Wallabies v. Wales : Team Announcement - Green and Gold Rugby Blog

Wallabies v. Wales : Team Announcement

Wallabies v. Wales : Team Announcement

Is it really this time?

The curtain will fall on Nathan Sharpe’s career for the final time this weekend when the Wallabies take on Wales in Cardiff. After a few attempts at retiring and more farewell tours than John Farnham, this will be the 116th and last time ‘Sharpie’ pulls on the Green and Gold for Australia.

The Wallabies are coming off a win against Italy last week, whilst Wales are struggling for a win of any sort in 2012 with their last competitive win being against France during the Six Nations. This week they come up against a team they haven’t beaten in seven matches that spans back to 2008 and the Wallabies will be looking to add to that dominance.

For this weeks game Robbie Deans has made several changes to the side that took on Italy. The big news is that David Pocock returns to the side with the interesting move that he will start the match instead of warming the bench behind Michael Hooper who has been outstanding in 2012.

Also in the forwards, hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau comes back into the side after missing the Italy game with ‘general soreness’ with Stephen Moore relegated to the bench. The other change in the forwards is an enforced one after Sitaleki Timani spun up one week on the IRB Wheel of Misfortune which means Kane Douglas makes his return to the Wallabies side after overcoming a knee injury.

The backline sees one change with Nick Phipps recalled at scrum half to replace the injured Brett Sheehan. Waratahs scrum half Brendan McKibbin flew over to Wales this week and has the opportunity to become a newly capped Wallaby if given the chance to take the field.

With the match being played at Millennium Stadium, it will be interesting to see if the hosts leave the roof closed or open to try and attempt to nullify our leading only try scorer on  tour Nick Cummins from adding to his meat tally.

The game will kick off at 1:30am AEDT on Sunday morning.

15. Berrick Barnes
14. Nick Cummins
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
12. Ben Tapuai
11. Drew Mitchell
10. Kurtley Beale
9. Nick Phipps
8. Wycliff Palu
7. David Pocock
6. Scott Higginbotham
5. Nathan Sharpe
4. Kane Douglas
3. Ben Alexander
2. Tatafu Polota Nau
1. Benn Robinson
16. Stephen Moore
17. James Slipper
18. Sekope Kepu
19. Dave Dennis
20. Michael Hooper
21. Brendan McKibbin
22. Mike Harris
23. Digby Ioane

  • Johnny-boy

    It’s unfathomanable how TPN can start ahead of Moore. I’m assuming fatigue won’t be mentioned as a cause when we win.

    • muffy

      Moore is our best hooker bar none – TPN with big hits and run ups should be the impact player, given 20 mins to create havoc and try to not get knocked out

  • Joe Blow

    Obviously Deans rates TPN above Moore at scrumtime. I am not sure why. Wasn’t it TPN who played most of the time against France when we were getting our arses handed to us on a plate?
    Hooper has proven himself a very special talent but Pocock is a Wallaby captain and either he or Horwill will take back the reigns against the Lions. I can understand him starting. Douglas in for a misfiring Timani is probably an improvement. Sorry to not see Neville on the bench. If he is needed against the Lions he will come in uncapped.
    It’s a good side and we should go well against a Welsh team with more of their regulars missing than us.
    Let’s see some tries please boys!

    • Brumby Runner

      I’m with you about Neville. Deserved to be picked this test and blooded. Why go to all the expense of taking him over during the tour if he doesn’t get at least one run.

    • RoffsChoice

      I think that’s part of the reasoning for starting Pocock ahead of Hooper, but the main reason in my mind is the risk of Pocock re-injuring himself. If Hooper starts and you sub him for Pocock and then he hurts himself, you’re screwed.

      And it would be nice to have more than one try per game this year. Even if it is 1.001.

  • Missing the 12 on the team sheet. Assume its Taps?

    • Well spotted. You could also assume it was part of Deans’s grand plan to surprise everyone even more.

      Fixed now.

  • Hooper to the bench? I hope he’s being rested rather than dropped. Easily the standout player of 2012.

    • Dave

      Deans alluded to Hooper’s workload this year taking its toll.

  • Rusty

    I am begging the rugby community from G&GR to please explain to me why TPN continues to get a start. His one strenght of physical defense is a crucial weakness in a test as he consistently has to leave the field. He has terrible hands, whether it be throwing in the line or or in general play. Even fantasy rugby doesn’t rate him?? Happy to be told I am missing something. Still support the boys but I think I need some help with this.

    • I’m with your line of thinking, but I’m guessing it’s two things:

      1) TPN can be freakishly destructive as a tackler. In those opening exchanges this can really be decisive in setting the tone

      2) In doing point 1 above TPN knocks himself out every other game and injures himself in the rest. If you’ve already subbed Moore for him you’re stuffed

      • Johnny-boy

        Playing your second string hooker as a starter because you’re worried he’ll knock himself out if he comes on as a sub indicates something is seriously wrong

      • BloodRed

        Point 1 & 2 are the same thing. He is freakishly destructive on himself only of late

    • muffy

      Same reason Mcabe is the best 12 in the country

      • RoffsChoice

        Taps is going for that title, and in my mind winning.

    • bill

      I think Taf is back to his best, and I don’t really have too much of a problem with his hands. I’d still prefer Moore as a starter though.

  • No4918

    Dingo doesn’t need a 12. He could do without the 11 and 14 as well but he is just trying to sneak small changes in, hoping no one will notice. Very cunning.

  • muffy

    I have always tried to be positive just before a test match, but sitting through that second half against Italy was just too hard.

    The worst part about being a wallaby fan is the uncertainty – will there be ticker, pride and cohesion or will it be flat footed, school boy, I-don’t-really-want-to-be-here rugby?

    I have always looked forward to watching our boys with excitement… up at midnight with mates and beers. Now its something more akin to recording it, and toying with the idea of checking the result on my phone before watching (haven’t done that yet, but the thought is


    Just get it over with, I want to get off the rollercoaster.

    That all said, I still will be up, again. Watching, cheering, swearing…. hoping

    • Dan

      Agreed, i think you have summed up the feelings of most supporters. I get the same excitement come midnight onwards only to then feel like I could just record it, get a decent sleep instead of most likely witnessing a frustuating performance to only be left with an empty feeling and wondering how cant we just get our shit together, not fun at 3:30 in the morning. I want off this ride for awhile too.

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

        Dead right you blokes.

        It’s one thing to be walking around bleary eyed because you had a good time punishing yourself and quite another looking and feeling shite because of a crap effort by our national Rugby team.

        To be honest it feels like the sleep bandit has bailed you up and made sure you look so knackered that every man and his dog in town knows you must be a Wallaby fan.

  • JKB

    TPN must be in for his accurate line-out throwing and safe hands…..Oh wait…

  • Dave

    Ioane on the bench again? Does this mean Deans just wants to give Mitchell some more game time, is resting Ioane, or has relegated him there for not being in the best form?

  • Gunner

    Well played Nathan Sharpe, and best of luck in the future.

    I disagree with TPN’s selection ahead of Moore who I think is much more consistent. Dropping Hooper sends a very negative message to him and the rest of the team, no matter who the replacement is. Another blunder which must be attributed to Deans.

  • Goldie

    Time to get a welsh spanking,

  • J T

    A little disappointing we didn’t see Paddy Ryan this tour. Surely a good time to blood a young prop before the Lions?

    Guess we will see Deans again next year unless anyone has heard some rumors to the contrary?

    • Luke_Baird

      We did see Paddy Ryan this tour, he came on against France if you had watched the test.

      • ScrumJunkie

        and he had a shocker for those few minutes. Although it must be tough to come on for your first test, when the forward pack is being destroyed. Ask Beau Robinson.

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    Naturally I’m hoping for a Wallaby victory to start the Sharpie Party. That would be one hell of a party in Wales and back on the plane to help send the big guy off in style.

    But in reality my wish list is just two things:
    1. Good accurate service from our 9; and
    2. Intelligent use of the bench.

    Get those right and we’re a pretty decent chance of winning & winning well enough to put smiles on the faces of fans suffering away in front of their TV screens.

    GO THE WALLABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • RoffsChoice

      I like how Phipps played the last two games, if he does that, we’re fine.

  • Redman

    Where is everyone, so lonely being a wallabie supporter these days.

  • bill

    aac, 8min how is that a frwrd pass


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

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