Wallaby and All Black Test Teams Named
All Blacks

Wallaby and All Black Test Teams Named

Wallaby and All Black Test Teams Named

The big talking point in the Wallaby team named to play the All Blacks this weekend is the move by Matt Giteau back to five eighth.

Robbie Deans decided to use him as the playmaker instead of leaving him at inside centre.

Giteau replaces the suspended Quade Cooper – whose suspension is currently being challeged although that’s unlikely to affect the outcome of this match.

As expected, Berrick Barnes comes into the run-on team in the centres although there was speculation that he’d replace Cooper in the No 10 role. 

Saturday night will be the first time that Gits and Sookface have been combined since the final game of last year’s Tri Nations Series against the All Blacks in Wellington.

Squeeky Moore is also recalled to the starting side with Saia Faingaa heading back to the bench.

He’ll be comforted by the fact that he’ll be sitting with his brother Anthony, who has been selected for his first test (if he gets on).

Matt Hodgson returns after injury and replaces Ben McCalman in the reserves.

The night will be a special one for lock Nathan Sharpe as he ties the Australian record held by former skipper John Eales for the most caps earned by a Wallabies second rower.

Sharpe, who made his debut against France in Melbourne eight years ago, will be lining up in his 84th Test.

For the All Blacks it’s Jimmy Cowan in for the unlucky Piri Weepu who is curently in very good form. Apart from that, it’s the usual suspects + Victor Vito on the bench for Liam Messam, who didn’t make the trip.

Wallabies 

15. Adam Ashley Cooper    (Brumbies)

14. James O’Connor    (Western Force)

13. Rob Horne    (NSW Waratahs)

12. Berrick Barnes    (NSW Waratahs)

11. Drew Mitchell    (NSW Waratahs)

10. Matt Giteau    (Brumbies)

9. Will Genia    (Queensland Reds)

8. Richard Brown    (Western Force)

7. David Pocock    (Western Force)

6. Rocky Elsom    (Brumbies, captain)

5. Nathan Sharpe    (Western Force)

4. Dean Mumm    (NSW Waratahs)

3. Salesi Ma’afu    (Brumbies)

2. Stephen Moore    (Brumbies)

1. Benn Robinson    (NSW Waratahs)

Reserves:

16. Saia Faingaa    (Queensland Reds)

17. James Slipper    (Queensland Reds)

18. Rob Simmons    (Queensland Reds)

19. Matt Hodgson    (Western Force)

20. Luke Burgess    (NSW Waratahs)

21. Anthony Faingaa    (Queensland Reds)

22. Kurtley Beale    (NSW Waratahs)

All Blacks:

15. Mils Muliaina    (Waikato Chiefs)        

14. Cory Jane    (Wellington Hurricanes)

13. Conrad Smith    (Wellington Hurricanes)

12. Ma’a Nonu    (Wellington Hurricanes)

11. Joe Rokocoko    (Auckland Blues)

10. Dan Carter    (Canterbury Crusaders)

9. Jimmy Cowan    (Otago Highlanders)

8. Kieran Read    (Canterbury Crusaders)

7. Richie McCaw    (Canterbury Crusaders)

6. Jerome Kaino    (Auckland Blues)

5. Tom Donnelly    (Otago Highlanders)

4. Brad Thorn    (Canterbury Crusaders)

3. Owen Franks    (Canterbury Crusaders)

2. Keven Mealamu    (Auckland Blues)

1. Tony Woodcock    (Auckland Blues)

Reserves:

16. Corey Flynn    (Canterbury Crusaders)

17. Ben Franks    (Canterbury Crusaders)

18. Sam Whitelock    (Canterbury Crusaders)

19. Victor Vito    (Wellington Hurricanes)

20. Piri Weepu    (Wellington Hurricanes)

21. Aaron Cruden    (Wellington Hurricanes)

22. Israel Dagg    (Otago Highlanders)

  • Reddy!

    Here we go again…

  • RedsHappy

    Only one Reds player in the starting side….disaster will strike.

    • however with Hynes, Diggers, Chambers, Cooper and Horwill all unavailable.

      • RedsHappy

        Sadly yes, and what a difference they’d all make at various points in these Tris.

  • Roland

    Take note of the starting 15. One Red in the entire 15. I think the reds had the most dominant pack of the four S14 sides, and by far the best backline. Where is Higgers? Honestly. How fit does he need to get. He’s only required to play 10 minutes off the bench knowing dingo’s rotation policy.

    Although lacking Reds, thier is still 9 Queenslanders in the 15. Had to have my say on that. I’m almost upset Mumm, Ma’afu and Brown played well. Just delaying the inevitable replacements of Horwill, Alexander and Palu respectively. Now that would be a forward pack to be reckoned with.

    • Ruggers

      Brown played well….? You’re kidding aren’t you? He went missing for whole chunks of the game. Better than he has been does not mean he played well. I’d rather have McCalman at 8 than Brown. At least he has a consistantly high work rate and doesn’t look like a deer caught in the headlights for most of the game.

      I agree with your dig at Deans over the lack of rotation. When will he work out that a fresh injection of energy to replace tired or under performing players is a smart policy?

    • I’m all for a bit of provincial blindness but you’ve taken this to new levels.

      Do you find it curious that by far the best backline behind the most dominant pack scored 2 less tries than the Waratahs?

    • Jnor

      Seriously, does it matter where any of the players are from? I wouldnt care if every man in the squad was from Tasmania if they were the best men for the job. We know there’d be more Reds in there if it weren’t for injury and suspension and its not like there needs to be some sort of quota from each province anyway.
      Do i dare let on that im from NSW?

  • ozrugbynut

    Can’t say I agree with this one from Deans. Not only do we lose Gits creativity at 12 (which was very much on display against the saffaz), but we lose Barnes surety at 10. Barnes is an good defender (and we’ll need this against the ABs) but he’s not a particularly creative runner at 12 IMO, and I fear we won’t have as much penetration through the ABs back line.

  • Pedro

    Yeah, when barnes makes breaks he’s always looking for the offload. I think the bench is shite barnes is more valuable as a stop gap than a starter.

    I’m going to this one so I have to be optimistic but it will be a tough match. Hopefully our scrum continues to improve & we don’t miss quooper too much.

    It’s pretty much all the silverware on the line for this one.

  • Brumby Jack

    If Barnes is going to kick all day, I hope he kicks it to the shithouse because if it ends up in All Blacks hands for a counter attack it’s going to be a long night…

    • Seaweed

      Hopefully he will be told …

  • Robson

    Deans is a fruit cake loyalty man. He has kept faith with those who rewarded him last Saturday. That’s his style and no I don’t like it any more than anyone else does, but it’s done on the basis that loyalty should be returned with loyalty ie loyalty to the cause. In my opinion it’s a forlorn strategy because it means that Mumm, Maafu and Brown have to get up and show once again that they have it in them after all.

    Well one swallow doesn’t make a summer and if those three can impress against the ABs like they did against the Boks, I will be very surprised. But if they do and it leads to a win I will change my opinion (maybe). There was a compelling case to include Hodgson or Higginbotham and Simmons because the ABs are already secretly chortling over how soft they think the WBs are in the middle of the pack. H, H, and S would have cast just the slightest shadow of doubt across their unruffled brows.

    Shifting Gits into flyhalf is a mistake of massive proportions. He was starting to show some flair from inside centre last weekend and now that is snuffed out and his replacement in the centre pairing is a player without that flair. It reduces the options for Horne who is, after all, still finding his feet in the role.

    Deans, of all people, should know that the more you can keep the ABs guessing the better chance you have of preventing them from keeping you guessing. I think this selection plays right into the hands of the AB gameplan. On the other hand it may indicate what the game plan is going to be for the WBs. My guess is that it’s not going to be nearly as adventurous as it was against the Boks. I don’t actually think they are going to play the ABs at their own game, or should I say against the Reds own game.

    I think the kick and chase game will feature quite significantly in the WBs action plan on Saturday.

    • Dogman

      We’d be crazy to change the game plan considering how well the Reds did against the NZ S14 teams. The time has come, just run the thing! And keep running. Barnes-Horne centres combo shouldn’t be underestimated as they have played together a lot more than Gits-Horne. I don’t think Gits’ influence will change whether he’s at 10 or 12. If he has a shit game, it’s a shit game wherever he is. He will just need to direct the traffic forwards instead of to the touchies and let the backline flow, and fast!

      • cantbuyspirit

        Think about great centre pairings (horan/little, horan/herbert, devilliers/fourie, nonu/smith) – many a team has been built on having them. Right now australia is so caught up on having a great 10/12 pariing that we have killed any 12/13 chance. I can’t even remember Horne getting a pass from giteau – he’s been completely underused in attack and he’s probably at the moment one of our more dangerous weapons. I reckon barnes could bring that out. No doubt he’ll play first receiver here and there as well as he’s trained to come on at 10 as well.

        • Garry

          Maybe Horn would have been a more comfotatable running off Sookface at 10, bring out his best?

          And with all the defense focused on Gits at 2nd fly, better chance for Horn to find holes?

    • RedsHappy

      Robson:

      Another reason I was/am with you re H, H, S, to which btw I’d add A Finger last week, is that the game at fortress Brisbane, vs a downcast set of Boks, would have been by far the optimal, lower risk place to trial these blokes in the Tris (well, barring injuries, they all should have been more trialled in June) with judicious use off the then bench. RD would have then had a potentially much deeper artillery for the far harder challenges at Etihad and Christchurch, without the risk of, for example, now putting A Finger up v the ABs green. With the ABs, the risk-reward calculus of unseasoned ppayers is very different vs last Saturday.

      As you note, if you think that M, M and B are now transformed as players from one better game, then this doesn’t hold true as much, but, like you, the view given past performances must be a big ca caution on that assessment.

  • Marto

    Why the sookface name for barnes – he’s a standup positive young man. Have I missed some gag or are you just a prick? (or both?)

    • Lance Free

      Haven’t you read ‘About the Author’ up top Dave. A prick of course….

      • Marto

        Sorry did the bloke look – please accept my apologies.

    • Not to mention that every time something doesn’t go Berrick’s way he looks like he’s going to cry

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenandgold_rugby/4498990485/

  • Garry

    It’s been said that Deans is developing new players, he’s building depth.

    Does this team of selections fit these statements?

  • Rocky Elboa

    I think picking Barnes at 12 is a good idea for this test, I have always preferred Barnes at 10 but it think we will need his accurate kicking game if we are to win this test and for that he will need the space provided by 12. I don’t think we can win with the same game plan from last week, the ABs are much better at the breakdown and are the kings of the running and counter attack game

    Will also be good to see if Barnes can bring out the best in Horne as well

  • Joe_Mac

    Good idea Robbie, Sookface’s defence needed to contain Nonu

  • Ben

    I would rather see barnes at 10…gits needs to settle at 12 an the center combo of gits and horne needs to settle.

  • Scoot

    Geez Sookface gets a hard time around here. Still for me the best test quality back the WB’s have. No the flashiest but the most dependable that you could hang a game plan on.

    Like others in the back line he gets shuffled around so much that his development has been stunted. It’s like the ARU want a team of utilities, I can’t figure it out.

    Now Gits who was warming into the 12 role gets shifted to 10 so everything continues to shuffle around and the only reason I can think of is to keep personalities within the team from spinning off in a huff.

    Off first phase ball I would have Barnes at 10 every time.

  • Joe Blow

    Get over it boys….Giteau has 10 on his back.
    I am sure he and Sookface will mix it up at 1st receiver so the ABs are not sure exactly what is going on.
    In fact last week Gits was at first receiver more often than Qwade as the latter was so heavily marked. It will be the same again this week.
    Apparently Higgers got done by his opposite in clubland last week so he is not ready for this level. Having Pocock and Hodgson may be very important in the last 20 minutes of this test.

    Kiwis sound very very confident….always a good sign for us.

  • bones

    Impressive through Higgers is, I wonder if he yet has the all round game. The ABs will attach the weakest link in the chain. Barnes is a defensive choice IMHO. Looks to me that RD wants to limit the damage in the backs and win the game where he sees the best chance – through the AB pack. Only McCheat, Thorn and Reid stand out for me in that pack. We can take the game by beating their pack. I would like to see Deans publicly try and focus the Refs attention on deliberate obstruction as a pre-planned strategy – The Blues focus on this, and Keano, Mealimu and Woodcock for sure will pull off one obstruction try through the forwards this weekend.

    • ozrugbynut

      “deliberate obstruction”

      Right on, Bones. This is a feature of the ABs play. Always crowding the breakdown and running across defenders lines of sight. Respect that they can get away with it, but as they can, why aren’t we doing the same?

  • Ant

    While I’d rather see Gits at 12 on attack, I must say I’m more confident with Barnes at 12 defensively, facing up against Nonu…

  • Tank

    Scoot makes an interesting point on utilities.

    Does anyone know why it seems we are obsessed with utilities?

    For example, everyone would agree that with AAC in the 15, we have an excellent “utility” on the field.

    Doesn’t that mean you could pick a specialist on the bench? But we will tend to look at getting another utility on the bench…

    I suppose what I am saying is – if you have a utlity on the field, pick a specialist on the bench and vice versa.

  • reds fan

    i think the obsession with utilities comes from our deep national love of Monopoly. Once you have Water Works and the Electricity Company you can charge more rent.

  • Tank

    ahhh but having all train stations is waaaaay better….

  • Pedro

    On the utilities issue, I think the “modern” back is generally a bit of a utility. The professional era has brought about improved training methods (namely full time) making the average player stronger and more consistent. AAC is a a good example, from a player that would basically never kick to starting fullback shows how players are able to cover any of their game’s short comings.

    There will always be freaks who can survive with chinks in their armor, or seem to do things more effortlessly than others. Teams need players like that to add spontaneity and get over the advantage line. However, even the freaks now days are expected to cover up any weaknesses, maybe Quade over compensated on steyn.

    Contrary to what some people have been saying, I think Horne will get more ball with Gits and Barnes in 10-12. The only time they were actually good together was when Morty was in 13. I expect Horne to get plenty of ball and either stamp his mark on proceedings or get hurt.

  • Pick and Go

    Good to see you criminals are getting your excuses in early. AB’s by 13+ and 8th on the trot. Must suck to be a Wallabies supporter.

    • Seaweed

      Good on you. Year before a World Cup, blah, blah, blah. And then what happens?

    • Pedro

      Yeah, it sucks, but then at least we have a couple of world cups to ease the pain. I think the all blacks got one but that was before anyone cared.

      Pocock is going to make McCaw his bitch come saturday.

  • Pick and Go

    Thrashed 49 – 28 with McCaw man of the match! Pedro you should change your name to TOOL

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