Wallabies Fiji - RWC19 Team Announcement - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies Fiji – RWC19 Team Announcement

Wallabies Fiji – RWC19 Team Announcement

Wallabies Team


Fiji Team

Run on XV

1. Scott Sio (59 Tests)

2. Tolu Latu (15 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (33 Tests)

4. Izack Rodda (21 Tests)

5. Rory Arnold (22 Tests)

6. David Pocock (78 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (95 Tests)

8. Isi Naisarani (4 Tests)

9. Nic White (26 Tests)

10. Christian Lealiifano (22 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (24 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (29 Tests)

13. James O’Connor (48 Tests)

14. Reece Hodge (37 Tests)

15. Kurtley Beale (87 Tests)

1. Campese Ma’afu

2. Samuel Matavesi

3. Peni Ravai

4. Tevita Cavubati

5. Leone Nakawara

6. Dominiko Wawqaniburotu (c)

7. Peceli Yato

8. Viliami Mata

9. Frank Lomani

10. Ben volavola

11. Semi Radradra

12. Levani Botia

13. Waisea Nayacalevu

14. Josua Tuisova

15. Kini Murimurivalu



16. Jordan Uelese (4 Tests)

17. James Slipper (91 Tests)

18. Sekope Kepu (106 Tests)

19. Adam Coleman (34 Tests)

20. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (16 Tests)

21. Will Genia (105 Tests)

22. Matt To’omua (47 Tests)

23. Dane Haylett-Petty (33 Tests)

16. Veremalua Vugakoto

17. Mosese Voka

18. Eroni Mawi

19. Nikola Matawalu

20. Manasa Saulo

21. Alivereti Veitokani

22. Tevita Ratuva

23. Vereniki Goneva

Where: Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
When: Saturday 21st September 2:45pm AElitistST
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (IRE), Luke Pearce (ENG) TMO: Rowan Kitt (ENG)

 Key points/Observations:

  • The Pooper (Pocock/Hooper) backrow has been selected with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto dropping to the bench. Completing the starting backrow is Isi Naisarani, whose name sounds like its been taken from the dialogue of a certain hateable character from The Phantom Menace.
  • Folau Fainga’a has been overlooked in the 23 in favour of the less experienced Jordan Uelese, where as Taniela Tupou has made way for the more experienced Sekope Kepu.
  • Nic White and Christian Lealiifano are chosen to start in front of Will Genia and Bernard Foley, with only the former being named on the bench.
  • Former NRL player Semi Radradra has been named on the wing for Fiji.
  • Footyyy

    Yeah rip in lads.

  • Adrian

    Exactly as I expected, except for Uelese. I’m looking forward to him on the charge in the last 20

  • Hoss

    Well good afternoon fellow selectors – how exciting is this – only one more sleep till the Big Show !!

    The votes are in from four score and seven plus one, wise and insightful GAGR faithful

    Here is your Wallaby XXIII to face Fiji on Saturday.

    Thanks to all who voted – I have attached the actual voting results as well to pore over.

    Anyhow – here you go – actual votes, percentage of votes scored – enjoy:

    1. Scott Sio 69 (78.40%)
    2. Folau Faiinga (Tied with Tolu Latu) 41 46.60%
    3. Allan Alaalatoa
    4. Rory Arnold 79 (89.90%)
    5. Izack Rodda 70 (79.50)
    6. David Pocock 44 (50%)
    7. Michael Hooper 65 (73.90%)
    8. isi Naisarini 82 (93.20%)
    9. Nic White 78 (88.60)
    10. Christian Lealiifano 83 (94.30%)
    11 Marika Koroibete 87 (98.90%)
    12 Samu Kerevi 86 (96.60%)
    13 James O’Connor 77 (87.50%)
    14 Reece Hodge 51 (58%)
    15 Kurtley Beale 57 (64.80%)

    Finishers – based on votes for ‘Finishers’

    16. Tolu Latu 38 (43.20%)
    17 James Slipper 61 (69.30%)
    18 Taniela Tupou 74 (84.10%)
    19 Adam Coleman 51 (58%)
    20 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 32 (36.40%)
    21 Will Genia 73 (83%)
    22 Matt To’omua 69 (78.40%)
    23 Adam Ashley-Cooper 18 (20.50%)

    A few interesting observations:

    1. A tie between Latu & Faiinga to start. My tiebreaker was Latu received more Finisher Votes than Faiinga – so I have awarded the start to Faiinga

    2. The voting between Sauce & Gilbert to start at XV was very – very close for much of the voting. Interestingly though DHP scored poorly as a bench option

    3. Koroibete was the highest polling player of any of the starting XV position to start at a whopping 98.90% of the vote, even outscoring Kerevi which I found interesting.

    4. Spanners, Two-Dads the lowest scoring squad members to be in the run-on XV, but Two-Dads snares the number 23 Jersey

    5. Salakai-Loto was well ahead of Brian, but a late surge to Michelangelo’s David sees the GAGR selectors prefer the Pooper and Mr Pocock back in the GAGR XV at 6.

    So, there is your XXIII – how did you go, what do you think ??

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4e9c085b2388d26c8a6adff0ee5109e09e0bda90e533aaf02cc94d068157f3f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e2c1a7ad8c3177e33c342dcc41199378fc5594eb595571774f3f95e6d363ac3f.jpg

    • Adrian

      Not bad really. 20.5 out of 23.

    • Geoffro

      Korobeite’s huge support is indicative of what we want from our wings (a bit of toe) all I can say is “keepa dancing Marika”

    • Tim

      Dunno why thor isn’t on the bench Kepu doesn’t offer anything

  • HomerJ

    Pack looks good. Ball runners, pilfererererers, dominant lineout, hopefully we get the Perth scrum working, and very good defensive group. Fan of SLS but would have thought Dempsey is the type of finisher you would want on the bench, aggressive, on the ball and better defensively.

    • Seb V

      Wouldn’t say dominate line-out with 3 jumpers – Arnold, Rodda – great options. Naisa – okay option, everyone else – poor options. But on the plus side good enough to compete against Fiji who notoriously have a poor line-out.

  • Keith Butler

    No Spanners in the matchday squad. Cheika must be saving him and Genia for the Wales game.

    • Geoffro

      Commonsense has prevailed.As long as Lilo doesnt f/up deluxe I reckon we’ll only see Spanners Uruguay n Georgia

      • Who?

        Hopefully that doesn’t mean he’ll then be the incumbent and will retain his spot for any further matches…

        • Geoffro

          Theres a few scenarios for that to happen the main one being if Lilo has a shocker against Fiji AND we lose,then Spanners is probably a lockHope it doesnt pan out that way

        • Who?

          I think Lilo could go ok against Fiji and Wales, and then still face the possibility that Foley could be selected off training form and form against Uruguay. Never know with Cheika…

        • Parker

          Mind boggling to consider that we now actually have a thing called training form.

      • Keith Butler

        There will be a Spanner in the works.

  • disqus_NMX

    Pretty damn good team. This 3 selectors thing is making a huge difference.

  • Bobas

    Jordan Uelese, yes, that guy who due to injury has only managed 4 international caps and 4 super rugby starts in 3 years… Bring him into the team off the bench, nothing could go wrong.

    • Geoffro

      He went OK against Samoa , reckon he’s worth a shot.Sio is there as the emergency

      • Bobas

        Yeah, OK against the 16th ranked team in the world…

        • Geoffro

          They weren’t exactly pushovers up front and for him to acquit himself well with his limited experience deserves some faith.

        • Brumby Runner

          And where’s the faith in the player who held the spot for most of the past year with more good games than ordinary and didn’t get injured?

        • Bobas

          I remember earlier in the year Cheika was criticising FF’s rig.

        • Cornchips

          Cause he only sees big or fit or fast(ish), rather than smart or skilled for most his positions. That’s why we have been hearing about how unfit people are when they get to camp after a super rugby season. Cause all he want’s is work harder not smarter.

        • Who?

          Good point. Complaining about our form hooker, while the other two guys who made his squad couldn’t even get through two full games’ worth of minutes through Super rugby.

        • Geoffro

          i’m sure he’ll get a good run

        • Who?

          Must win match in a RWC isn’t a time to put your faith in a 4th game player in a key position. He also was part of the failings of that front row against Samoa (i.e. he was there with Slipper for Tupou’s first scrum, where they messed up).

        • Geoffro

          Hes the reserve hooker so absolute faith hasnt been placed.If Latu hasnt got the wheels to go deep i reckon Uleese will finish ok.I still see FFA as our no 1 but with the 3 selectors I’m sort of placing some faith that there is some method in the madness

        • Who?

          With the three selectors, there’s no guarantee they’re impacting every selection. I don’t see how the bench front row selection (Hooker and THP) is our best selection, and in your opening game against a team that pushed you hard last time at home and beat a team close in ranking only last year (France) you should be playing what you believe is your best team. There’s time to rest players later (i.e. Uruguay and Georgia).

        • Geoffro

          Maybe they see Wales as the go to game and dont want to risk FFA and Tupou.I dont really know but this is a much better lineup than the one that put Fiji away last time we met.

    • Sri Ranas

      Just watched the France v Fiji game in 2018 (where Fiji won) and I am beginning to worry!

      • Bobas

        They did Wales slowly in 2007 too, hope the same thing happens

        • Sri Ranas

          Yup love to have Fiji in quarters. Wales off field issues may impact their game.

  • Damo

    I’m thinking there’s not too much to debate about the team selection.
    Now it’s really down to the game plan and the many 1% ers in execution.
    Effort in kick chase
    Serious aggression and energy from forwards running off 9.
    Getting the first scrum right
    Communication in defence and making 1 on 1 tackles (shutting down the offloads)
    80 mins of breakdown intensity- and not just from #6.
    Having a plan to manage the loose ball that will come from kicks to our 15

  • sambo6

    Can’t really moan about this side. It’s down to game plan and execution now.

    That’s said, am surprised Kepu has pipped Tupou for the bench.

    • Seb V

      Biggest shock for me also, TT’s impact off the bench has been great – especially against NZ.

  • Bernie Chan

    No more excuses…
    If we need to kick, make sure we have a contested ball or it goes out.
    Piggies…follow Brian’s lead and put your bodies on the line every time. No shirking the contact..
    Backs…follow Samu in attack and make all first up tackles. Contest every high ball and do not give Fiji easy counter attack ball.
    Bit surprised Thor is missing and worry about Hodge n Beale in defence vs the pace of Fiji….imagine if Radradra gets 1-on-1 with either….yikes…
    “C’mon Aussies”!

  • Mike Thompson

    1. Beale at fullback. Sigh. He manages to defuse approximately 50% of box kicks cleanly. Knocks on the rest of the time. I just don’t understand. That is such a critical part of the modern game, especially against NH teams. It was a key way for the All Blacks to get out of their 22 at Eden Park. Does he bring enough to make up for that shortcoming. I don’t think so. Not any more. Play him off the bench.
    2. No Taniela Tupou on the bench is a surprise?
    3. Pooper? Is this a horses-for-courses thing? Or “the way” from now on?
    4. There’s a lot of oomph on that bench. The Wallabies will finish strongly.

    • Seb V

      Agree on Beale, but unfortunately that’s what we are going with so fingers crossed he has learnt how to catch. and stops throwing those 50/50 passes to lose the ball.

  • Human

    AB’s side is out, (as in ‘announced’, not as in ‘out of the RWC’…yet).
    Also along with an interesting stat showing what a poor captain is K Read…he has won only a paltry 39 tests as Capt, the same # as Sean Fitzpatrick who, I add did not EVER win an RWC as Capt. K Read has won 753 tests when not Capt. Compare that to Sir Richie who won 97 tests as Capt and only 11 when not Capt…it is not difficult to see that the Capt’s arm band does not sit well with Read and, thus, the AB’s are heading for another early exit.
    Some of you will notice that the ANOVA in this may be a little rubbery – as I am pushed for time – however, the logic is not.

    • Geoffro

      Read was never not going to be captain and starting 8 against the Boks so I s’pose they’ll have to suck it up.Personally think they’ll hammer the Yarpies.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yet! Hahahaha love it

      • Human

        I thought that you might get a chuckle out of that.
        I am almost as excited for the AB v Bokke as I am for the Wobb v Fiji.

  • Who?

    So, Fainga’a out of the 23 is clearly wrong. We all agree on it (see Hoss’s stats), he was the form 2 for Super Rugby, and he’s been replaced in the 23 by a bloke who’s done nothing, in a key match up (this is must-win).
    Kepu over Tupou is a major surprise. I can’t help but wonder if Tupou’s being held accountable for the fact that Sio was totally dominated at scrum time by PAE against Samoa..? 7A’s had a shocker against the ABs (consistently boring and then being exposed by Moody), where Tupou was clearly superior, and whilst Tupou messed up in his first scrum against Samoa, he then dominated his side (the try was scored because he advanced 1m, Taf failed to follow, and Sio was dominated backwards by PAE, skewing the scrum and creating the clear path for the try – it wasn’t Tupou’s fault the others couldn’t keep up!).
    I’m not arguing for 7A’s to be dropped, just pointing out that the form comparison between Tupou and 7A’s has narrowed the last few games, and Kepu’s not done much. I think Taniela has every right to feel aggrieved.
    And, given the last game and the history of Sio being overextended and suffering at scrum time, there’s also argument to swap jersey numbers between Sio and Slipper…
    Not massively surprised by any of the rest, though.

    • Human

      I think Cheika is going for experience in this first game, maybe hoping that the Fiji scrum is not as solid as others but also being a bit conservative. I expected AAC in the 23 for that reason. I have no idea really. Time will tell I guess.

      • Who?

        That would be a valid observation if Uelese had played more professional games than I have fingers.

        • Human

          Yes. That is just one example of why I have no idea…hard to figure that selection.

        • Who?

          You have no idea, or sometimes the selectors have no idea..? ;-)

        • Human

          FF May have a niggle

        • disqus_NMX

          Tupou might have a niggle too. That’s the most logical reason to explain leaving out both him and FF. Has anyone heard anything?

  • Patrick

    Semi vs Hodge will be a test for Reece Hodge!

    • Seb V

      Semi in space with a 1 v 1 Hodge has no hope unfortunately.

      • Patrick

        No I would not think so.


Brumbies supporter now living in Melbourne. Rugby and Larkham fan ever since he de beered de Beer. Never shy of controversy because when I say it it's cute.

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