for 2019. Which one will rise to the top?

    I’m fascinated about Cheika’s thoughts on number 10. Clearly he gave Cooper a chance and has decided he is not the answer for Japan. Was he planning to use Beale and Hodge as back ups to Foley all along if Cooper didnt work out? Are there other 10s that the has got coaches working on behind the scenes who might come into the side next year?

    I think this is a development year for the Wallabies, and Im really looking forward to watching the next generation claim their spots.

    • McWarren

      Can you remind me when it was he gave Cooper that chance?

      If he had picked another young 10 in the squad then I’d feel more comfy, but he’s putting all his eggs in one basket.

      • Bernie Chan

        Maybe Cheika thinks 10mins at the end of a game is sufficient…recall he did select QC at flyhalf last season, but saddled him with Foley at #12…and then dropped QC when that debacle was over. Now if Beale is injured…what is plan “B”?

        • McWarren

          I reckon he might go Beale 10 with Foley at 12, to really scare and confuse!!

  • Pclifto

    Disappointed we won’t have Super Sef on the wing. At last a Wallaby wing with wheels, then he gets injured…

    • Pedro

      yeah, that tragedy was almost predictable from a wallaby fan perspective.

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Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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