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

Wallabies v. England: Team Announcement

Wallabies v. England: Team Announcement

The Wallabies have made four changes to the team that got bashed by France last week for this week’s game against England at Twickenham.

After injuries and suspension worries this week, Robbie Deans has made changes to both the backs and forwards as they attempt to get the first win of the tour.

As if losing David Pocock and Kane Douglas to injury earlier in the week wasn’t bad enough, Pat McCabe was added to that list with a neck complaint. But to make matters worse, the IRB judiciary Wheel of Misfortune spun up eight weeks for lock Rob Simmons to leave the locking stocks awfully thin for the remainder of the tour.

In the backs, Berrick Barnes and Digby Ioane return to hopefully add some spark that was missing in the French game. Barnes takes the place of Mike Harris who has been relegated to the bench. Another backline shuffle sees Ioane on the wing and a new centre combination of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Ben Tapuai.

The halves combination of Nick Phipps and Kurtley Beale get another chance to prove their worth, although it would seem this could be the last chance to impress before the call for changes becomes louder.

In the front row, Ben Alexander returns from a wrist injury to take the place of Sekope Kepu at tighthead prop. Hopefully the scrum holds up this week after it was shunted into dark places last week — a sight that made the English press froth at the mouth at the thought of their scrum dominating the Wallabies.

Another change is in the second row with man-mountain Sitaleki Timani coming in for Kane Douglas, who dealt tremendously well to even make the field after his mother was hospitalised before the France game. Nathan Sharpe retains his place as the main act on his farewell tour.

Kick off for this game is 1:30am AEDT.

15. Berrick Barnes
14. Digby Ioane
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
12. Ben Tapuai
11. Nick Cummins
10. Kurtley Beale
9. Nick Phipps
8. Wycliff Palu
7. Michael Hooper
6. Dave Dennis
5. Nathan Sharpe (c)
4. Sitaleki Timani
3. Ben Alexander
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau
1. Benn Robinson

16. Stephen Moore
17. James Slipper
18. Sekope Kepu
19. Radike Samo
20. Liam Gill
21. Brett Sheehan
22. Mike Harris
23. Drew Mitchell

  • Dan

    AAC at 13! Finally! His best position. Taps is a better 12 than McCabe. We have to be decimated by injuries before we get our best centre pairing on this tour. This backline aint half bad. Pity our forwards will be bullied.

    • Garry

      and Barnsey, who likes to kick the leather off the ball, at fullback. It may be the makings of him.

      Good luck Taps, put Two dads and Digby through some big holes.

      Nothing like injuries to force Deans into better section combinations. Of course, if it pays off, then he’s a visionary.

      • Mart

        Haha. So true. Injury and suspension force Deans to make the right selections.

        This is the best centre pairing we’ve had in years. Hope they click.

  • Sharpey

    I like the look of that centre combination

    • Luke_Baird

      Nathan is that you?

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      The centre pairing does look good. I wonder if we’ll rue not having them play together leading up to this tour? Regardless they’re finally where they should be and it’s now over to them to deliver.

  • Dennis retains a starting spot? what a passenger, truly the new richard brown of the wallabies. And Phipps also? after his poor display against the French its puzzles me (like 99% of all selections made by Deans) that Sheehan isn’t been given a go.

    • Patrick

      agree totally about Dennis. I was already dissappointed that he got Caderyn Neville’s spot on the tour, but this is ridiculous.

    • Tahzan

      Agreed, would love to have seen Radike get a run at 6 along side Palu. Combine those two on the park with Timani, TPN, and hoops and there some good bruisers in the pack.

      • Fin

        Problem with that is neither will make 80 meaning Dennis would need to finish at 8 and there would be no back up for the locks. Dennis is there because there is no alternative.

    • yourmatesam

      Shezza deserves a shot – he’s an angry man and we need his starch

    • Garry

      the return of Dingo’s luuuurve bubbles.

    • Mart

      Ha spot on. Or Mcalman

    • Oh and if only they hadn’t mismanaged Nick White’s chance for earlier surgery in the year. To be honest I’ve been defending Deans as coach (good coach, shithouse selector) but last week’s game was the final tipping point. Also, Dan your comment regarding two dads and Tapuai in the centres is spot on.

  • Rhydian Lewis

    No idea in the world why Deans would even consider keeping Phipps in the starting line-up after last weeks disaster. Sheehan would suit against Care as well, physicality would mess up that perfect haircut, putting him off his game.
    We’ll be slaughtered up front by their front-row and all of this ‘trash talk’ will just fire the English up even more.

    England by 9+

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      I would love a peak at the coaching notes to learn what the hell they think see in Phipps. Stuff-up after stuff-up last week and still Brett Sheehan didn’t get a run. Does Phipps have to take an arrow to the knee before he’s replaced?

  • The Rant

    I put 1000 dollars on phipps starting…BANG. Basically a safe 1000 on deans stubbornness
    So we’ll try and attack….just hope we remember how to catch and pass.

  • A. Fox-Russell

    Dennis is a passenger for sure, but who else you gonna put in there at this stage? While on the point, how badly was he held back for the Frogs try off the scrum last weekend? Shocking. Just saying. We were still deservedly spanked though.

    Re the lineup, I like it. At least given the situation and available people I think its the right mix (although I worry about goal kicking without Harris).

    It’s Thursday, the pain of Paris has numbed somewhat. I am almost ready to re-emerge as a rabid Wobbly fan again for this weekend, though I am still shy. I like Taps/AAC, I like Cummins, Barnes and question whether Sheehan would be any better in the pressure cooker than Phibbs. So we’re about as good as it could be all things considered going in.

    All that’s left is to repeat my mantra for this week: please God.

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      The Taps & AAC combo could be very good. It must be felt that Barnesy offers more at 15 than Mikey Harris. Not sure I agree. I find it strange how Robbie sticks with poor performers through thick & think & yet Harris, who has done everything asked of him and won us matches, loses out.

      • Lewis Brown

        I think because Barnes is one of Robbie’s yes men, he’ll always get the nod.

      • bill

        The way Robbie’s spectacular attacking philosophy plays out, Fullback is probably the only ballplaying position in the backline.

  • pants

    As Campo said, Deans has killed Aussie rugby. This has gone beyond a joke. HE HAS TO GO!

  • Where’s ben mowen ?? Why is nick phibbs in the team still , hooper should be a halfback

  • Johnny-boy

    The Reds players might as well stomp on a few English heads. One weeks holiday on an overseas tour would be fun.

    • goldie

      The reds players got to find their feet first. Lookin for tapuaii to get trampled by tuilagi

      • Piggy

        Taps and A Finger have a pretty good record against crash merchants. They nullifed Fruen and SBW in quite a few games against the Cru. I don’t think Taps will have too many issues with Tuilagi – further out might be an issue…

  • Pedro

    I really don’t understand what makes a player like Dennis considered for international duty while others aren’t. By my reckoning there are plenty of decent 6/locks going around, why pick plodders or more accurately, why keep picking plodders. Same with Phipps, worth a shot but he’s got a worse passing game than Burgess, with half the running and defense. It’s like deans picks the team and relies on God to tinker with it by way of injuries.

    • Patrick


    • Mart

      What’s more, Ben Mowen would do a much better job at 6.

      • Pedro

        He deserves a go, brings a lot to the table.

    • Allheart

      absolutely agree, dennis was dominated last week and he has never fired against NZ and SA. Been watching some burgos french games and his passing has actually got much better.

  • Brumby Runner

    A starting lineup that contains only 2 jumpers. We’ll be towelled at lineout as well as at scrum time. Very few alternatives though. Perhaps start with Samo at 8 and move him to lock to replace Timani when Palu comes on. Samo would need to play whole 80 minutes?

    The English No 9 looked very willing last week. He was sharp and aggressive. Wallabies will sorely miss Sheehan to couteract. Taps at 12 is good. The only back who ran to the line last week and committed defenders before off-loading. I hope he will provide better options for Beale than McCabe did. AAC needs to step up. He hasn’t played near his best for a long time, regardless of which position.

    Carn the wallabies (he said with no conviction).

  • bill

    We ought to have Hugh McMeniman or Hugh Pyle called up. Instead we have no second row cover on the bench. At least we won’t have to watch McCabe act like a midfield butt plug on our attack.


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

More in England