Wallabies v. Barbarians : Team Announcement - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallabies v. Barbarians : Team Announcement

Wallabies v. Barbarians : Team Announcement

The Wallabies kick off their Spring Tour this weekend when they take on the Barbarians at Twickenham in the first of five games on tour.

The Wallabies will be led by Matt Hodgson and will welcome back for the first time in 2014 the halves pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper for the first game with Michael Cheika as Wallabies coach.

Winger Henry Speight will finally make his debut in the gold jersey after eligibility issues and injury had kept him out. Also in line for a debut in gold is Sean McMahon after an outstanding year with the Melbourne Rebels.

Nine players have been named on an extended bench with one of those to drop off following the final training run.


1. Benn Robinson
2. Saia Fainga’a
3. Ben Alexander
4. Sam Carter
5. James Horwill
6. Scott Higginbotham
7. Matt Hodgson (c)
8. Ben McCalman
9. Will Genia
10. Quade Cooper
11. Rob Horne
12. Matt Toomua
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Henry Speight
15. Israel Folau

Reserves:
16. James Hanson
17. James Slipper
18. Sekope Kepu
19. Will Skelton
20. Sean McMahon
21. Nic White
22. Bernard Foley
23. Christian Lealiifano
24. Joe Tomane

* one to be omitted

  • mati

    Wow looks like we’ve got ourselves a great squad. Really excited about Speight and Hodgson getting starts,they’ll do us proud no doubt. A bit surprised that toomua is starting but no complaints,he’s been solid all year. I hope Skelton gets 20plus minutes,this is the perfect game for him to make a big impact and pressure for that starting spot. Go wallabies!

  • Roger

    Harsh on Christian Leali’ifano! But loving the look of the team!

    • Rocky Elboa

      I reckon this is a decision on combinations and we will probably see Phipps, Foley, Leali’ifano v Wales

  • Roger

    Also loving the omission of Simmons. God damn that was overdue!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rocky Elboa

      probably just rested

    • muffy

      You think Skelton is a better player than Simmons? LOL
      I think you will find come the tests, MC and co will disagree with you and Simmons will be in there. Next time, seriously try to watch the grunt work he does, he is always doing the tough stuff, not seagulling on the edge of a ruck!

      • moaning expat

        Yes he does- but he’ll still break my heart again next game

      • Roger

        He’s soft as fuck mate. I watch him around the park and he’s always going backwards and conceding endless penalties. He’s fucking rubbish.

        • Train Without A Station

          Well you musn’t watch many games because this year he has gotten past the gain line about 80% of his runs.

    • Braveheart81

      I think it’s a clear sign that Simmons will be starting next week and Horwill, Carter and Skelton are competing for the other starting and bench spot.

    • trev

      You people who bag SImmons endlessly on here have no idea about forward play, or 2nd row play for that matter. He is the best 2nd rower we have. End of story.

      • Chinese Dave

        You sound like Matt Burke. That’s not a good thing.

        • Bill

          Love it, Simmons is our best 2nd row though. If Skelton improves as much as he has, watchout. That would be quite a pair. :…don’t. :)

      • Roger

        lol you serious? He’s soft in contact and concedes endless amounts of penalties. It’s a sad day for Australian rugby if he’s our best lock. He wouldn’t make the Zimbabwean team.

        • Klaus

          Broken record mate. Watch all the game instead of the highlights and see the work the bloke puts in. Let me guess you like Douglas??

      • Klaus

        Exactly trev. Well said. These morons want a 4/5 to be running in the 5 metre channels scoring tries not doing the stuff required. Our lineout has been the best part of our game this year.

    • Axemen

      The issue is Simmons is the only capable jumping lock – none of the other options are noted jumpers. The same reason why the team needs to carry Higgers – for he adds a lineout option.

      • Klaus

        He doesn’t just add a lineout option. This is the problem when backs try and comment on forwards. He is the lineout caller. He has to monitor the opposition lineout in both attack and defence. He has to look where the ball is being thrown in and pick the right place for the ball to be thrown to execute the next few phases. His work in Perth was brilliant. Yet he scored a 0 with all the morons who don’t have a clue. Do you remember a lineout drive from South africa in that game? No well that would be a first for South Africa and that was orchestrated by him.

        • Axemen

          Apologies, my comment wasn’t just in reference as a jumper- it was more in reference that the other locks in the squad don’t have the many aspects you raise in relation to lineouts – as such making Simmons an automatic selection. The weakness of the other locks lineout ability is also why Higgers needs to be retained because of his ability at lineout – especially if Palu is brought back at 8 in the future. One of the issues Simmons has in calling lineouts is he has so few real options at his disposal to call.
          Why does everyone in the forum think any comment is a reason to have a go at people – and I was a prop champ so pull your head in.

  • boby

    Good strong team.
    One would think Carter and Horwill are playing for there lives.
    Same goes for McCalman and Higgers.

    I wouldn’t be surprised come tests if we have a very different look. Still not sure why Jones is left out excited to see him at some stage.

    No.6 is turning into an interesting story Fardy the incumbent, Higgers natural position, McMahon reminds me of a sort of young Liam Messam, Jerry Collins cross and plays with such intensity.

    Nice work Cheika

    • Seb V

      I think the future is McMahon 6, Higgers 8. You heard it here first.

      • moaning expat

        I’m a bit surprised theres really been no discussion about the players injured or out for a while and where theyll fit in next year particualry as theres been much talk on the podcasts that this team will be very close to the RWC team. What about Pocock? O’Conner (sorry hes a def winger on my team(but no where else)) Im sure there are others.

        Ive posted too much today- i must be bored. Sorry

        • Brendan Hume

          hopefully an article after the Spring Tour with a preview of the squad for RWC15 may happen. Folau made an immediate impact in his first season, maybe Hunt is in the mix next year?

        • Braveheart81

          Will be more difficult for Hunt considering Folau is one of the players he has to compete with. Certainly a chance though. His versatility makes him a good option in a limited squad size.

        • Brendan Hume

          Hunt might be a wing option. If he puts some weight back on, then 13 might be his spot. Saw some of his footy at Biarritz and he looked very good. Think he’ll get into the swing very quickly.

        • Braveheart81

          There’s a fair queue in front of him though. 13 – Kuridrani, AAC, Wing – AAC, Speight, O’Connor, Tomane, Horne. Who knows about Beale next year.

          As I said, I think his versatility could earn him a RWC berth as he could realistically play about 4 different spots.

        • idiot savant

          Im thinking father time might give us some of the experience we need on the bench come RWC. AAC and Palu look like good bench options for the RWC. Maybe even Pocock if he recovers. Id have Barnes as well but I can hear the enmity already….

        • JKB

          Hunt has zero top end speed

        • Sambo

          What’s Hunts boot like? Depending on the game plan/weather/stage in the match you might put Hunt at 15 and shift Izzy to the wing

        • Daws

          It was bloody decent in AFL. Got 60m no worries.

        • idiot savant

          Hunt will not miss a tackle or wilt under high ball pressure and will run hard. I would like to see Folau try SBW’s position at in centre with Kuridrani outside him and Hunt behind. Not sure Izzy can learn all the subtleties before RWC or if he could be an alternate distributor but Folau and Kuridrani as centres would give most oppositions sleepless nights.

        • brumby runner

          Ok, to take up this point:

          Squeky Moore and TPN are almost certain to come back in at hooker, but Saia has done the job admirably in their absence;

          Pocock will come back into the squad if he regains his best form after long time out with injuries. Otherwise, Hooper to stay in the starting team;

          Scott Sio will come back into the game day 23 either as reserve LHP (which is my preferred spot for him) or reserve THP (if Cheika intends to move him to the other side);

          Scott Fardy to reclaim his spot at No 6 when fit;

          Cliff Palu probably will come back in at No 8, depending on how Higgers performs there in the EOYT tests.

          Don’t think there are others currently out with injury that could be expected back. But the team will look a lot stronger with those above back in the reckoning.

        • Observer

          I’d like to throw in there that Nathan Charles also played very well and it’s a shame he got an injury. All players considered we have got depth at hooker and I’m sure we will see more emerge next season, particularly after the NRC has exposed more players.

      • guest

        no

      • Ath

        yes

  • Dom Par

    Hope Skelton and McMahon get a decent 20-30 minute run. Alexander should be lucky to even be in this weakened team.

  • Tahs_Man_Fan

    I am so happy with Cheika already!! It would have been interesting if we weren’t playing the Bah Bah’s to see if the squad would have been the same. Super happy Hodgson has a crack, and McMahon gets a chance at a debut. Glad that Cheika is making statements by dropping hooper, but can’t quite wrap my head around the Robinson/Alexander selections, or why Leali’ifano was dropped. But all round, pretty stoked!

    • Galty

      Must be resting lilo?

      • muz

        Come on guys – wake up.

        This is the dirt track team.

        • Stray Gator

          Not a bad set of dirt trackers, though, doncha reckon?

    • Known Rugby

      Fairly sure he’s just resting those blokes. They’ve played a lot of footy this year.

    • moaning expat

      Hooper is being rested- no statement at all- particuarly when MC endorsed him to keep the captaincy.

      • Tahs_Man_Fan

        I’m not saying Cheika is making a statement by dropping Hooper per se. I’m saying he is making a statement by being willing to drop Hooper in order to give Matt Hodgson (in my opinion the most under rated player we’ve had in an age) an actual proper chance to prove himself and play himself into the starting line up

        • Train Without A Station

          It’s not being willing to drop him.

          It’s not selecting him for the first nothing match all year. He has started every single Super Rugby game and played the entire finals and then started every single test match.

      • RJ

        No statement at all? Hodgson has the leading tackle count and pilfer count in super XV. And you think that Hooper the fat winger/skinny hooker should start ahead of hodgson as an openside. Alexander cops it coz he cant scrum. Hooper cant pilfer or be effective at the breakdown. WHats the difference. Have to fulfill your primary roles first mate. Simple maths. Hodgson>Hooper

        • moaning expat

          1) I didn’t say Hooper should start ahead of Hodgson. I said there was no Statement being made. Cheicka has endorsed him and hes had a shitload of Rugby this year and hes being rested for a not important game. END of.
          2) I didn’t realise “pilfering” was so much a primary of a number 7’s role that thats all hes there for. Its been stated many a time out there that more that Pocock was so good at it its been something that people assume is a massive part of the role. If it was why is he stil out there as number seven when all 3 international coaches have put him there.? Obviously you know better.
          3) Hooper IMHO is the most valuable player out there so put him as a prop for all i care.
          4) Id like to see Hodgson out there as well (yes i think hes great and under rated and needs more test time) But at the cost of Hooper – you are mad. I seriously cant believe how you cant see that. The first time i saw the kid play in the first Wallaby test hes shone and hasnt stopped. What the fck is it with Hooper hate??
          5) Alexander cant scrum, run or catch a ball- thats why hes not there in the usual starting side.
          6) Lastly If you don’t believe me, watch MC put Hooper as number 7 in the next test. And ill have LOTS of money on it.

        • trent

          Don’t forget highest scoring forward in Australia. So he isn’t just defensive but also key in attack. He got 3 times the tries of Hooper this year. Just one little point. It’s not just about pilfers. It’s not just about tackles. It’s not just about tries. And it isn not just about runs. It is a strong combination of all these attributes. And I think for a 7 Hodgson has a better balance of the key attributes. I agree Hooper has been a dynamic player – but what number he should have on his back I’m not sure. And I don’t think that I’m alone.

          Do I expect Cheika to pick Hooper at 7. Yes. He was the 7 at the Tahs. That’s no great leap. Is it frustrating? Yes.

        • Train Without A Station

          Mate you speak absolutely fucking drivel.

          You complain he’s a fat winger or a skinny hooker? That’s such a bullshit argument to claim your dislike. If he plays too loose for 7 for you how on earth would he be a hooker?

          I’m not sure you can get this through your seemingly thick skull, but LOOSE forwards like an openside flanker are supposed to play a little LOOSE. It’s in the name. Much like TIGHT forwards like a hooker should play TIGHT.

          If Hooper can’t pilfer, why was he top for the test stats in 2013 in that area and second for super rugby stats in 2014?

          As I have stated repeated, Hodgson defended an additional 20% of rucks too Hooper. Now if you pro rata Hooper’s stats of pilfers made to Hodgson’s rucks faced , that would be potentially a difference of 5 pilfers between the two. As there are 16 games in a season, 0.3 pilfers per game is really nothing of significance.

    • Braveheart81

      I think you are misreading things if you’re not expecting Hooper (c), Simmons, Phipps and AAC to be in the starting XV next weekend against Wales.

      • jamie

        I would hope not Simmons. Genia and Phipps would be the best little bloke selection currently, unless Gregan wants a go.

      • moaning expat

        Ive never rated Phipps but in the past months my respect for the little bastrd is now huge and glad to be proved mostly wrong. Im really glad hes stepped up and making sure Genia is working is arse off to get back to form. I think he knew there was no one else in his class to replace him and got ..lazy…bothered? Now Phipps is making him work …hard.

        • John Tynan

          don’t forget injured in your list of Genia’s form drop.

        • SD

          He was out of form long before he was injured

    • AndrewWA

      I suggest that Hooper wasn’t so much “dropped” as rested in recognition of his efforts and extra burden as Captain.

      He’s certainly been looking spent after about 60 minutes in the last 4 Tests. Would expect him to bounce back the Wales Test.

      • trent

        Too true. His stats in the final quarter of games has shown that he has faded. A reflection of his work early but it would be great to be able to bench him for the final 20 and give a fresh Hodgson a field day.

        • BBT

          I think this is a big part of choosing Hodgson to start, and as captain, it can only be a win win for the Wallabies.

          Hooper not only gets a rest this weekend, but Cheika can see what leadership Hodgson can bring to the team as well as his influence in the rucks.

          This gives an extra option for Hooper to go hard for 50 to 60 minutes, knowing Hodgson can act as a super sub and lead the team during the pressure cooker end of the tight games, definitely a bonus when playing the ABs & Saffas.

        • Trent

          All good points BBT

        • Observer

          I’d rather think it would go the other way around.
          We bring on players that will lift the intensity and build on the starting platform. To me, Hooper is one player that would do that. Pop him on in the second half. Unleash the energiser bunny!

    • Jake the Muss

      exactly the same as what everyone said when ewen got the job

      • Tahs_Man_Fan

        Jog on kiwi, no one cares

        Insert standard kiwi line:
        “ABz for lyfe cuz! You aussie dogs can get whatever coach you want, no 1 will beat da mighty ABz” blah blah blah, same shit different day, no one listening, no one cares, see you at the World Cup next year you chokers

        • moaning expat

          Gold mate

    • JimmyC

      He is resting guys that have huge workloads this season. I’d expect Slipper, Kepu, Simmons and Hooper all to start next week.

      Did you see the PAE chat on yesterdays news? Someone was claiming that he should be playing in front of Robinson. Backed up my comment from last week.

  • Galty

    Why oh why pick nick white! Love having hodgo!!

    • The Slow Eater

      Phipps is having a rest and MK needs a 2nd #9. Personally I would prefer to see Burgess. White lost me after Bled 3.

      • Stray Gator

        MK???

        • The Slow Eater

          Sorry MC (Michael Cheika)

      • Klaus

        It took that long?

  • Rocky Elboa

    Love this team
    It is worth giving the people mentioned a crack
    I would have liked Jones at 6 and Higgers at 8 but hey this nit picking

    Now just to figure out the last 10 mins and we are Golden

    • dustyboots

      With the bench props and Skelton in for the last 10 minutes I dont think there will be an issue. Its the first 60 minutes that may be the problem unless Alexander can pull one game out of his arse as he occasionally does.

      • Chow

        It’s Alexanders arse that’s the problem…. it’s way too high on engagement. I can’t believe Laurie Fisher was never able to correct this.

  • Dom Par

    I can’t see a spot for Beale even in this B-team 23. Even less so when O’Connor comes back.

  • AndrewWA

    Fantastic to see Matt Hodgson get some recognition for his hard work and commitment to Australian Rugby.

    Give the Barbarians heaps Hodgo. Hoping you can lead the team to a strong win at Twickenham!!

    • Jenkss

      I hope he keeps it once they put Hooper back in the side.

      • Zebber

        That doesn’t make sense. So Hodgson and Hooper are starting?

        • Tahs_Man_Fan

          I wouldn’t say no to Hodgson, Hooper and Higginbotham as our backrow

    • trent

      Agreed AndrewWA. I think it is also a comment on his skills as a captain. He has had 2 years in the job and has been instrumental in the Force turn around. Something that 2 previous Wallaby captains have failed to do (Pocock and Sharpe).

      We have had the youngest captain in ages and I think it really hasn’t worked. And don’t jump on me I know Hooper is just being rested and will get the C back. Relax Hooper lovers. But it will be great to see what an experienced player and captain can do.

      Jenkss – I wish but I know it is only a wish. If only Hooper was not only a 7

      • Observer

        Remembering that Hooper was VC at the time and only elevated to Capt when Moore went off injured.
        If Hodgson does the business this weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds the title and Hooper is left as VC to be brought on in the second half against a tiring defence. I think he’d be a pretty good 6.
        He’s not in this match day 22, but looking at the team list I’m pretty excited about it.
        Phipps is the other notable exclusion from the list and he has been playing very well.
        To me it looks like there are a few players there that are being put in the starting line up to test them and also as tactical options.
        Benny R and A have to step it up and prove they belong in the test team. Their performances so far have not been as good as we would like.
        Hanson, Slipper and Kepu gives us a great replacement front row.
        Carter and Horwill makes for a big second row combo and I’m expecting we would see Skelton replace Carter around half time.
        Back row looks good and a big congrats to Hodgson. Very deserving and I hope we see an absolute ball busting effort from him.
        I was impressed with The Bot’s last outing, thought he played very well so more of that please.
        McCalman has been very good for us also but I think we might see him replaced at some point, see The Bot move to 8 and have McMahon come on. Be awesome to see how he goes.
        Genia and Cooper have been out for a while so to start them is a good move. If they have any injuries then we have replacements.
        White, Foley and Lilo to have a crack in the second.
        Horne has been playing better than Tomane so great to see him get a start again, and Toomua combined well last time with Cooper so that looks like a good combo.
        Great to see Speight FINALLY get a run.
        Hard to say who would be left out of the mix as having some injury cover for Speight, Cooper and Genia seems like a good plan.
        I actually think Tomane might be left out as Foley, White and Lilo can cover a variety of positions in the back line.
        In any case, here’s hoping for a great match and a great start to the tour.
        Go get em!!

        • AndrewWA

          Macmahon to replace Higginbotham after 60 mins and McCalmana and Hodgson to play full 80 mins. (providing no injuries)

    • trent

      Check out Hodgson’s comments on the opportunity. This is when you want to hear from players.

      https://www.facebook.com/MattHodgsonRugby/photos/a.319807468061320.68721.206500436058691/793912473984148/?type=1&theater

      Let’s hope that the Wallabies can give us some great rugby and results to focus our discussions on

    • RJ

      finally an openside in the XV. Been a long time coming

  • idiot savant

    Im going to be very interested in how the run on scrum is going to go. This could be a test for the future of the props and locks. I note both Slipper and Kepu are on the bench in case it goes pear shape. I would like to have seen McCalman get a run in the second row.

    • MAtt James

      If either Ben Alexander or Ben Robinson are the future we are straight up fucked.

      • idiot savant

        Thats right and if they are found wanting here it could be sayonara. Cheika is setting them a test

  • jamie

    Hooper @ reserve halfback. White on the guillotine. This is the perfect game to screw around with. Woulda loved an all rebels back row. Despite their ladder position, I would argue that the rebels back row is the best combo in the Aus SR. Obviously Pocock, Hodgo and possibly hooper are better than all 3 but as a unit the rebels work well and work hard.

    Why oh why are we still trying with two 30 year old has been a propping up our scrum? Alo-Emile anyone…

    Woulda preferred MT at 12, LeLo at 13, TK at 14, and Horne on the bench.

    Skelton at 8 in a few years time? Filling the enforcer role Palu has never lived up to..

    • handyandy

      Palu failed to enforce……..what a load of codswallop. Palu has been very effective when fit. Palu’s only issue is injuries. He gives everything and always leaves the field with nothing left in the tank. If palu was so ineffective, why is it several wallaby coaches past and present always pick a fit palu over anyone. Why is it that palu receives such peer recognition.

      • jamie

        Sorry, let me clarify. The enforcer role he has never consistently produced due to fatigue and injuries. I’m not saying he isn’t a good player, but he’s no real mean running bashing machine. Look at #8 for melbourne rising Timani. We need to see that transferred to test level

  • Seb V

    I like it, I like it a lot.

  • Seb V

    The Genia, Cooper, Toomua combo, with all guys firing is going to be great footy!

  • Ted

    Brilliant. Put Ben Collapsexander in the starting side, watch him collapse in every scrum there is so you have an excuse to drop him for good. What a mastermind.

    I’m liking this a lot already.

    • Nick

      It’s against the Barbarians. Calm down. Not really noted for their set piece are the Barabarians…..

  • Brendan Hume

    Would have been a great chance to start Skelton and see how he goes against a baa-baa’s team. Personally I don’t rate him, but this is the sort of game he should excel in.
    Think Leiliiafano could have used another run after the last performance, no reason to rest him here. Similarly Tomane probably needs another run to prove himself, whereas Horne should always be preferred on the bench because of his ability to play across a few spots once AAC is back in the team.
    Disappointed with the props. These blokes have had their chance, both in line to be the most capped props in Australian history and both, imho, well past it. Took Faulkner over, give him a bash.

    • The Slow Eater

      Agree with you on the props. I can’t understand why would we would ever pick Alexander and Robinson ever again.

  • SD

    Surprising in this forum that a team with hardly any Waratahs is getting people excited… (is there some sort of sarcasm font I can use here?).

    Of course, it’s the warm up game and it’s mostly the B-squad.

    • Big punt

      Queenslanders are easily excited!

      • Bill

        It’s why we carry extra socks.

  • RugbyStu

    Great team! Some exciting selection and good use of this game to rest weary players and give others a chance.

  • RugbyStu

    Also remember guys that Tooomua played his best games at inside centre outside of Quade the two complement each other quite well.

    • Brendan Hume

      given the game Lilo had in Brisbane and the limited time he’s had though, I think he should have had another crack.

      • Rocky Elboa

        For mine I think MC should stuff the results and test players and combinations
        Why not see Phipps, Foley, Lilo start and have Genia, Cooper, Toomua on the bench

        • Klaus

          We still lost that game in Brisbane. Plus we lost other games either badly or just outright incompetently. The halves were shocking in the last two Rugby Champ games.

    • Giles Gibbins

      agree. This forward pack looks very experimental. The backline however looks far more like our best 9-15, with the exception of Horne.

  • Tip

    Bar the two front rowers, this is actually the best team we have.

    • The Slow Eater

      No it’s not. You wouldn’t put in Hooper, Pocock, Cliffy, Phipps, Simmons, Badger (who wants to play in the RWC), Moore, Two Dads, etc….

      Some of these guys are injured, some are being rested etc, but this is in no way the best team we have got

  • AB

    Horne to defend for Cooper so that Quade can run the counter attack….

  • Robbo

    All of a sudden the Wallabies look to have some depth. On ya Cheiks

  • Muffy

    What does Kyle Goodwin have to do to get a run?

    • Tahs_Man_Fan

      Or Luke Jones!!??! Cheika probably trying not to have to many debutants in there, but in this game I would have had Godwin at 12, Jones in at second row, English on Hornes wing and McMahon in for higginbotham. But that’s probably why I’m not a coach haha

      • AndrewWA

        I reckon Chieka is going to try and win every Test. That’s why he’s resting some players who have had a big work load.

        Without injuries I think it’s doubtful that Goodwin, Faulkner and Jones will get a run. But what great preparation to train & tour with the team in the UK and France BEFORE next year’s RWC.

        • Stuey

          As opposed to most coaches who only want to win every other test ;)

      • Bill

        Wouldn’t be bad selections. I’m a bit puzzled why he hasn’t used English on the wing, I don’t mind Horne but I’d hardly say I need to have a look at him to know what he can do at this level and he isn’t a babysitter.

  • bad ass

    Cracker team. Surprised to see White on the bench over Phipps, but I’ll not complain. Maybe some reverse waratahs bias here by Chieka.

  • josh123

    I will be there! As a rebels fan it’s good to see Higginbotham and Sean McMahon and as a wallabies fan ill be glad to see quade and Genia back together in gold. Also glad to see hodgeson get a well deserved start.

    Come on The wallabies!

  • I love this backline! Maybe switch Horne for AAC and then it would be perfect. Hopefully they play the house down.

  • Graeme

    I’m surprised Phipps is not on the bench. Play one half of Cooper/Genia and one half of Phipps/Foley. I guess this means that Phipps is considered the automatic starter next week and Genia, with probably Cooper, will be on the bench.

  • Marcus Pontmercy

    Was hoping for godwin to get his chance but im pleased.

  • You’ve seen it before

    What odds on a genia box kick being charged down and quade throwing a cut out pass with cummins running in to score.

    • bad ass

      My money is on QC kicking to Folau in the corner.

    • Klaus

      Because Nic Whites Box Kicks have been so awesome this year!

  • subfreq

    WooHoo the arrival of Henry Speight!

  • Bfc

    Finally some rugby…
    Genia n QC back in tandem! The two ‘Bens’ to start also..hope they ‘step up’….Hodgson deserves the opportunity and has shown he is a quality leader at the Force so I hope he and Horwill display the leadership the team needs ‘up front’…Genia can run the backs.
    For the other spring tour Tests:
    Genia, QC, Tomane, Lilo, Kuridrani, Speight, Folau seems a decent back line. AAC can cover for the 11,13,15 and Toomua cancover 10,12. Genia can play the full game or Cheika can have more balanced 3back/4forwards bench with Phipps included. Skelton is an ‘impact’ player option at this stage of his development, but I hope he and McMahon (and Jones..) get a chance to show their abilities.

  • RugbyStu

    What about the last European tour where he was solid?

  • Tahs_Man_Fan

    Just like the All Blacks do at every world cup….

    Do yourself a favour cuz, go take your shit chat to some kiwi rugby site where other like minded dickheads can get together and congratulate themselves on how invincible da AB’z iz bro

  • moaning expat

    Try not to bite at the stupid Kiwi trolling…

  • AndrewWA

    Rubbish!!! Just ask players such as McCaw, Brussow, Vermeulan or Todd. The Boks and ABs can’t believe that Hodgson doesn’t get more game time!!!

  • Big punt

    Palu?

  • Tahs_Man_Fan

    We need him back badly. The only flanker we had who matches mcCaw’s intensity

  • The Slow Eater

    Can’t help myself.

    You guys are the best team in the world.

    And you’ve won two world cups. Well done you. Both in New Zealand.

    It will interesting, as the best team in the world, to see how you go when the World Cup is not in your country. If you’re not feeling the pressure yet, you should be.

  • Tahs_Man_Fan

    Winning the world cup with the good graces of Craig Joubert, who would never have awarded a penalty to France in the last 10 no matter how much the AB’s disrupted the breakdown, because who could spoil the dream!?!? Pfft, you’ve won 2 RWC’s, just as many as us. No one is denying the AB’s are and always have been the top rugby Union team in terms of success, but when it comes to the RWC you are chokers.

    Now stop being a troll with your kiwi bullshit on an Aussie rugby site, or start contributing some meaningful conversation haha

  • Bill

    It is if the ref chokes. Do you even lift?

  • dom par

    Paul can watch from the stands. His bones are made from balsa wood. He plays 15 minutes, goes off hurt, then is away recovering for 4 weeks.

  • Giles Gibbins

    *Months

  • Pclifto

    Haha sad but true. When is Paul back and available for selection, BTW?

Barbarians
@steve_l15

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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