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

Wallabies v. England : Team Announcement

The Wallabies play the last of their five games on the Spring Tour when they take on England at Twickenham in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Michael Cheika has made three changes to the starting side that went down to Ireland last week in Dublin.

There is one injury enforced change with Tevita Kuridrani ruled out after injuring his ankle against the Irish and taking his place in the centres is Adam Ashley-Cooper, who moves in one spot from the wing.

As part of the backline reshuffle, Rob Horne returns to the starting side on the wing.

In the forwards, Sean McMahon is recalled and takes the place of Luke Jones at blindside.


1. James Slipper
2. Saia Fainga’a
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Sam Carter
5. Rob Simmons
6. Sean McMahon
7. Michael Hooper (c)
8. Ben McCalman
9. Nick Phipps
10. Bernard Foley
11. Rob Horne
12. Matt Toomua
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
14. Henry Speight
15. Israel Folau

  • Gold

    Cue the minority states complaining about everything blue: Cheika is biased, hooper can’t pilfer, Phipps can’t pass, foley can’t attack, AAC doesn’t pass, Horne is one dimensional, falau can’t position himself… The inferiority complex on display from some of the smaller state supporters is simply pathetic. The thing that surprises me most about the anti blue brigade is that they seemingly expected something different and are surprised. People need to grow up and remember s15 is over, nsw already won. It’s about what’s best for Australia now

    • Purce

      This post exemplifies why the other 4 states dislike the Tahs.

      • Gold

        Because they are the best or because they know it?

        • So the teams is all Tahs now and even has the Tahs coach – hows the win rate going ?

        • MM

          I applaud Cheika for stepping up when Link had his dummy spit knowing really that he was on a hiding to nothing. The losses have been narrow. We will be there when the time comes next year and I don’t give a fig who is in the Wallabies because I believe Cheika will select what he thinks is the team that will get the job done. And you a Tah’s man, shame on you for feeding the paranoia of the lesser states, or now that you’ve moved have you become a Rebel or a Brumby?

        • Gold

          Well the backline is full of tahs, but it’s the weak lesser state forwards that are letting us down. What a different team we’d be if we had palu, tpn, Douglass etc.
          The tahs 14 would beat every team in the world except nz and sa

        • Hmmm

          Yup! We would be an constantly injured, concussed & overrated etc team!!!! Completely different team…..

        • Guest

          The Tahs have had most of the positions all season. Some actually lost their “preferred” position (Kurindrani getting back the 13). Even with Kurindrani injured, AAC going back to 13 and Horne coming onto wing Cheika still went with Toomua at 12. Geez, even Simmons is still getting picked by Cheika. You’re right, the Tahs won the super title but that was about 1/2 a year ago. Even Cheika has moved on…

        • I’m starting to think this guy is either legitimately crazy paranoid or a world class troll.

        • Gold

          “World class”
          I’m chuffed- that even tops the time someone called me a “bullshit Artist”
          Bout time someone picked it for the pisstake it was-
          I probably could have had them believing the wallabies was just offseason training for the tahs

        • Muffy

          I am not convinced it was a piss take, only that you re read what you posted and thought, jeez I sound like a bit of a wanker here, best I throw out the “only joking” line to save face

        • Jim

          Not world class. Pretty ordinary overall, actually.

        • Mica

          “The tahs 14 would beat every team in the world except nz and sa” – That’s um gold, Gold – nice cast; any bites

        • Charlie

          You are joking. They won about 3 games the season before Cheika turned up. Could not beat time with a stick!

        • Jacko

          No. Because the Tah’s are the single biggest contributors to a very underwhelming Wallaby team.

    • AndrewWA

      Wow…talk about paranoia or at least over-compensation………BEFORE anybody even gets the chance to pass any comment!
      This is a very good side – considering the squad that we have available.

      I’m just gobsmacked that Beale isn’t in the starting XV (sarc).

      • Glenn

        He;s not in and that is why it is a good side.

    • Patrick

      I think that is exactly why everyone is upset?

      • Glenn

        No their ungraciousness in winning and the belief that there is a direct translation into the test arena. As a New South Welshmen I find the attitude and comments very disappointing.

        • jiff

          So basically the same as Queenslanders in 2011?

        • handles

          Well, maybe one big difference is that the Qld State coach was not doing the selecting for the 2011 Wallabies. I wish he had, then we might have had some creativity in the team with a number bigger than 10.

        • RugbyStu

          Didn’t we win the tri-nations in 2011 breaking like a ten year drought?

    • Tahs_Man_Fan

      As a fellow NSW’men, I share the same sentiment, but I do think you could have said that with less of a distinctly blue-tinged arrogance.

      In past years, I’ve questioned how so many Tahs players made the Wallabies. But this year, it’s make total sense the Tahs dominate the squad. Especially since cheika is now the coach. It makes sense that an in form Phipps and foley keep their spots, until the out of form Genia and QC regain theirs. It makes sense that rob Horne gets the nod over Tomane, considering he is 100% solid on defence and has scored more tries this year.

      Cheika, for once, is picking the best 15 players available to him. Kinda makes sense that a lot of those come from the best state team that year. Bottom line is, I don’t care who is in the starting 15, as long as they put everything on the line for my beloved gold jersey. Giddy up, COME ON WALLABIES!!!

      • Who?

        Good post, but disagree on two points. First off, I don’t think the Tahs are dominating selection. There’s what, 6, 7 of them most weeks? Only 2 in the starting pack this tour.
        Next, I don’t see how anyone can say Foley’s in great form… Phipps, well, he’s had one off game, you shouldn’t be dropped for one off game.

        • Tahs_Man_Fan

          Foley is in better form, and is more reliable at this present moment, than QC. That was evident from the barbarians game

        • jamie

          Barbarians game was a month ago. QC has definitely improved since then.

        • Who?

          I’m with Jamie – BaaBaas was a month ago. Beyond that, ever since the BaaBaas, people have said that we should pick Foley for his goal kicking. Yet that day, QC kicked perfectly, and Foley missed a heap…
          But I’m happy to agree to disagree.

        • Klaus

          This Foley is in better form is pure baloney. The Welsh game we won because of his kicks however his handling in the game, the French and to an extent the Irish game was terrible. It is fair to say that if someone else had that 10 jersey on they would have been crucified for those sort of mistakes.

    • Wendy Wills

      And with these selections will should not be surprised at the outcome.

    • Tommy B

      Yep and all you breast-beating Waratah supporters still high from your long overdue maiden Super15 title are finally now learning what the rest of the world already knew. You had a team of good Super15 players who are at best, modest at test level. It got consistently shown up in the RC and this EOYT is proving exactly the same. If you’re so shit hot there in Sydney raise the boat for the Wallabies as well. It will not happen because too few are genuinely test quality players. Now, shall we discuss your boy Mr Cheika at test level?

    • Campbell Kyle

      Very good summation, AAC never passes to anyone. If Folau could position himself correctly in backline on occaision would guarantee an extra couple of pies per game. Although I think that the Phipps/Foley partnership works well

    • jamie

      And we can equally say the same kind of criticism of every other player on the pitch and nobody goes off about it? There are flaws with every player in our team. The difference is the Tahs are an arrogant bunch of supporters

      1. James slipper – inconsitent at scrums
      2. Fingers – can’t make probing runs
      4. Carter – doesn’t produce much impact
      5. Simmons – doesn’t have any mongrel
      6. McMahon – defensively bad positioning
      8. McCalman – doesn’t provide many dominant, crucial tackles.
      12. Toomua – flawed attack at times
      14. Speight – selfish at times

      But where are the Brumbies, rebels, force and reds supporters coming at me defending their heroes? Oh that’s right, they can accept critisism, while the big butt-hurt boys in blue can not..

      • jiff

        Nonsense, Reds fans have been just as rabid in defence of Quade, Genia, Simmons, Higgers and Horwill over the years. Look at the swarm of comments pile in to remind everyone how arrogant and overrated the Tahs are. It’s all very hypocritical.

      • Brumbies Fan

        HOW DARE YOU CRITICISE HENRY!!!

    • “Minority states”?! I hardly think you getting up on your high horse is “what’s best for Australia now”

      • jamie

        We’re not from the financially broken blue state of the flower so yeah we’re a minority. Waiittttt

    • Who?

      What’s this ‘minority states’ and ‘lesser states’ rubbish? NSW isn’t the biggest state in Australia for Rugby participation… And it’s the state that’s still the least financially stable – after all, it’s the one that DOESN’T have to bear as much of the burden from the ARU’s new fee structure. You pay less to the ARU to play in NSW than in Adelaide, or Cooma, or Gympie, and you get much, much more back from the ARU. So let’s not turn this into provincial rubbish.
      And complaining about the “lesser states’ forwards” – at least they’re providing forwards! Taf’s always injured (seriously, when was the last time he got through a series of Tests uninjured? A real shame, I do like him), Palu’s the same, you imported JacPot (great import, just a shame he’s not an Aussie!), Douglas played one good season at S15 but was always very inconsistent in Gold… Dennis is injured, but there’d be few who’d have him as a first choice Wallaby with all options available (all meaning Fardy, Higgers, etc).
      The only time to complain about where people come from is when there’s a stench of elitism and jobs for the boys. You can certainly argue that about Beale. I’m very happy to see Horne in the team this week – it was a farce that he was dropped for Beale last week.
      And the issues you’ve raised? AAC’s passing, well that’s been going on since he was a Brumby. I don’t think anyone’s complained – at all – about Horne this year, other than his lack of pace, and the proverb says “you can’t put in what God left out!” Phipps sadly forgot how to pass last week (a shame, he’s been much better otherwise this year). And someone still needs to give Folau a bit more time and coaching on positioning in defence, in the same way that someone needs to give Skelton more time on scrummaging positioning and jumping for the lineout. Because that’s the only way they’ll ever reach their truly incredible full potential. What’s wrong with pointing that out?

    • I suppose everything you just mentioned ( a pretty good summary actually) is why changes are needed for the betterment of australian rugby going into not only the S15 but the RWC.

    • bk

      Gold, what an excellent summary of the deficiencies within the team. I agree with them all…because aren’t they too true? I’ve seen everyone one of those weaknesses on this tour. The only time I’ve seen Phipps pass perfectly was on the volvo adds during the last super rugby season. Can’t wait until we get rid of the bogan aka the coach. I would love to be a fly on the wall in one of his pre-game gee-ups “c’mon boyz, you got to do it for each other. the man on your left and right is your brutha. Play your heart out. That’s all this game is about – plenty of ticker. It’s a game of 2 halves. Forwards, you need to set the platform for the backs. Go and smash em boyz…(adlib with other cliches thrown in)”. We’ve all seen this movie before and we all know what this current wallaby starting line-up can do. Too bad the bogan doesn’t have the balls to make broader changes to the team..it’s kind of like trying to fit a square into a circle…does anyone truly believe that we will learn anything new this weekend?

      • bk

        “let the club fly”…what a f$%king joke.

      • RugbyStu

        “the bogan” the guy is a millionaire from his involvement in fashion? Comment reeks of Rugby elitism.

    • bad ass

      Cue you being the first to mention this adversarial state crap and bringing it to this post. This is what you believe and want, and that’s why your talking about it. You also believe all the other states are “minority states.” One final win and your already looking down upon everyone else. Or at least that’s what you believe you are doing. You embarrass me.

  • Keith Butler

    The speed of Hooper and McMahon should ensure that the Aussies will have at least one back row over the ball at every ruck and England will struggle for quick ball. If the Aussies can hold their own at scrum time, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t, you have the threequarters to win the game as our backs are in complete disarray at the moment. Although I’ll be barracking for England, I reckon you’ll get over the line first.

    • Willie Anderson

      Back row is too small in my opinion. I think we will be exposed at set play.

    • Pclifto

      In theory it sounds great… but I worry that Hooper and McMahon together are a bit too light and small. I would have gone with Jones whom I think has the requisite mongrel that we need. Still, should be fascinating!

      • Who?

        Agreed, and I also worry that with that backrow, although we’ve got the speed to get to the breakdown, there’s a good chance that all of them (McCalman least guilty of it) could well run past that breakdown to have the next run, leaving the breakdown unattended…

      • jamie

        Id just about have Jones 6 McMahon 7. Hooper off the bench or resting.

        Sound silly? I think McMahon has the potential to be like hooper but with a far bigger presence at the breakdown. Plus it means 4,5,6,7,8 can all be lineout jumpers, and allowed skelton to come on when Lord cheik says so.

  • Robbo_76

    Thanks Gold for getting the conversation off on such a positive note…well done.

    As for the team – no surprises really given the way the team has been selected over the past few weeks. It is a shame that Cheika didn’t try some other combinations in the halves. I wouldn’t say that Phipps and Foley are in form like others would suggest, but accept that continuity is important, particularly in core positions. I guess we can’t find out if anyone could do better now though.

    Otherwise, i agree the size of the back row is a concern but am confident with the scrummaging of the starting tight 5 (am worried once substitutions occur though). I’m also not surprised Horne gets another start as he has been very solid all year, but it does leave us with a pretty slow back division compared to the English. It will be interesting to see how we defend the box kick this game, i don’t think our tactics will change based on this team, i hope our effectiveness in dealing with it does change though.

  • PorPor

    It shits me when they don’t announce the bench at the same time.

  • Terry

    Maintain the view that a Foley, Toomua, Ashley-Cooper midfield whilst competent, pose little attacking threat to England and nothing they have not handled before. Horne easily contained on one wing so the impetus for confusion amongst the defence, space, mis-matches and ultimately points is going to fall on Speight and Folau. Seems a big ask to me. Unsure where the Wallaby tries come from.

    • Observer

      Missing the plan.
      We build pressure and points in the first half.
      Wear them down.
      Then in the second we bring on some dynamic players to rip it up!
      GO THE WALLABIES!

  • RubberLegs

    I hope Jake Shatz gets another run. I’d back his size and experience over McMahon’s undeniable skills.

    • Nipper

      Neither have shown they can cut it at test level yet (I’m confident that McMahon will get there eventually), but still Cheika starts them – while a proven campaigner has added the much needed breakdown work in the paltry minutes he’s been given – but still he sits on the bench (at best) or in a suit (at worst). Once again, a joke of a (non) selection.

      And, I don’t want to hear nonsense that its because it’s about “developing young players,” because there are players who are getting runs who are past it (Alexander, Robinson) and young guns sitting in suits who haven’t even gotten a bench spot (English and Godwin).

  • EJC

    Was expecting to see tomane and speight on the wings this weekend considering tomane’s form although last time Horne was at twickers (for the Barbarians game) he put in a huge truck so would happily se more of that this weekend!

  • boby

    I feel sorry for Izzy he has been found out. I would love to see him on the wing finishing trys doing what he does best, but he is the only person in Aus who can catch a high ball.

    AAC is out of form hope he picks it up, in the 100 tests he has played I would say he has had 10 bad, just happens the last 4 have been bad with the last 2 terrible.

    Horne is horne just like McCabe you either love him or loath him. I think he is pretty hand except we have a back 3 where no one is an established touch finder.

    If Foley would just kick the fucking ball out instead of midfield he would be a very balanced test player.

    Our back 3 individually are great as a unit they are shit. We have no presence at the breakdown. Jones had a rough start but after rewatching the test his tight work was superior to the secondrows. At one point the Irish mauled for 20m with only jones fighting against them while the rest watched.

  • Gottsy

    I’m really struggling to get excited about this team- I’ll always support the wallabies regardless, just think that we had a good opportunity to see what else we could come up with. Not saying I don’t think they can get the job done, every player on the park is going to have to be at 100% though

  • dazza

    why not have izzy on the wing and beale at fullback?

  • Parker

    Is Hodgson injured or did he let off a stinker in the dressing sheds to turn off the management from selecting him?

    • AndrewWA

      Hodgson isn’t injured and unable to comment on the other possibility.

  • RugbyStu

    What I wouldn’t give for one game, just one of complete Aussie dominance and a complete flogging…I can dream.

  • bad ass

    Yeah, but Foley is playing just so well, and the results speak for themselves.

  • losing hope

    Results? We are losing

  • bad ass

    I was being sarcastic.

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@steve_l15

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

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