Wallabies team and squad vs Fiji in Canberra
Rugby

Wallaby v Fiji team named

Wallaby v Fiji team named

Robbie Deans has named his first test team of the season as the Wallabies prepare to take on the Flying Fijians in Canberra on Saturday night.

Rocky Elsom will continue to skipper the side in what will be his 50th test cap whilst the test team will feature three test rookies in the starting side with a potential further two in the reserves. If the rookies on the bench get a run, then it will be the most test debutants in a single Wallaby test since the Wallabies played New Zealand in Christchurch in 1982.

On that day it was David Campese, Gary Ella, Peter Lucas, Andy McIntyre, Bruce Malouf and John Coolican who received their first test caps. I think Deans would be pretty satisfied if a Rob Horne could produce a Campo like career or  for Salesi Ma’afu to become the power house scrummager that Andy McIntyre was. But who is the front runner to be the modern day Malouf – a one test wonder? If it wasn’t for the glut of hooking injuries, I’d be backing Edmonds.

The Wallaby Team is:

Name Team Caps
15 Kurtley Beale Waratahs 1
14 Digby Ioane Reds 8
13 Rob Horne Waratahs 0
12 Matt Giteau Brumbies 78
11 Adam Ashley-Cooper Brumbies 37
10 Quade Cooper Reds 11
9 Luke Burgess Waratahs 21
8 Richard Brown Force 12
7 David Pocock Force 15
6 Rocky Elsom [c] Brumbies 49
5 Nathan Sharpe Force 78
4 Dean Mumm Waratahs 20
3 Salesi Ma’afu Brumbies 0
2 Huia Edmonds Brumbies 0
1 Ben Alexander Brumbies 18
Reserves:
16 Saia Faingaa Reds 0
17 Pek Cowan Force 3
18 Mark Chisholm Brumbies 48
19 Matt Hodgson Force 0
20 Josh Valentine Brumbies 5
21 Drew Mitchell Waratahs 41
22 James O’Connor Force 13

Look, in reality, Fiji shouldn’t trouble us and it is hard to determine whether this is what Robbie thinks is our best XV, or whether he is taken a few liberties to test some players.  There are a few glaring selections in my eyes however. Firstly it is the lack of Drew Mitchell in the starting side. Now, I’ve been a critic of our Schmoo (in fairness, ever since he left the Reds), but I think he was close to the Australian Player of the Super 14. His form this season was superb – more consistently dangerous than both Diggers and the Earl (AAC). Perhaps he paid the price for the team already having Kurtley and Quade in there. We just couldn’t fit another defensive liability.

Kurtley? Played some great footy towards the end of the year and Robbie is a fan of his at fullback. But I a not convinced he is a better option than AAC, Hynes or James O’Connor as a test match 15 just yet, acknowledging that Hynes is currently injured.

Another question, is at Number 8 and Richard Brown. Ok, so I can understand Deans’s reluctance to move Rocky to 8 as cover for Cliffy Palu, but I can’t understand the continued selection of Brown. For mine he has hasn’t done the job for the Wallabies since his impressive debut off the bench against the All Blacks two years ago. Hodgson or even Hoiles would have been a much more justified selection, given their Super form.

Now the all Brumby front row. I’m ok with Ma’afu as the Tight Head option, although I think Laurie Weeks offers more. Injury curtailed his credentials somewhat. Benny Alexander picks himself, fair enough. But Huia Edmonds? I know we are short hookers, but if he is picked because of his ‘combination’ with Ma’afu and Alexander, than its laughable. As a replacement hooker, just how many scrums did they actually pack as a unit? Call me a conspiracist, but could the selection have anything to do with the location of this test? Perhaps the ARU are looking for some home town support to build numbers?

Now it’s picked, I can’t wait. The first test of the season is always a treat and I do love watching the new talent come into the Wallabies and seeing how they cope. Like I said, we shouldn’t have too many problems with Fiji but if the same team is picked against England? Then I’m not so sure.

  • GC

    The selection of H Seagull Edwards is an unbelievably bad decision when S Faingaa has been one of the Red’s best all season. Mitchell easily deserves to be in over Beale as well.

    I’m officially joining the ‘Link 4 Wobs coach’ club

    • CliffyTahTah

      I think Faingaa is on the bench incase of injuries to TPN for the Eng game next week. Beale probably got the shout over Mitch because he can play wing, fb, 10, 12.

      • Seb V

        good point about fainga

        • Scotty

          Why is that a good point about Fa’ainga? If he is to be playing vs England next week then he needs to start against Fiji. This is a truly shocking selection decision from Deans, and makes no sense what so ever.

      • Patrick

        Agree, Faingaa, Mitchell and JO’C are all likely starters next week. Possibly the entire bench will start next week (ok not Chisholm, not sure why he’s there actually).

        As for Scotty below, how much is a hooker going to get out of playing against Fiji at the very start of their international season?? He has been up against tougher scrums all year, and England will be so far removed from Fiji it isn’t funny. Not to mention, what if he was injured?!

        • Scotty

          The big thing he will get out of it is playing with his possible forward partners. He needs to have a combination with Alexander, Maafu and the locks.

    • Seb V

      I think its a justified selection. No offense to fiji but we should win this game with our A-team. And Deans is testing their capability. Im very curious to how Edmonds performs in a starting squad, will he even have enough fitness, and how will he pack? No-one knows cos he hasnt played that much game-time, we’ll soon find out. Im sure he’s also testing out Beale at fullback, as well as the combo with coops n gits. Im happy with the side as it will help answer who really deserves to start for england and even the tri-nations. Cos lets face it if beale and coops have defensive lapses against fiji then I doubt deans would pick both against the Boks or ABs. Altho im still a bit curious to why he picked Brown at 8 and didnt test out the Elsom to 8 theory, or give hoiles a run for his super 14 form. If they were playing the ABs this weekend Im positive Deans would have picked Mitchell.

      • D

        The Cooper / Giteau combination may not get tested. It will all depend on the degree of shit ball Cooper will be served up by Burgess. Burgess seems to have flown under the radar on this topic, so far. Burgess needs to buy Brown a beer for taking most of the flak!

        Or has Robbie thrown Burgess in to see how Cooper can cope with shit ball or under pressure may be the correct term? Too many scenerios. My head is starting to hurt. Thanks Dingo.

    • jason

      what robbie has done has laid a platform for a golden age to last 10 years
      if he wants it (aus coach) after the world cup extend it buy him a house a car give him australian of the year if we have to
      failing that link will do a good job thou
      in saying that link had the tahs for 5 yrs and they had rubbish backline play for all those years>> seems hes learnt a bit bout backs while in france so im now behind him>> reds were awesome this yr

    • Bob Smith

      I believe Damian Fitzpatrick should be at least in the wallabies squad. I think he had a better super season than Edmonds.
      I’ll join the ‘Link 4 Wobbs Coach Club’ too. Go Ewen McKenzie

  • Oh Brown again? My god he’s useless… Useless, with a side of useless and dipped in useless sauce. Goes perfectly with a white useless from useless river.

    • JTM

      Don’t forget extra uselessness on that

      • D

        And another side of uselessness to go…

        • On a sesame seed useless.

        • D

          With a glass of Chateau Useless for him and Useless and coke for his dining partner Mr Burgess

    • DPK

      I think Brown suffers “Reverse Hype” like a rolling snowball of criticism – first a few people labelled him as a bit useless and he did some very visible poor things on the field (like the two knock on’s in perth) but he isn’t that bad. Give him a break, and a chance.

      • Richard Brown is the equivalent of the fat kid on a basketball team who’s “got hustle”… The only way he’s been judged harshly is because he’s being judged as a number 8, but honestly who’s fault is that.

      • Louie

        same with holies and hula

        • My vote would have gone to Houston. But Hoiles at least gives you the impression he knows what he’s doing.

          This is all I think goes through Brown’s head when he’s got the ball, “Crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap…”

  • Batmann

    Doesn’t appear to be a side picked on form.

    Who’s the ref for the match? If the Fiji scrum is half decent, we could be in for a night of reset after reset with a bunch of penalties.

    • Brumby Jack

      Australia vs Fiji in Canberra
      Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
      Assistant referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
      Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)

  • CliffyTahTah

    What happened to Hynes?

    And why the fuck is Dick Brown there? He must be one of the shitter players to wear the gold.

    Enjoy your time off Berrick.

    • Hynes is out this weekend, he had his knee cleaned up.

  • Roland

    Exchange the brumbies fron row for the reds front row. Look at the scrum penalty stats. Weeks will be tighthead for the RWC next year. Alexander will warm the bench.

    When Higgingbotham is back from injury, Brown will become the teams half time orange peeler.

    Their is no room for Beale in my 22.

  • Reddy!

    On Drew Mitchell – Some think he is suspect, and often poor at international level, but I think it is the opposite. Schmoo more often than not performs for the Wallabies, and up until this year is average to poor at Super rugby level with the glimpse of some form every so often. 18 tries from 41 test caps is pretty good. His Super rugby season this year was exceptional, however, so it should be interesting to see how his form translates to test match rugby – unlike other years he is going into the season with alot of momemtum.

    Having said all that, Deans obviously knows what Mitchell is capable of, and sees this match as the best opportunity to gauge where Kurtley is at. This team is by no means the starting team for the Tri-Nations, but I think it will get closer to it in the lead up to the opening test.

    • JTM

      True that for Mitchell. 2005 was a cracker for him in the Gold, then left out all of ’06 (Connolly!!!), then shared leading try scorer at WC in ’07. Next 2 years may have been a bit leaner, but I’m looking forward to a big year from him for the Wallabies.
      And he’s pretty safe in D, and has always been a great kick chaser, often the only one who bothers for Force/Tahs and Wallabies which says a bit I think.

      • Andrew

        I quite honestly believe Schmoo was a liability last year in defence and by far the worst performing Wallaby under the high ball.

        Yes he scored a handful of flashy tries in the S14 this year, but did sweet f’ all against the top sides when it really mattered. Saying that no-one in the Tahs did.

        I’ll bet my two front teeth Schmoo will be a door mat for the AB’s outside backs again.

        • Tallboy

          Drew’s form in the S14 was a big step up from last year I think but I still believe he loses the ball too much in contact whether through spilling it himself or isolating himself and losing it through a turn over.
          There’s no point making a 20 metre run if you can’t hang on to the pill when you get hit.
          He carved up weak defenses but against quality opposition couldn’t replicate it. AAC may not be a specialist winger but he offers piece of mind defensively and strength at contact.

  • dbla

    Honestly who else was there other than brown to play no. 8, we may not like it (i don’t) but there is hardly anyone else left to play 8 and it just highlights the lack of good quality 8’s running around Aus when palu goes down. I believe hoiles is not direct enough to play test level at 8 because at test level the no. 8’s primary role is get you over the advantage line (my opinion) at first or second phase.

    Hodgson is clearly more a flanker than an 8 and the wallabies have already tried the flanker to 8 jig with poor results in the past. Still it is odd that hodgson, who has outplayed brown all year, doesn’t get a chance to prove that he could be an 8.

    The only player i think who fully deserved first crack at 8 is higgers who has the potential to be a powerful line breaking 8 but he chose to get injured at the worst possible time.

    • JTM

      Higgo will get a shot I reckon, when he’s fit, if not TriNat then End of Season.

      He reminds me alot of these big tough bastards that are always playing backrow for the Sharks/Bulls/Stormers. It’s going to be great watching him and Palu battle it out next year for 8.

      That’s me done I think.

      • dbla

        He is in that saffa mould isnt he, deceptively quick with the size to run over people. If he can get a bit more physicality into his game and work on his body height around the ruck i think he could be a very important player for australia

        • MAW

          Higgas has been the form flanker all super 14 season. He is sensational with ball in hand and you will be pressed to find another flanker as quick. His youth and size are on his side, he has improved out of sight this season. Imagine the prospect of shaping up to an elsom, higgonbotham, pocock backrow. This matching would inject physicality into the game and also be a massive bonus during set play. He must get a call up when fit (about 3 weeks time).

        • Mattyj

          I really think he is overrated. I am huge QLD fan and think the forwards were spectacular. Why would you run with two blindside flankers when by the end of season Houston was playing superbly. Lets face it Eddie Jones didnt do many things right as a Wallabies coach but identifying some good youngsters is one of them. I think “Higgers” is a good player but not a number eight and why move Rocky out of his preferred position. Houston is the forgotten man – give him a go!!

        • MAW

          To MattyJ,

          Have you been watching the same season as the rest of us. I think you have been sucking back on too much of the Devils Lettuce. You have truly lost your marbles. I’m sure your Houston comment may raise some questions from other bloggers, i agree Houston was playing well this season but as for a test contender?????

        • dbla

          Mattyj there are a few reasons i dont think houston should be picked, the first and foremost being that he is slow for a no. 8 these days. Secondly i don’t believe he is going to get any better as a player. Thirdly he is error prone and has poor hands. Finally he is inconsistent, you never know if he is going to turn up to play or not.

          I might sound a bit harsh but no. 8 is a position where you need to be consistent and when houston is on song he looks the goods but when he is bad he is really bad. He has been good for queensland this year and I would love to see him prove me wrong as it will only be good for Queensland rugby but I don’t see him playing any better than this.

          I agree that higgers’ might not be the real deal yet but my point is all the groundwork is there for him to be a great no. 8, he has the size, speed and ball skills to make a mark at internation level he just needs time and exposure at that level to work on his weaker points. I can only see higgers getting better whereas for houston I can’t.

        • dbla

          Mattyj there are a few reasons I wouldn’t pick houston, the first being that he is slow for a no. 8 now days. Secondly he is error prone and has poor hands, thirdly he is inconsistent, you never know if he is going to turn up on the day. Finally, I don’t see him improving as a player.

          All that sounds a bit harsh I know and as a queenslander I have loved his improvement from last year to this one but I think that is as good as he will get. I hope he proves me wrong cus that is only good news for qld.

          At no. 8 I believe you have to be one of the most consistent on the park game in game out which aus hasn’t had since kefu, but I believe higgers has been consistently good this year and has all the groundwork in place to make a mark at international level. He isn’t the real deal yet but he has size, good speed and good ball skills which will lead him into becoming a quality 8 once he gets the rest of his game up to scratch.

          This will happen with time and I can only see higgers’ improving whereas I can’t say the same for houston.

        • Homer J

          Higgers is a massive over rate. He is alright, but showy in the Samo mold. All the good things he has done are Seagull stuff runing out wide or in space.

          To take on the Saffers he needs to commit to the hard stuff and at the coal face he is not nearly as hard as Spies, Vermuelen, Juan Smith etc. Van Humphries would have been a better choice with Mumm at 6 and Rocky at 8.

          Higgers is probably a better option than Brown for his height and weight but he is not the second coming of Kefu, Willie O or even Melon.

        • Mattyj

          I think the biggest issue is higgers is not a number eight – he is a blind side. When he did play 8 early in the season he floundered – it was probably his worst game. In saying that he was pretty close to Rocky in relation to blindside – so what do you do? BTW I agree with the comments on Brown – he is definitely not the solution – just like Smith wasnt. It really comes down to a lack of depth in probably one of the more important forward positions in relation to integration with the backs. Hopefully either Palu keeps fit or the we unearth a gem in the next world cup. Lets face it without a world XV number eight you dont win a world cup.

        • Patrick

          ‘Even’ Melon? wtf?

        • Joel D

          The comments about Leroy Houston are way off the mark, he constantly gets driven back in tackles instead of driving forward in the tackle like you want your main meter eater to do.

    • Bob Smith

      Hodgson should be starting at No 8 not Brown. Browns performance against All Blacks in 2008 was a worthy performance. That was 2 years ago. Every other game he was crap. Besides remember the Quokka Shocker. Dick Brown was in that. I wouldn’t select him just on that. And I agree Higgenbotham or Cliffy Palu would be Better.

      • Bob Smith

        Even Mown is better than Brown

  • Joe

    is ben daley hurt because i’d much rather have him then pek cowan or ma’afu. And it sickens me to see dick brown returning to the starting XV over an in form stephen hoiles or matt hodgson at blindside with rocky moved to 8. How many yellow cards will it take this year for robbie to realize that dick brown should not be a test starter.

  • D

    Not sure about Cooper & Beale playing on the same team. It will be 15 v 13 when the wallabies are defending. Cooper normally drops back to full back in defense. Where the hell is he going to go now? 2 fullbacks in defense who both can’t tackle. AAC to fullback, Diggers and Schmoo on the wings. Beale on the bench to cone on with 15-20 to go.

    On the Dick Brown selection. Not sure what Robbie was smoking when he made this one. Probably the same weed he was on when he put Cooper & Beale in the same run on side. Expect to see a lot of shots at goal from the men in white. It seems to me that Mr Brown never read the chapter on penalties in the IRB rule book.

    I agree with batmann. This is not a team picked on current form.

    Also a note to Sookface….karma’s a bitch!!!!!! That’s what you get for leaving the Reds!!!!!!! (laughing like Dr Evil) hooooohaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

    • MrMouse

      Perhaps Robbie thought Fiji wouldn’t go for goal? Dunno, just occurred to me – still reckon he was on crack…

      • D

        They will now as they will be given plenty of opportunities. They’ll also run at the line a lot too when they are up a man for 10 minutes of the game.

  • Darkhorse

    I’m hoping deans is just gauging who he wants to start for the eng test. Surely Mitchell will have to start soon, with either horne, aac, ioane, or beale making way. Likely it will be beale who makes way, but perhaps only when hynes gets fit.

    When everyones fit I’m hoping for Genia, Cooper, Mitchell, Giteau, AAC, Ioane, Hynes. Res: Whoever as half, Beale, Horne.

    With horne to be eased into it. I think he’s one for the future, but in my opinion AAC deserves a proper chance at outside. I always thought it was his best position, but he had to wait for stirlo to make way.

    Horne would be pretty good on the wing at test level also.

  • Robson

    Early days yet and it’s the right time to try out some individuals and combinations at test level. I’d rather be experimenting at this time of the test season than against the ABs or worse still, the Boks.

    I wonder how Gits reacted to being posted to the second five spot and I sustpect that they won’t be playing the dual play maker roles either.

    There are a few selections I can’t be sure of the rational for, but I’m pretty sure that Robbis is wanting to seriously test the combo of Cooper at 10 and Gits are 12.

    It should be interesting on Saturday.

  • weiyong

    For once, I’m going to trust RD and let the Wallabies play their footy.

    Besides, there’s enough time to throw in my 2c after the game.

    • El Gamba

      With 20/20 hindsight!

  • Groucho

    This backline is a well-considered experiment. Beale and Horne are there to see who goes best. If Beale goes best he’ll get a shot at England, with AAC at 13. If Horne goes best he’ll get a shot at England, with AAC at 15. Mitchell will certainly come into the starting team.

    • sammy

      interesting theory, hoping the (huge amount of) hype on horne is justified.

  • Homer J

    Can’t wait for Horne to tear up the poms when he and Diggers run onto some great Cooper long balls. They won’t know where the attack is coming from.

    On the other side, most schools packs would weigh more than that team. The Saffers will beat them to a pulp. Without Robinson, Horwill, TPN and Cliffy to add weight and crunching ‘D’ then that pack is weak.

    Ball runners = 0
    Big hitters = 0
    height = 1 (Sharpe)

    Bekker and Matfield will have a field day in the lineouts, while they have about 10 backrowers who can fit into the boks all of whom are twice Brown’s size.

    I would like to believe we can win the Tri-nations but it will be very tough to maintain it for 6 games.

  • Pedro

    Mark Chisholm made the bench, that’s the crazy part.

    I think this is the back line I would have hoped for but didn’t expect. I probably would have started Mitchell, but whoever he replaces would’ve been on the bench for me.

    It looks like Deans wants to fight fire with fire against Fiji. Lots of pace and flair to burn, I don’t think this is a full strength side but certainly an exciting one.

    Edmonds will be good, sure he’ll bugger himself but that’s why we have Faingaa on the bench. Don’t forget Huia played most of the game against the Saders, he was one of the brums best forwards. Plus he has a great (hilarious) step and a great boot, more of a Jeremy Paul than Brendan Cannon.

    • Searsy

      “more of a Jeremy Paul than Brendan Cannon” Is that code for seagull?

      • DPK

        What is it with aussie hookers (to digress)? Cannon, Paul and Kearns all have a touch of the dickhead to them, to varying degrees.

    • Pedro

      When forwards get involved with tries people call them seagulls, no one complains about backs clean out or get involved in mauls though.

      I just think Huia is more visible in open play than some front rowers, I like that. Although he’s not employed to fling the pill around, step or put the ball on the toe, you know it’s still an option.

  • Jack

    it would appear that old rupeni caucau is back and playing at 12. word is he is pushing 130kgs now, pretty much 40-50kgs more than gits. Fiji should be able to smash over the gain line every time just by attacking the 10-12 channel. could be a tight game.

  • Sideshow

    How’s this for an idea… Barnes at 9. Who has the sweeter pass out of Barnes, Burgess and Valentine? Can defend, can run, can kick, has vision, and most of all, can put a sweet long pass in the right spot. And if there is too much competition to fit him at 10 or 12, then what a perfect backup for Genia!

    • Batmann

      How about Gits at 9?

    • Searsy

      Passing isn’t all that a scrum half does. Gregans bio title ‘half back, half forward’ gives you a better idea. They need to be the key organisor of the forwards. I can’t see sookface getting too much respect from the pigs. If Burgess can’t pass, just leave the ball with the forwards. Backs only drop the ball anyway and then have a break while the forwards try and get the ball back from a scrum. Barnes will finally now have the time he needs to fine tune his beautiful hair.

      • Sideshow

        Is a meerkat impersonation the same thing as organising? Give Barnes a handful of games in the role, and I’d put my money on him being better at every single facet of 9 play than either Burgess or Valentine.

    • Pedro

      That would be hilarious, Burgess would go from incumbent Wallaby halfback to back up Tahs halfback in under 12 months.

      Sounds like a good idea but it may as well be gits, he’s nippier plus he’s not Barnes.

    • Bob Smith

      Neat Idea

  • This looks like a side to play Fiji

    • Crashball

      Spot-on Gagger, we’ll be looking for turnover ball from isolated runners and making the most of gaps in possibly the least organised defence in the 15-a-side game. You pick the team to take advantage of the opposition’s talents and that’s what Robbie Deans is doing.

  • endless112

    Guys

    Love the nick-names dished at here e.g. Sookface, The Earl and Shmoo

    I can gather where the first two come from but can someone fill me in on Shmoo?

    • Drew Shmoo… Best represented when accompanied by a dismissive wave.

    • Shampoo

      • My hair! My beautiful hair!

      • The tape, it burns!

      • Pedro

        At least if I tear too much hair out I’ll still have pretty ears.

      • FLASHDANCE!

      • Sagerian

        Dude’s just exfoliating, give the guy a break.

        • DPK

          Burgo’s lopped off the locks, shaved head. Now you can actually see his empty head.

  • mudskipper

    Fiji is a player injury waiting to happen… looking forward to seeeing Horne have a go… and Hui Edmonds the sharpest side stepping chip kicking hooker in OZ…

    • D

      With Fiji being known to create a few injuries to our players, I think Robbie may have wanted to go with the Barnes option at inside center instead of Gits. This way Barnes can get his sidelining injury out of the way straight away and Robbie can focus on a centers partnership that will last the course of the 3N.

  • mudskipper

    8 Brumbies home town match…. nice work Deano…

  • Who Needs Melon

    I’m a BIG fan of this team – especially the backline. We HAD to give these guys a shot – they’ve all earned it.

    As for the forwards, no disrespect but… it’s Fiji! They aren’t traditionally too good in the forwards. We’re not likely to be dominated in the scrums nor have rolling mauls used against us all night, our lineouts stolen, etc. so it’s really a good time to have the injuries we have and experiment with a bit of a running forward pack.

    I’m EXCITED!

    • Bobas

      I like it too, but still Mitchell deserved the start over AAC.

      I wanted to see AAC on the bench to come on for Burgess and push gits into 9 after 5 mins of poor passing.

      Seeing that would be worth admission price alone.

      • Bobas

        Also seeing brown on for Hoiles will make the Canberra crowd so angry.

        Its a bit like seeing Croft start for Waugh if you’re a tah fan. A shitter, balder player of the same position.

    • Bob Smith

      I’m a big fan of the new Generation but I would make a few changes.
      Benn Robinson, Polota-Nau, Ben Alex, Hornwill, Kane Douglas, Rocky, Pocock, Genia, Quade Cooper, Drew Mitchell, JOC, Horne, Ione/Turner(can’t decide), AAC
      This is all with nobody injured.
      Maybe I shouldn’t have put James Hornwill in. Gets Injured to Much.
      I’m Tipping Kane Douglas to be the next Dan Vickerman.
      The Genia/ Cooper partnership is so great, I’ll also tip them to be the next Gregan and Larkham. Their partnership is so valuable, Sorry Gits you’re on the Bench.
      Why isn’t James O’Connor in the Starting side? He has so much talent. I thought his three try haul against Italy last year was enough to prove that.
      Tipping Rob Horne to overtake Brian O’Discoll.

  • Goochmeister

    I can’t believe Dingo has gone for Beale at fullback. I know he had a few good games at the end of the season, but AAC at 15 and Schmoo on the sting would be a much better choice I think.
    And Dick Brown, surely must be his last chance for the Wallabies. My choice would have been Elsom to 8 and Hodgson at 6. As others have said, it is only Fiji and we should be in for a convincing win in preparation for England next up.
    I am making the trip to the capital to watch this week so hoping for an exciting, expansive game with lots of scintillating tries from the backs.

    • Patrick

      Then you would want Beale at 15 wouldn’t you?

  • Langthorne

    Beale: “a few good games”?! – don’t you mean a few awesome games? and a few good games?

    • Bob Smith

      Ever Since Hickey opted for Beale instead of Sos Anesi the Tahs have been playing great Football.
      AAC is a favourite of Mine. He can play almost any postion and all of them like he’s a Speacialist in that role. Having Ashley Cooper on the Bench is great because if anyone in the Backline is under performing AAC can replace them.
      Its a hard descion but AAc at Fullback, Beale on the Bench.

  • JJJ

    What’s up with Ben Alexander at loosehead? Is this an indication of where Deans wants to use him from now on? If not, I would’ve thought he’d be keen to get BA back to tighthead ASAP so he can start trying to get back up to speed ahead of the Eng/Ire/3N tests. Not only is there the technique to change, but also some reconditioning. It’s far from ideal having your international THP play LHP for half the season, so why exacerbate the problem by keeping him there longer than he needs to? Unless, that is, you want him to stay there.

    We already have a world-class loosehead in Robinson though. So why not shift BA straight to 3 and have someone fill in at 1 until Fat Cat is fit again? The last thing we want to do is have BA trying to get used to playing THP again against Eng, SA or NZ. He’ll get penalized to hell and could end up with a reputation with the refs as a weak scrummager which will be hard to shake once he gets back up to where he was last year as a tighthead. Arguably the best thing he brought last season to the 3 jersey was a clean slate with the refs.

    • Robson

      We already have a world-class loosehead in Robinson though. So why not shift BA straight to 3 and have someone fill in at 1 until Fat Cat is fit again? The last thing we want to do is have BA trying to get used to playing THP again against Eng, SA or NZ.

      Couldn’t agree more. Alexander needs to get back to playing TH asap because he has to relearn the tight head role all over again – i.e. feet position, timing, point of impact etc to say nothing of how competely different it feels on the tight head side to the loosehead side. There are a lot of changes to get used to and it took him time to make the transition last year.

      I always thought that Andy Friend did Alexander no favours at all playing him at loosehead during the S14.

      Futhermore Ma’afu won’t exactly strike terror into the opposition”s heart at tighthead either.

  • Hey,fiji team are here to kick your the wallabies ass until it gets swollen

  • i dont care how you think about who is playing what and who is in and and who is not ass is about to be whipped in your home ground..lol fiji all the way about time mate…whatever fiji is going to win this game.

  • Amy

    Then you would want Beale at 15 wouldn’t you?

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  • Api

    ,,,,,,,,,about the half back position, Dean has made a mistake in starting Josh Vallantine at the bench…..
    bythway,,,,,, the FIJIAN warriors we b thr to kick ash!!!!!!!!

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