Wallaby Train On Squad Selected - Green and Gold Rugby
Wallabies

Wallaby Train On Squad Selected

Wallaby Train On Squad Selected

Wallaby coach Michael Cheika has named an eclectic group of names in his latest Wallaby squad. The players, who will initially gather at their state training bases, will ultimately set up camp in Newcastle from 24-29 July.

The Force have been rewarded for a strong season with nine players in the squad, including returning Wallaby front rowers Pek Cowan and Tetra Faulkner. Uncapped players include Jermaine Ainsley, Billy Meakes and Curtis Rona.

Other rookies in the squad include Sef Fa’agase (Reds), Adam Korczyk (Reds), Izack Rodda (Reds), Taniela Tupou (Reds), Jordan Uelese (Rebels), Marika Koroibete (Rebels), Campbell Magnay (Reds) and Izaia Perese (Reds).

Magnay is probably the most contentious selection considering his limited game time this year for Queensland and his intention to head to Japan at season’s end. It comes across as a strategic move by Cheika to try to convince the young utility back of his value in Australian rugby.

Quade Cooper and Scott Higginbotham are perhaps the most notable omission, although Rob Horne (who also played for the Wallabies in June) has not been selected either.

Stephen Moore has been named as captain of the squad.

Campbell Magnay played his last game at Suncorp before heading to Japan. Will he be back ?

Campbell Magnay played his last game at Suncorp before heading to Japan. Will he be back ?

The full squad is:

Forwards
Jermaine Ainsley*, Western Force
Adam Coleman, 12 Tests, Western Force
Pek Cowan, 10 Tests, Western Force
Jack Dempsey, 1 Test, NSW Waratahs
Kane Douglas, 31 Tests, Queensland Reds
Sef Fa’agase*, Queensland Reds
Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tests, Western Force
Ned Hanigan, 3 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Richard Hardwick, 2 Tests, Western Force
Michael Hooper, 68 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Sekope Kepu, 80 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Adam Korczyk*, Queensland Reds
Tolu Latu, 4 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Sean McMahon, 15 Tests, Melbourne Rebels
Stephen Moore (c), 120 Tests, Queensland Reds
Tatafu Polota-Nau, 71 Tests, Western Force
Tom Robertson, 9 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Izack Rodda*, Queensland Reds
Rob Simmons, 71 Tests, Queensland Reds
Lopeti Timani, 7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels
Taniela Tupou*, Queensland Reds
Jordan Uelese*, Melbourne Rebels

Backs
Kurtley Beale, 60 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Israel Folau, 55 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Bernard Foley, 45 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Will Genia, 78 Tests
Dane Haylett-Petty, 17 Tests, Western Force
Reece Hodge, 13 Tests, Melbourne Rebels
Karmichael Hunt, 3 Tests, Queensland Reds
Samu Kerevi, 8 Tests, Queensland Reds
Marika Koroibete*, Melbourne Rebels
Campbell Magnay*, Queensland Reds
Billy Meakes*, Western Force
Eto Nabuli, 1 Test, Queensland Reds
Sefa Naivalu, 7 Tests, Melbourne Rebels
Izaia Perese*, Queensland Reds
Nick Phipps, 52 Tests, NSW Waratahs
Curtis Rona*, Western Force
*denotes uncapped player

Bledisloe Cup training camps

Local State training bases, July 20-22

Newcastle, NSW, July 24-29

Local State training bases, July 31-Aug 2

Cessnock, NSW, Aug 6-11

Penrith, NSW, Aug 13-18

  • TheNutorious

    No mention of the omission!

    Sorry end for Cooper. He had the talent, never fulfilled it and at his age never will. Bad season for the Reds and the World Cup is two years away. It’s a shame, but the right call.

    • Tommy Brady

      Playing No. 10 at the top level now requires a complete range of attacking, defensive, distribution and kicking skills – plus the never out of style ability to steer a team around the park.

      Cooper has never displayed the willingness to broaden his skill-set and narrow the gap between the strongest and weakest aspects of his game. It is an outdated approach for that position that is becoming obsolete – he has just discovered that! He has no-one to blame but himself.

      • TheNutorious

        Well put.

        It will be interesting to see what he does now.

        • onlinesideline

          my bet is that he’ll be called back in – after Wallabies getting absoluetly squeezed in first test and accused of having no attack after being blitzed by AB rush defence.

        • TheNutorious

          You are probably right. The Wallabies will be getting smashed in the first Bledisloe irrespective of where Cooper is.

          If the decision to omit him has merit then Cheika shouldn’t back down.

          However, if Cooper is called upon he has to play. He’s contracted to and is being paid as a Wallaby. And he has no divine right to be selected in the squad.

          Also, you know maybe this omission is intended as a last ditch-effort to give him a kick-up the backside that he needs?

        • onlinesideline

          true but I can tell you one thing. We aint gonna be opening up the darkness with Foley there. Its not England its the kiwis. He just gets silenced against these guys. The thing I think Cheika and other players dislike the most about Quade is his panic button when he gets set upon. Like what he did in Reds match where he panicked getting pushed back over his tryline and split the ball. It has a catastophic effect in big matches like Bledilsoe so ….

          its a real shame because Im gonna say this – the guy excites me – im serious. He has some phenomenal skills and vision like no other I’ve seen. Its just his bloody pysche – victim of some deep rooted fear – bloody complex but maybe thats where his genuius is also.

          too deep too deep

        • Who?

          To be fair, if you look at last June, Foley didn’t open up England, either.
          Also, I don’t think Cooper’s dropping of the ball in the in-goal against the Brumbies was panic – it was slippery as all get out, and he was far from theonly one dropping the pill when it looked secure in possession (and, since he’d looked to shift the ball before realizing he was about to get owned, it wasn’t fully secured).
          He’s also sometimes deeper than Foley (Foley doesn’t always play as flat as everyone likes to make out – I remember him standing so deep behind front foot ball that Phipps couldn’t hit him on the full!), but every 10 should vary their depth based on their pack’s performance.

        • McWarren

          I really don’t get the continued questioning of Coopers attitude. Since the toxic environment comment, which may well have been correct, what has he done to show a poor attitude? His defence, although ungainly, is better than Foleys, he doesn’t miss tackles anymore (so he has obviously worked to improve it), his goal kicking was ordinary but is now equal to Foley (worked out a strange stance which everyone took the piss out of but stuck with it). His communication is streets ahead of Foleys. I really do not get it. I accept that neither of them now are going to be world beaters, but until we find a replacement can we please keep both of them in the squad.

          Question, as a 10 do you do more tackles than you do kicks in play, for sideline or for goal?

        • TheNutorious

          His defence is better than Foley’s, are you serious?

        • joy

          Yes. Check his career stats.

        • McWarren

          Coopers stats are similar to Foleys. So I’ll accept he isn’t better, he’s the same.

          And my remarks about his attitude?

        • idiot savant

          Thats an unfair question for Foley and Cooper as Grey and Stiles move them to wing or fullback when defending. But I guess even if they stayed there they wouldn’t make more than 10 tackles a game.

        • McWarren

          But for all 10’s, not just Foley or Cooper. If you had 2 10’s, one could kick to corners well, kicked at 80% for goal and organise a team well, but was a turnstile in defence, the other could tackle everything all day and organise a team well, kicked goals at 80% but had no kicking game. Who would you choose?

          For me it’s easier to hide a defensive weakness then a kicking and one.

        • idiot savant

          Agree. The goal kicking is not vital if you pick another player in the side who can kick them. But kicking out of hand is what gives the number 10 the confidence to be a General and control the game. Its Foley’s lack of confidence in this that prevents him from taking that next step. Or, its not having a 12 he can rely on to do that (which Ella had). Cooper has got the idea but his execution is flaky.

        • Who?

          This is the standard (Cheika) pattern for selection for Cooper. Lose at home with Foley, then select Cooper to play in NZ. In all his games since 2011 against NZ, in 7 games, it’s something like 2 games in Australia, 5 in NZ, and all the starts were in NZ. Then people whinge that Quade lost the game, when we couldn’t beat the ABs in Australia (so doing so in NZ was always unlikely), and 80% of the time his involvements didn’t lead to NZ points (and the other time, we were due to be pulled apart anyway as we were exhausted from the defending we’d already done).
          What’s the definition of insanity..?

        • Alex J

          Unfortunately history shows that game one is probably our best shot at giving them a game

      • lee enfield

        There are a number of other players who fit the description of not showing a willingness to broaden their skills and narrow the gap between the strongest and weakest aspects of their game, yet I see they have been picked. Based on your reasoning, Foley should also be dropped, as he is also poor in those skills listed.

        • TheNutorious

          Disagree re: Foley. He is an all-rounder in the skills listed. A real jack of all trades (master of none). His weakness is his points-kicking.

        • onlinesideline

          and kicking in general play and for sideline.

        • joy

          Not to mention his vision and rugby IQ.

        • lee enfield

          I think it can be safely said that Foley lacks the ability to steer a team around the park, he has also shown a propensity to going missing when things get a little tough. His defence is not up to speed, his passing game is below standard for an international 10, and attack wise, he offers little beyond running, hence why he requires a Beale at 12.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He does score some good tries at times. I personally think he suffers from a slow pass at 9. I do agree that he needs to develop himself and I’m not sure he’s doing that.

        • McWarren

          And his clearing kicks, and his defence, and his ability to butcher 4 tries to score one.

        • Pclifto

          While Foley has weaknesses (in-field kicking being the biggest for me) I can’t agree that his defence is questionable… he has one of the best tackles in the Wallabies, have seen him make a number of crunch / try saving tackles over the years. Light years ahead of Cooper in defence

        • Who?

          If Foley’s such a great defender, and Cooper’s not, why does Foley also get hidden in defence? He defends at hooker at defensive lineouts, and at wing in general play.

        • McWarren

          Pclifto his defensive stats are on par with Quades, are you saying Quades defence is a strong point? Both are hidden out of sight in defence. Foley’s tackling style is more conventional but still not solid. For me it’s more important a 10 has a commanding kicking game.

        • Pclifto

          I don’t disagree with your point about the importance of a 10 having a commanding kicking game… or even that this is more important than defence in a 10. I actually agree with you on both.

          But I happen to disagree he is suspect in defence. As I said he is light years ahead of Windmill Quade and makes the important tackles when they count – I’d wager from his sevens experience.

          Irrelevant where he is positioned in defence – 10s regualalry defend in different positions based on the overall game plan.

          I am very frustrated with Foley’s weaknesses (particularly in field kicking placement and distance) but I don’t think defence is his issue.

        • McWarren

          And yet Quades defensive stats suggest he is as good as Foley if not better.

        • Tommy Brady

          I think it explains why Foley would not be ranked in the Top 7 fly halves in world rugby.

      • first time long time

        Given your first paragraph, WTF is Foley doing there?

        • Tommy Brady

          Cheika needs someone to wear the 10 jersey doesn’t he?

          I do believe it is why Foley’s ranking as an international No. 10 is slipping. Others are passing him by.

      • Who?

        What’s Cheika’s approach to the game? I don’t think it’s obsolete – that would imply it was, at some point, relevant…
        If Cooper’s not there, most are coming to the conclusion Foley shouldn’t be there, why wasn’t Lance selected?!

        • Tommy Brady

          Apologies for the confusion. I was implying Cooper’s attitude to addressing his deficiencies (or lack of them) is obsolete.

          The good young No. 10’s now work really hard on being complete rugby players. They’re constantly honing their core skills of running, passing and kicking (of all types) but also ensure their defensive channel is robust, effective and not an area of target for opposition attack.

          For too long, I believe Cooper had an attitude of “This is who I am. I come with definite strengths – and weaknesses”. He has not evolved or developed. It has caught up with him.

        • Who?

          The best 10’s have always had that attitude. Look at Carter. In 2010, he had more pilfers in TRC than McCaw!
          I also don’t believe that Foley’s had an attitude much different to Cooper. In that, I don’t see much improvement from 2014 Foley to 2017 Foley. In spite of being the unquestionable and undroppable 10 for the Wallabies. Last year, when he was completely, horribly out of form, he was moved to 12, for reasons that no one in Australia can explain with any form of confidence other than “Cheika seemed to think he needed Foley in the team…”
          If we look at other 10’s, we only have Lance. We don’t actually have any other eligible (let alone in form) 10’s at the moment, Garden-Bachop and Hawera are Kiwis. So it’s hard to argue that the good young 10’s do anything now, as we don’t actually seem to have any at the next level down.

        • Tommy Brady

          Excellent points. Don’t they dovetail into the comments made yesterday by skills coach Mick Byrne?

        • Who?

          To an extent, although Byrne’s comments really didn’t go into specifics.
          But they leave the question, why Foley over Cooper, why not both, or neither..? And the only answer is that Cheika likes Foley, he doesn’t like Cooper. That’s not a straight personality comment, but it’s a very simple summation.

        • Tommy Brady

          There feels a preference for Foley. Has Cooper done enough to replace the incumbent? If in Cheika’s position, what would you do?

        • Who?

          In Cheika’s position, I wouldn’t have picked Foley at 12 last year. That being the case, who knows where we end up now? After all, Cooper was dropped for Foley to move back to 10 after he’d done very little wrong, and after Foley had shown nothing to indicate he was clearly the better player…
          And, if you take Cheika at his word, then the question is, why is Foley undroppable? He claims everyone is fair game. Yet Foley had a very poor June… It’s quite arguable that the current situation isn’t a need for alternative 10’s to force the existing one out, it’s more that the existing one has been working his way backwards out of the team.
          So, as a minimum, you want an alternative 10 in the squad. And neither Beale nor Hunt fit that description.

        • Tommy Brady

          Interesting thoughts. You’re earlier comments about the lack of depth at No. 10 are real and alarming. Certainly begs the question why Jake McIntyre is heading overseas when there is a Wallaby jersey there if he worked hard and delivered some consistent form.

          Does this become the catalyst for Cheika to further lower the “Giteau Rule” to allow more overseas based Australian players to be eligible for the Wallabies? Right now in 1-2 key positions the cupboard looks disturbingly bare.

        • Who?

          I’m pretty sure Cheika did point out the fact that Kiwis were providing the starting options at both the Brumbies and Rebels earlier this year, and how that impacted on our selection options.
          At the Rebels, that was over Debreczeni. Now, I actually think that’s a good selection. I always thought that, with his size, his boot, that Debreczeni was a big option at 15. But that should only have happened if there was a better local option. Reality was that Debreczeni went backwards under McGahan. And now he’s off overseas, too.
          I think that, for McIntyre, it was lack of exposure, and Debreczeni it’s a lack of development. Neither is a great reason for Australia to lose prospective players – we should be developing them better than that. The Wallabies squad is not the place for that – those guys were nowhere near that squad, and rightly so. But it’s a failure of recruitment for McIntyre to head overseas, and a failure of development for both of them.
          We have major, major issues with coaching and coaching development in this country. I don’t know that Kafe’s the solution (I’d have preferred Nucifora, Fisher, etc), though I guess at least it’s a positive that someone’s been appointed…
          And I certainly hope we don’t extend the Giteau Law. I think the framing of that law was perfect. But changing it – and using it outside RWC years – is not a good idea.

        • idiot savant

          Well if he lowers it to 50, he can pick Barnes. Though I think Father Time may be catching up there. Still, Barnes lives in Japan and we are going to be playing the next RWC there. Tour guide come back up number 10 perhaps!

        • idiot savant

          Which is why its even stranger that Cheika hasn’t picked some development players for both the June series and this one – like Mason or Stewart or even a Pau’auia (who might be a 10 one day). I guess he might have them show up at training just not in an offical capacity?

        • Who?

          Mason was there in June. A cynic might suggest that’s because he signed for the Tahs earlier in the season. :-P I watched him play for Qld Country last year, I wasn’t hugely impressed… Wasn’t expecting him to spin and dance in for 15 tries, or for him to throw 40m cutouts. But he didn’t seem to boss his backline around. The backline wasn’t crisp, the passes weren’t crisp.
          Stewart’s had pretty well as much game time as Mason. Both are very green, and behind the last two Wallaby 10’s at their provinces.
          The question is, why haven’t we got an Aussie 10 at the Rebels and/or Brumbies? Meanwhile, Sam Green’s gone overseas, Jake McIntyre’s heading overseas… Sam didn’t get a great run, and I wasn’t a huge fan of Jake (but put an asterisk next to that, as he was coached solely by Richard Graham), but why are they going overseas when we don’t have selectable 10’s in Aussie provinces..?
          And if we only have one other Aussie who’s got regular experience playing 10 available for selection, why didn’t we select him?! Maybe it’s because Cheika doesn’t rate him, and let him leave the Tahs…
          And Paua’aia, I thought he could’ve been selected at 12 for the June squad…

        • idiot savant

          I thought Mason was pretty good in his one Super Rugby start this year.

    • onlinesideline

      Cooper is just not Cheika’s kind of player – probably because he doesnt tackle and rarely puts his head down and runs full tilt towards the line. Only Link seemed to be able to make him fit into the Wallabies. It is a shame and he never really was given a real go under Cheika, even way back to the RWC where he was on bench for most of it.Im not sure its the correct decision but given up pondering this one.

      • Who?

        Not sure Cooper was even on the bench for most of the RWC – he only played against Uruguay. Surely you expect a few minutes if you’re on the bench for a heap of games..?
        His inability to tackle isn’t much different to Foley, so that’s not it. It’s more that he doesn’t fit Cheika’s criteria in other areas (I’m guessing it’s that doesn’t run enough (because we really expect our 10’s to be crashballers), looks for width in the game (Cheika likes power forwards rumbling through the midde. Meanwhile, Larkham’s attempting to play with width), and can kick in general play).
        For all that, there’s no Jonno Lance. Which means the back up 10 is… Beale. A player pretty well universally acknowledged (on here, going off comments over the last few days) as being marked ‘not for use at 10′.

        • Waz_dog

          He’s dropped because he can’t kick goals – and he can’t. I don’t know why they don’t fast track Hamish Stewart. Just get the kid in the squad to experience the level required to be a Wallaby

        • Who?

          Because only the 10 can kick goals..? And because Foley never has an off day..? And Beale can kick goals…….?

        • Waz_dog

          It doesn’t always have to be the 10 but it should be one of the 10’s core roles. Like how a 7 should be able to fetch and how a prop should be able to scrum.

          It is seriously scary the lack of goal kicking talent we have in this country. It’s like the problem we had when we had a host of props that couldn’t scrum.

          I don’t care now – the choices Chieka has made at 9 & 10 he has to live with now. See how it pans out.

        • Who?

          I agree that goal kicking is something every 10 should aspire to carrying, but it’s the fifth selection criteria I put on a 10. After vision, communication, distribution and kicking from the hand. Vision you can’t coach easily. It’s something magicians understand, and that scientists are learning from magicians (seriously – the best scientific research into how the eye works is being done in Las Vegas so they can access magicians!). Communication can be coached, but it’s also something that’s easier when it’s natural. Distribution is easy to coach, and more crucial than goal kicking for a 10, because it can’t be passed to someone else. Kicking from hand is arguably more difficult to coach, but it’s a little easier to share that workload.
          You’re right about Cheika having to live with his choices at 9 and 10. And, in all honesty, I don’t think we’ll be losing Tests because of those positions – I think they’ll play at the margins, but I think we’ll lose them further forward than that, with tactics (which is independent of selection at 9 and 10), and defence.

        • Waz_dog

          Generally speaking who your 10 is going to kick. In this instance with Quade it’s his inability to slot them and that unfortunately changes your style of game. We need a reliable kicker and that at this stage is foley. I bet if there was another option that chieka could use for his goal kicking foley would be under enormous pressure to retain his spot. It’s the only reason I can think of on why he’s never been dropped

        • Who?

          It’s a very narrow way of picking your 10, though. I mean, not even England and Wales work that way, given their 12 and 15 (respectively) generally do the kicking.

        • David Creagh

          Anyone remember John Eales? Number 5. You give the kicking duties to the best kicker, if that happens to be a hooker, so be it.

        • mikado

          Agree, but there needs to be a decent kicker somewhere in the side. Unless you’re the All Blacks, you can’t just pick someone on the basis they’re the least bad. So Australia’s problem seems to be a lack of good alternatives to Foley.

        • Waz_dog

          Yep that’s the problem we’re faced with in this current team. Foley has to kick and where does he play? No one is taking the 10 position unless they’re a better kick or someone else is better than foley.

        • David Creagh

          Yes, Foley is the best of a very small butch. My argument that the ability to kick goals is not a core skill of a 10. So speaketh the Tight Head Prop.

        • Waz_dog

          Based off this squad there isn’t a goal kicker in there other than Foley. If there was I reckon qc would have got a look in. In regards to qc specifically, he’s taken it upon himself to kick and the amount of times he’s missed non pressure kicks isn’t good enough for SR let alone international standard. I would never pick a 10 based on their ability to kick goals but generally speaking they’re the ones that kick the most and it’s a default role they take on. 99.9% of positions that take in field kicks will kick for goal. 9, 10, 12, 15. This is a specific case this wallabies team where we don’t have an alternative to foley.

        • Who?

          Hodge. Though he does have a problem – he needs really, really tall goal posts… And it’s been pointed out that Beale can kick, too (I must admit I’d forgotten – maybe that’s because I was pretty well inline with the kick he missed in the 2013 Lions Test in Brisbane…). Shame we let Nic White go. We could pick that Force 9, too…

        • Waz_dog

          Chewy on your boot Beale haha. Really think hodge is going to usurp Beale? He’s a long way down the pecking for any other backline position.

        • Who?

          I know. It’s about priorities, though. And I wouldn’t have Beale at 12. I’m not Cheika. I’d have him at 15, with Folau at 14, Naiavalu (or Hodge, if worried about goal kicking) in 11. I want Kurtley bringing the ball back. A kick return trio of Folau, Beale and Cooper would be pretty scary. If Hunt were to play, have him at 12, but if it were Cooper, I’d be tempted to try the Kerevidrani again, as he’s better able to unlock two big ball running centres than Foley (i.e. he has a longer pass), and Beale would be in the backfield anyway. If not Kerevidrani, then Hunt and maybe Kuridrani (for his defence).

        • Waz_dog

          All I know is that if foley is our 10 I know what every other teams game plan is – kick the ball into the wallabies 22 and pin them there. The powder puff exit kick of foley is a joke. We are going to spend a long time in our own half this RC unfortunately.

        • Who?

          The problem isn’t just Foley’s boot. It’s the fact that everyone else in the team seems to be banned from kicking. Even with DHP, Hunt, and Hodge on the field in June, the only players who kicked – all through the June Tests – were the scrumhalf and nominated fly half. Meaning, Cooper kicked in the first test, when Foley was off. But he didn’t kick in the third Test, when Foley was still there.
          So it’s not just a skills issue – it’s a tactics issue.

        • Waz_dog

          Preaching to the converted who – we are going to get pants this RC…

        • Pclifto

          Beale can kick goals if he wears the right sprigs ;)

        • Who?

          I was sitting almost directly behind the goals at that end of the field that night… The Corkman beside me was dying. Until he slipped…

        • Pclifto

          Man that sucked. I was there too… on the right side looking over Kurtley’s right shoulder towards the goals… just gutting!

        • Who?

          I had my 15 month old asleep on my lap. I was very disappointed, but impressed we got so close. For mine, the match was a failure for the Lions. They went out there trying to grind us down, and did the same in the second Test. They should’ve gone out trying to blast us off the park, which they finally did in the final Test, which showed just how far we’d fallen apart…
          Managed to get a photo of my boy with Christian Leali’ifano after the game. With the better concussion protection, I’m not sure he’d have been allowed out onto the field to say hello to his family (who were up the northern end of the field) today…

    • RugbyReg

      I mention both Higgers and Quade being omitted. Anyone else you think is an omission?

      • TheNutorious

        Come on mate, the article has been updated since it was posted. It’s hardly a big deal.

        The paragraph previously started with “Scott Higginbotham is perhaps the most notable omission” and you forgot to change omission to “omissions” in your update.

        • Bobas

          a bit rich coming from the guy who spells Folau with a ‘y’.

        • TheNutorious

          What is a bit rich, Bobas? Mentioning that Cooper wasn’t mentioned in the original article because I mis-spelled Folau somewhere? Or the comment re: omission/omissions? That merely to highlight that the sentence was partially edited rather than being anal about spelling. As you say, I can hardly judge. Seemed legit after RugbyReg’s response?

        • RugbyReg

          yep, I updated QUade about a minute after I posted the article. I had originally mentioned the omissions of Higgers and Horne though. So yes, there was in fact mention of Omissions.

        • TheNutorious

          I posted about Quade (clearly the contentious one) before you updated it, clearly a legitimate comment? No offence intended

        • Dud Roodt

          EVERYONE JUST FUCKING RELAX!!!!!!!!
          That’s better

        • Pclifto

          That escalated quickly

  • Bobas

    So Beale is being seen as the backup 10?

    I’m surprised Staniforth wasn’t selected considering he’s not in the Brumbies 23 this week and he of course has signed for the Tah’s next year.

    • TheNutorious

      I’d expect Hawera is probably viewed as the challenger at 10 if this is a sign of the future?

      • Bobas

        Hawera won’t be eligible for “48-72 hours*” (3-5 years)
        AND he’s not even that good, he just doesn’t have the athleticism for top level rugby.
        You see old man Lance run that intercept try in, Hawera couldn’t do that now let alone when he starts slowing down.

        • TheNutorious

          Cheika like the coaches before him must think that Cooper doesn’t have the discipline or dedication for top level rugby either though. You can’t blame them for trying something new surely?

        • Simon

          There is also the small issue of Cooper getting booed off the park every time he takes the field against the ABs. Regardless of how much the Wallabies and Cooper himself might try to claim it doesn’t affect his game, it clearly does.

        • first time long time

          pretty sure he has the best winning record against the all blacks of anyone in oz at the moment.
          Granted that is only 2 games.

        • joy

          If this is an issue the Kiwi spectators should be dropped.

        • Bobas

          Beale is new?

        • TheNutorious

          You’re obviously not a fan of Beale. I am. (That’s fine, different opinions make it interesting).

          Cheika clearly is a fan of Beale, and Beale has performed tremendously for him. Beale also has put in a great season in England.

        • Bobas

          Why am I obviously not a Beale fan?

        • TheNutorious

          Sorry if I am mistaken. I just presumed so if you were questioning Beale’s inclusion, which seemed an obvious one? A big player for Cheika who is in hot form and will be at his peak when the World Cup comes around.

        • Bobas

          No problem with Beale’s inclusion, he just shouldn’t be the backup 10.
          Also you’re making massive assumptions about form 2 years in advance.

        • TheNutorious

          Ah.
          I wouldn’t want him at 10 either to be honest. We do need an alternative backup 10.
          Re: two years in advance, I mean he will be at his physical peak. Of course we don’t know what his form will be like. His form has been very good as he matured into his late 20s so I would be hopeful, but who knows

        • McWarren

          I’d hardly call Foley and Beale new.

        • Who?

          Depends on whether you rate those coaches. Link didn’t have issues with Cooper – other than the fact that Cooper had a run of injuries which stopped him from retaining selection.
          Robbie Deans… He burned every prospect he had at 10. He burned Giteau, who was supposed to be our Carter, and ended up unable to make our 2011 RWC squad. He burned Barnes (I still can’t comprehend that Berrick’s playing for Robbie in Japan), even publicly scapegoating him at half time during a Test for kicking too much. He burned Cooper. He tried Beale, who proved another failure at 10. Then he tried JOC. Robbie never put in place the structures to support a 10. They were sent out to create something out of nothing, and when they couldn’t, they were thrown on the scrap pile. Giteau had better games subbing at 10 under Eddie Jones than he did half a decade later under Deans. So I don’t consider anything Robbie Deans concluded regarding 10’s to be worth the bytes required to store it.

        • TheNutorious

          Fair point.

        • idiot savant

          I think Barnes had a season in Japan before Deans got there.

          Barnes could’ve been a great number 10, but was injured and then thrown all over the place by a succession of coaches, partly because he had the skills to play well in other positions.

          But the thing that still astounds me about deans was that he had a wonderfully talented attacking backline that absolutely slaughtered France and beat the ABs in Hong Kong playing free flowing attacking football. And then he decided to put a a crash baller at 12 and just stop the ball movement stone dead in that channel. Presumably because he thought that was the tactic that would win him the RWC. If you look at the stats, the Wallaby tries dried up at that very moment and have never recovered.

        • Who?

          Deans was just a poor backline coach… The backline we started at RWC 07 in France – with Barnes at 10 and Giteau at 12 – worked really well. Deans came in and immediately switched their positions. Barnes at 10 worked, because he had a bit of the Larkham about him, and it meant less change in style to the backline. He was also more of a passer/kicker than runner, so his ultimate position was always going to be 10. 12 you want a runner who can pass and kick, 15 you want a runner who can kick and sometimes pass. He could’ve been a fantastic 10, but he was thrown into 12, to defend, knocked himself out a heap because he kept trying to run around and make dominant tackles on his right shoulder (i.e. he was a one-shoulder tackler), and fell into Japan… Not great management by the coaching team.

          EDIT: If I were Berrick, Robbie’s signing would’ve seen me move. I know he got there first, but that’s not the point…

        • Parker

          Revision: Deans was just a poor coach. He wasted so much talent and ripped the hearts out of the players. Wallaby rugby is still trying to recover the spirit he broke.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Don’t you think that this is a bit of an exaggeration? I would prefer the thought of playing under Deans at the Wallabies than Cheika at the Wallabies.

        • Seaweed

          Robbie Deans was so appalling I am still in therapy.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Because of that time that Deans said that Barnes kicking so much wasn’t part of the game plan?

          Agree that Deans wasn’t much of a backline coach. Had a brilliant backline in 2010 – 2011 Tri-Nations, and then completely destroyed the beautiful thing the Wallabies had.

        • Who?

          It’s not right to go and name specific players during a game for their shortcomings. And it’s not like Robbie Deans ever really gave the backs much of a game plan! All we ever saw under Deans was everyone running at the same angle towards the sideline – nothing to arrest the drift. Larkham’s actually done better this year with some of our set piece stuff than Deans ever did. But I agree with you – Link’s team, especially that unlucky EOYT (unlucky because we lost the England game to two dodgy calls that cost 14 points, and otherwise would’ve had a Grand Slam), was the best Rugby we played so far this decade. And that whilst missing Pocock! Mowen, Fardy and Hooper were balanced and effective.

        • idiot savant

          One thing Deans said about Barnes has always stuck with me and I think applies to a lot of Australian backs to this day. He said that Barnes sometimes kicked because he got stressed. I took that to mean that Barnes feared isolation and turnover if he got tackled so getting metres was the better decision. I think this highlights the lack of skills coaching in our backs to (particularly then) to be able to form a ruck on a tackled back and keep possession. I think I saw Cooper and Hunt both kick the ball away in the first 10 minutes of the Reds game against the Highlanders last weekend for essentially the same reason. And I’ve seen Cooper kick out of ‘stress’ a lot this season.

        • Who?

          We saw our backs kick the ball more and more every week under Deans from late 2008 into 2009. Deans might say it’s because they were afraid of being isolated, but to me it felt like we’d thrown away our play book, used up all our ideas of how to play what was in front of ourselves, found ourselves easily contained and then isolated/turned over, and decided we’re better to play field position than get caught and turned over in our own half. In fact, it started with some press conference comments by Robbie, to my recollection.
          I’ve got no issue with a 10 deciding that there’s no front foot ball coming and deciding to play at the other end. Cheika’s said only today that sometimes it’s easier to defend than to attack, and he’s right. Better to defend in the other half than attack from your own quarter. I don’t blame Quade for kicking away possession when his forwards are clearly not ready to recycle and rumble.

        • idiot savant

          So how long has it taken Cheika to realise that it sometimes easier to defend?! This a sudden turn around from his ‘ball in hand’ approach isn’t it? Wasn’t he going to play ‘the Australian way’ and attack the English last year with ball in hand? Didn’t he repeat this approach earlier this year?

          The only fly in the ointment of the kick for territory and defend approach is you have to be able to defend….

        • Who?

          Doesn’t apply to us, because Grey’s our defensive coach. :-P
          And it’s not his style, our style (in spite of the years of the Gold Wall of Muggles), and we should be working to get fitter so that we can attack and attack and attack and run that pill! That was all in an article I read on Fox Sports today…

        • mutley

          …and kick

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Idiot Savant, you are, quite ironically given your name, making one of the least idiotic and most accurate comments I’ve read for a fair while.

          That being said, I would just temper what you wrote by saying that on the 2013 Spring Tour under Link we played the best attacking rugby we did since the 2010 season/2011 Tri-Nations. I honestly believe if we had stayed with Link we would be in a much better place in 2017 than we currently are.

          But hey, we gotta get our Tah boys and coaches into the Wallabies. We can’t have it being an Australian team, it has to be a NSW based team.

        • idiot savant

          Im not touching the Tahs stuff but I agree that the 2013 eoyt saw Cooper play his most mature football, perhaps ever, and it was helped enormously by having Toomua alongside him who seemed to understand him like no other 12 he has played with.

        • Who?

          I don’t know, Ant Fainga’a did alright there outside him. Quade just likes having a straight runner outside him. Paia’aua’s doing ok, and Hunt would do very well, too. Most of the rest of the time, we’ve had guys who want to run sideways – especially under Deans.
          Everyone hates people who run across the field. Foley definitely tends to run straighter than Quade. But his relative lack of drift is covered by Beale’s incredible ‘lateral acceleration’ (to borrow a term from Kafe).

        • idiot savant

          Ant was good but with a forward pack giving Cooper front foot ball, he had time to appear in control. Toomua was more alive to Coopers idiosyncrasies, and was able to kick if needed and ruck if needed and catch crazy flick passes if needed. We miss Toomua.

        • Who?

          I certainly don’t disagree that Toomua was very good and is greatly missed.
          But the Reds didn’t give Cooper that much front foot ball. They kicked 44% of their possession away that year. And Fainga’a’s great strength was that, if we had backfoot ball, he was happy to crashball. Hard. Which gave the forwards something to roll over, giving that little bit of front foot ball. I remember one game seeing Ant receive a pass inside his own 5m, hit the defender low and drive him back and up 3m. Which created quick, front foot ball for an exit kick.
          Quade didn’t need Ant to kick too much, though (even though he could), as he also had Lance at the back by the time of the finals in 2011… And catching crazy flick passes? When Quade was first selected, it wasn’t unusual to see Wallabies runners dropping balls hitting their chests. Why? Because they thought, “I’m just running a line here as a decoy.” But when they were pegged by the defence as a decoy, Quade would give them the ball. But they weren’t expecting it… So Toomua’s strength was that he was actually a good Rugby player, rather than a lazy Rugby player, as some (yes, even Wallabies) could be…

        • onlinesideline

          I really wanted to see a Quade and K Hunt combo – could have been magic.

        • USARugger

          Beale as backup 10 is hardly something new, in fact, it’s something we already know isn’t a great idea.

          This isn’t to imply that there are really any other options after dropping Cooper, though. The greater problem for me in all of this is how unbelievably fucking bare our cupboard is at 10 right now.

        • Who?

          Crazy thing is, in spite of having 2 Super titles and 3 clubs, ‘Old Man’ Lance is still only 27 – 2 years younger than Cooper, and 1 year younger than Foley. :-O

      • Chinese Dave

        Hawera and BackyardBackup are the most infuriating development of this last shit year in Aussie Rugby. Third rate kiwis who can’t even get a bench spot in a NZ SR team, shitting up our TV screens with their third rate play. At least if they were Aussies we’d have other options than the usual shit geriatric pair of Foley and Cooper, neither of whom could set a line of gunpowder on fire right now.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree mate. Why anyone would want someone who can’t get a place in their own country over developing some home grown talent is very shirt sighted

        • Who?

          Shirt sighted? That’s when you’re biased to the jerseys players wear, isn’t it? :-P

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ba boom! Friggen fat fingers

        • Who?

          Surely you don’t need a dialing wand..? I tried mashing the keypad – it didn’t work. :-P

      • Wallabrumby

        He is a Kiwi import so wont happen. Also I am a Brumbies fan and I dont rate him at all, I hope I am wrong down the line as they have resigned him.
        Safe, but doesn’t offer much direction or seem to put players through holes and another one of these pop gun kickers!
        Larkham must see something in him I don’t?

    • Simon

      I guess Beale must be. Even Cheika wouldn’t be relying on Lealiifano, surely.
      Jono Lance still paying for running over Cheika’s dog, it seems.

      • Nicholas

        Lance is by far the biggest emission. Been very good every game.

        • RugbyReg

          he hasn’t started for the Force for a while. I’m a fan but it hasn’t been his best season.

        • idiot savant

          I think Wessels said Lance has been carrying an injury (when hasn’t he?) and that he was protecting him a bit. But that just might be a smart coach being diplomatic to keep his players incentivised.

          What it looks like to me is a smart game plan. Use Grant as the kicking 10 for territory (and goal) to keep them in the game in the first 50 and then bring on an attacking spark from the bench in Lance.

        • Miss Rugby

          The problem is, the same could be said for quite a number of those who were listed.

        • Wallabrumby

          Agree. Very hard done by, probably the most underated player in Aus at the moment. Even if only in a training squad environment he deserves a shot.
          I don’t get it.

      • Bobas
    • lee enfield

      Makes sense, Beale is a natural at playing a Lateral game, his crabbing suits Cheika’s game plan. Unfortunately, Rugby requires longitudinal movement, as the try line and goal posts are at each end, not on each side.

  • Simon

    The Force have been rewarded for a strong season with nine players in the squad.

    Meanwhile, the Waratahs have been held responsible for their terrible season with… ten players in the squad.

    • TheNutorious

      You wouldn’t be able to fill a squad if you were selecting players on form though.

      The Force players are emerging talents being rewarded for form. The underperforming Waratahs players are proven talents, albeit out of form.

      • Chinese Dave

        How are they proven talent? In what way is Ned Hanigan proven or Dempsey? Tom Robertson if anything is proven to not be up to it. And I’m a Tahs supporter saying this.

        • Simon

          And I’d argue it’s better to have an in-form player than a proven talent out of form. Pretty much every single Waratahs player in the June tests continued his poor form from the Super season. Even the proven talents!

        • jamie

          Hooper probably an outlier here. He doesn’t seem to have form. Either he’s playing, or he’s not

        • TheNutorious

          Yeah fair call, my generalisation is generous to them,

        • Gottsy

          One of the things that concerned me after the June tests was everyone saying how good hanigan was playing. Yes, he was doing his job well, but doing your job well doesn’t mean you’re an international level player.
          It seems Cheika is only ever going to select players he believes will be able to pull off his dumb as f*** game plan.
          (I’m actually a fan of hanigan btw, don’t mean to sound like I don’t rate him!)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well I’ll go the step further. As far as an international 6 I think he’s got a long way to go. He isn’t dominant enough in either the tackle or ball carrying that he needs to be at test level. I don’t know why Higgers isn’t in and maybe building for the future it makes sense, but every time he carries the ball he makes ground whereas Hanigan often goes backwards in the collision.

        • Gottsy

          I think higgers is out for some of the same reasons Holloway never got a look in. You see him playing the way he is comfortable playing at the reds (and killing it) then he gets to the wallabies with a list of demands about how he has to change his game, and surprise surprise doesn’t go so well. So brings me back to my first point, it doesn’t seem to matter if you aren’t an international level player, as long as you toe the line with the boss you’ll get a jersey.

        • Chinese Dave

          Mate, I’m conflicted. I love the idea of Hanigan, but not the execution. I don’t know if it’s him or the coaching, but he looks too light for what he’s trying to do, a lot of effort, but not enough grunt. Gibson playing him at lock probably hasn’t helped my perception. But certainly, I can rattle off the top of my head a long-ish list of better 6s (even without Fardy), Timani, Smiler, Hardwick.
          In a broader perspective, I think he is reflective of the current Tahs regime. Players who are just a bit too small for their positions, it’s much the opposite of Cheika’s Tahs. Robertson, Latu, Hanigan, Dempsey, they’re all lightweights compared to TPN, Benn Rob, Jackpot and (well Gibson put Hanigan at lock, not me, so blame him for the lame comparison) K Douglas in his pomp. I mean, if you were on defence, who would you prefer ramming into you, the current four or the previous four?

    • Simon

      And Quade Cooper has been rewarded for providing the only attacking spark in the backline in the June tests by being dropped entirely.

      • McWarren

        No good picking a fly half who can put player in a gap if there’s no player running at the gap. Simple.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Kerevi and Hunt can and do. I still think kerevi is the best inside centre in Australia and with Kuridrani outside him you have a good defensive and attacking combination

        • Who?

          I agree, but that only works provided you do one of two things.
          1. Folau to the wing, Beale to 15. Or…
          2. Cooper to 10, Foley to the bench.
          Foley needs Beale playing off him to be able to use big ball runners, and Foley’s tendency is run/pass/kick. Quade’s tendency is pass/kick/run (which I believe is the correct priority for a 10), so he’s more likely to pick the best ball carrier out of Kerevi/Kuridrani/Folau than Foley, who’s more likely to look for a dart himself or find himself unable to get the ball all the way out past the two closer runners (if required). With Beale at 15, as the second playmaker for Foley, it could work. If it were Cooper/Naivalu/Kerevi/Kuridrani/Folau/Beale… I think we’d shred teams. I don’t think any team would want to be defending against that sort of backline running power! Three big, strong tackle-breaking runners, and some lightning pace in Naivalu and Beale… That’s just scary! In all honesty, it’s the backline I’d have picked last year, if all had been fit/eligible. Also works better on defence, as Kuridrani’s better at 13 than Kerevi on defence.

      • Darrin Briggs

        I agree Cooper added some real spark when he came on. I think Cheika has lost the plot.

      • Westo

        To be fair, you can tell that Cooper was not his best and hasn’t been for a few seasons. I’d say he still has a minor injury hangover and some time on the side lines to recover properly. In saying that I would have started him before Foley for sure, cause we need more than whats been presented ATM.

        • jamie

          Cooper wasn’t his best? That’s a serious argument for him to be selected and starting at 10 considering he was running rings around Foley…

        • AllyOz

          I thought Cooper bought something when he came on in the tests but his defence and having to rearrange the defensive structure to fit him in is an issue (though so is Foley’s). Neither of the first choice options in June delivered, I think Foley has the better all round game but is still deficient in a number of areas. Hopefully there is someone developing somewhere but it doesnt appear that any of them playing in Super Rugby at the moment is of the standard we require to be competitive.

      • Gottsy

        I’m glad cooper (and higgers) aren’t in the squad, at least they’ll be spared the vitriol from the media and the fans when they take the blame for us getting slaughtered in the RC.

  • HomerJ

    You would assume that from the brumbies:
    Sio, aaalalalalaaaatoa, carter, skylab (II), halfback dude, Flying fijian winger No.1, Giant OC No.1 and ????
    What happened to Lukhan Tui?

    Only one recognised No.8 as well.

    • McWarren

      Remember we don’t need no. 8’s in Wallaby teams, as long as we have a half assed converted 7.

    • Miss Rugby

      Ok … I’ve tried but had a late one last night and am brain dead from study. Who the hell is skylab (II)??? I’m sure I’ll feel like a right proper moron for not knowing when I find out …

      • Wallabrumby

        I think he meant Rory Arnold as Skylab.
        The big question will Fardy get a look in this time?

        • HomerJ

          Yes, Arnold as Skylab, reminds me of the original ‘Skylab’ Steve Cutler (WALLABY #630), 201cm of champion from the good old days.

  • onlinesideline

    no Sio and ALA ? – WTF has happned to Sio – I thought he was a keeper. In beginning he was a rhino – couldnt be shunted.

    • Bobas

      Brumbies are still playing finals. So those two will be there when the rugby championship squad is named.

      • onlinesideline

        forgot about that – so theyll be free by sat morning then bhahah

        • Simon

          Savage.
          But fair.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ouch!

  • sampro

    Always partial to a fart joke!

  • Pedro

    Michael Ruru should be there. I imagine Powell is seen as the third HB, but with only two in the camp (and one of them’s Phipps) the timing seems right to get the big nine into the program.

    • Adrian

      Yes Pedro, Ruru was my bolters tip.
      Gordon hasn’t been selected either

      • Pedro

        If Gordon was there Ruru’s absence would make more sense.

    • McWarren

      Pedro he’d be top of my list, above Genia and Phipps. In fact my three hb’s would be Ruru, Gordon and Powell. All of them are in the type of form that shot Genia to the starting lineup years ago, and all three are young enough to get better. Genia ain’t getting any better and lacks consistancy. As a Reds fan I hope we don’t make the same mistake with Genia as we made with Moore and Smith.

      • Wallabrumby

        What mistake did the Reds make with Smith? He was the reds most consistent player in 2017!

        • McWarren

          In a season where we’ve won 4, what have we gained with Smiths inclusion. Gill was lost prior to Smith, but with his inclusion we’ve missed a year of developing Michael Gunn. Smith is consistently penalised and in a team that lacked leadership and a direction I didn’t see Smith or Moore steady the ship. It’s the classic Aussie rugby solution to a poor season, look to the past and buy in players instead of sucking it up for a few seasons while develop a squad. I like both Smith and Moore I just think there involvement at the Reds has been regressive.

        • Westo

          I think thats a bit unfair as the Reds are very good developers of players through their academy. Unfortunately they don’t always hang onto them. Occasionally when you lose a few senior players at once you do need to buy in. Im not a big fan of this strategy, but the leadership is vital, just like in a business environment, everyone needs a good boss to be motivated and thrive.

        • McWarren

          Westo I agree 100% they are great at developing talent, and then either letting them get snatched from under their noses, looking at you Tom Banks, or letting the wrong guys go in favour of less talented but highly talked about schoolboy stars, or letting go/waste away/piss them off because some old fella’s think they deserve an Aussie rugby swan song. You watch Genia will come back next year, Tuttle will move to Brums or Force, at the end of 2018 Frisby will realise his only value is in France and young Moses will left carrying can when Genia gets another injury. The Alternative? Back Tuttle and Moses offer Frisby what you think he deserves, if he stays brilliant. But at least we can plan the next 6 to 8 years in regards to our 9.

        • idiot savant

          Has Gunn been injured? Ive wondered why we haven’t seen anyone else play 7 except Koryck. But I agree with you, I cant see the value for the Reds club and all those Qld supporters in having Smith play so many minutes. Wheres the future development in that?

          Sadly I think ‘the classic Aussie rugby solution’ you refer to will continue next season with Cooper and Genia back together. Cant see the future there either.

        • Wallabrumby

          I guess there is some truth to that, but really as a coach and a franchise you should be looking to win the thing every year. Not just go hey, lets just pick a bunch of rookies and hope they come the goods in 3 years time. If i was a paying member I dont know what I would feel about that.

      • Chinese Dave

        Can’t agree more. We’re going to lose anyway, at least let’s get the next generation of talent going. And to those worried about the young ones being indelibly stained with the experience of losing to NZ, just look to the GWS AFL team and see how through good leadership, young potential can break through the pain of losses and become winners.

    • AllyOz

      I would agree but I wasn’t sure if he qualifies?

      • Pedro

        He does

  • Adrian

    Once the Brumbies are added, I can see 3 teams for training.

    One of old hands unlikely to make it, one of new guys unlikely to make it, and the preferred team. They’ll then fight for their slots

  • idiot savant

    Huge number of props. 8 in this squad with at least 2 more to come from the Brumbies.
    Only 4 locks by comparison. And a large number of hybrid backrowers, some of whom must be cover at 7 for Hooper. Maybe Alcock will be added from the Brumbies but I would like to have seen C.Fainga in there. I see Cheika is persisting in the belief that traditional 7s are a thing of the past.

    • Adrian

      I make it 4 locks in squad, with 1 or 2 to come.
      I see many of these guys being there to make up teams for the A team to play against and scrum/lineout against at training. I can’t believe that Douglas etc is seriously being considered, but then….

      • idiot savant

        Yes I can see the opposed training logic. Though 6 props will have to sit that out. I was also wondering if Cheika chose so many front rowers to make them ineligible for Jones’ Barbarians. So as to avoid scrum embarrassment!

        • Adrian

          All leftover props will be eligible for Jones’s Barbarians because there are no eligibility rules for them.

          Re huge numbers of props, I think he’ll do what he did in 2015 where he had a squad of 45 leading into WC selection. Squad crept up to 49 with injuries.

          He had 2 packs scrimmaging at any one time, and the other pack running with backs as more or less a complete team. He’ll still have 4 props (assuming both Sio and AAT are selected), sitting around so to speak. I don’t think he’ll let them bludge though, maybe they’ll go on scrum machine. With 4 hookers, he will have 4 front rows.

          I reckon Ledesma will flog them, and that we’ll have a good scrum.

          Looking at how many tight head props there are, I wouldn’t be surprised if AAT switches back to loose head, with Kepu at tight head. I think Sio is somehow off his game, and could be the Cooper of the props, ….but that would bigger up my 4 front row idea!

        • idiot savant

          Sio’s had a injury affected season. I dont think he’s back to his best yet. Mind you, he’s never had a high work rate so when he doesn’t carry, he really doesn’t earn his spot.

        • Who?

          Don’t you hate autocorrect..? Noting ‘scrimmaging’ – the autocorrect for ‘scrummaging’. ;-)
          And Ledesma flogging the front rows won’t guarantee a good scrum – there’s more to it than flogging them, and I’m not sure that Ledesma’s a great tactical coach for scrum. We’ve seen Sio making the same mistakes for 3 years now… If Mario’s a great coach, he should’ve fixed that.

        • idiot savant

          And he’s been coaching the Tahs scrum on occasion which hasn’t been as dominant as either the Force or the Brumbies. Thats where to look for scrum coaches.

        • Adrian

          I thought Ledesma worked wonders with WC scrum, including Sio.

          Cheika seems to be planning the same approach this year

        • Who?

          Sio got towelled by Nel at the RWC. Ledesma had a simple solution to our problems – get them to scrum low and long. Work and work and work! That brought some improvement in results. We also had some help against England thanks to the #ScrumSquareJoe campaign – Poite was made aware of England’s weakness, which meant he didn’t penalize us (we were stronger than England, but that doesn’t mean we were smarter. If unpenalized – as Marler generally was until that day – then we get towelled by a physically weaker by tactically smarter scrum).
          But against smarter scrums, brute strength isn’t everything. It’s like trying to play a power game against the ABs – they can match your power and out-think you. And when you see Sio have the same issues against the same tactics, over two season, it means that Ledesma hasn’t given him the tactical tools required to go with the improved strength and technique.

        • Adrian

          I’m not sure about that.

          I think that the issue is that SR didn’t follow up any of the scrum skills learnt at WC, and they drifted away.

          SR coaches thought players were “cured” of old habits, and good forever! These (ex WC) players mixed with rank amateurs and very poor coaches and went backwards.

          I know it’s today’s theme to slag off Cheika, but really, what about Stiles, Blades and Co?

        • Who?

          But I’m not slagging off Cheika with regards to Sio’s scrummaging. Cheika did the right thing with Ledesma – he went and grabbed an external expert to fix something he identified as a problem. A problem that, it must be admitted, did increase during Cheika’s time coaching the Tahs, as the Tahs’ scrum did deteriorate during his time. But nevertheless, Cheika identified the problem and acted. And he’s given the expert free rein, including access to players during the Super season. So I don’t consider Wallaby scrummaging issues to be Cheika’s responsibility.
          I’m also not questioning that our props are stronger and better equipped than they were, physically. The attitude to scrummaging has improved. But these are young props, and they’re making the same mistakes repeated, and predominantly only facing opponents who expose these issues at international level. I believe there was a single Super game last year where Sio was exposed, and it was the same tactics that Nel used against him. We then saw him find the same problems in last year’s internationals, and again against Italy.
          I don’t think you can question Stiles as scrum coach. The Reds’ scrum was a bit down at times this year, with Stiles being occupied with his head coaching duties. But for much of his tenure at the Reds, the scrum’s actually been a strong weapon. And the Brums have mostly done ok, mostly.

        • idiot savant

          I think this season has proven that Joe Barakat and Dan Palmer are getting consistent results at scrum time against all comers. The same cant be said for all the other Aussie sides. The cattle they all have to work with makes a difference I’m sure but they have the runs on the board this season.

          As for the Wallabies, the biggest weakness Ive seen is an inability to counter the pull down of the loose head. I think we have depth at tight head though perhaps not the same guile in that position as our opponents. I agree with Who that Ledesma didn’t appear to have an impact on this opposition technique. Again it could be down to personnel. I know Slipper had shoulder problems for example.

          With a lot of refs having no idea, it is now more important than ever to stay up on the loose head side. While Cheika has maintained his faith in Ledesma it is interesting that he has chosen a stack of props coached by other scrum coaches!

  • Bernie Chan

    I realise this is the ‘extended’ training squad…but Kane Douglas…? Is Cheika taking the mickey….?

  • Brisneyland Local

    Wow, lads and ladettes. I must admit I am a little lost on this one.
    – Phipps made the squad? WTF He can barely make the Waratahs and he makes the Wallabies?
    – No Cooper. Foley is going to screw the pooch and then what option do we have. This is a joke.
    – Kurtley Beale (all GAGR’s know where I stand on this recidivist).
    – Ainsley and Faulkner are good development players so happy with that.
    – Good to see Campbell Magnay and Taniela Topou get a shot.
    – Personally I would put George Smith in the training squad as development for the players around him. A mentoring function and great for Opposed training.
    Lets just hope the new Woody Graham of Australian rugby (Nathan Grey) doesnt fuck this lot up too badly!

    • Who?

      Don’t know that Taniela will get a shot – not sure he’s eligible quite yet.

      • idiot savant

        Can someone be picked for a squad if they dont meet the nationality eligibility requirements? If so, Im surprised Naisarini is not there (even given the large number of hybrid backorders in the squad).

        • Who?

          Yes, they can. Pretty sure Tupou went on the EOYT last year for that reason.
          Naisarini would’ve been a very good inclusion, he’s a real prospect…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah they can, but cant run on until they do.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Still worth having him in the training squad. Start developing him, he is only 21. Lets start shaping him!

        • Who?

          Agreed – just pointing out that he won’t get a cap yet. ;-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I still dont get what you see in him. He needs at least a couple more years getting his strength and technique right in the scrum. Runs well at little No 10’s but doesn’t do much else

        • Who?

          That comment about strength and technique in scrums could still, sadly, apply to a lot of Wallaby props today… I’m pleased he’s scrummaging under Stiles, though. He’ll get there – eventually.

    • TheNutorious

      My initial reaction was it was the right call to omit Cooper as he just seems like a lost cause. But on reflection, he is still clearly one of the best 10s that Australia has and there should be there.

      • Arty

        Cooper played himself out of the Wallabies. How many years does he need to learn how to tackle. He just hasn’t improved at all so where do you hide him? How many coaches need to tell him? It was the the reason he got left out in France. Everyone knows it except the Red eyes of this site.

        • Waz_dog

          He can’t tackle and he can’t kick goals when he needs to. He’s still the 2nd best flyhalf in Aus though and no one in that squad that’s meant to be the backup for Foley is as good as QC.

        • TheNutorious

          Yeah that is it in a nutshell.

          I can only imagine that this is a statement from Cheika (no-one is safe, building for the WC, do as I say etc) or intended as a last-ditch attempt to beat QC into shape

        • Arty

          Except that the whole defence has to change when he plays. He can’t defend in his position.

        • Who?

          No, it doesn’t. Foley defends at hooker in the lineout, and on the wing the rest of the time. The same as Quade. Interestingly, Beauden Barrett does much the same thing… It’s seemingly the new standard arrangement for 10’s to defend in the backfield.

        • Arty

          True, but at least they can tackle when required. Even the loyal Reds must cringe at Coopers efforts.

        • Arty

          There are times when a 10 has to stand and defend at 10. Oppositions find him out.

        • Who?

          And they don’t find Foley..? Maybe it’s just that Hooper sits on Foley’s hip for the Tahs, whereas the Reds don’t always have someone there for Cooper…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Stepping in to defend Barrett here. He actually spends most of his defense in the line at 10 and he can tackle. The usual time he comes out of the line is after a kick when he steps back to cover the chasers. Seeing as he returns kicks at him so well it makes sense.

        • Who?

          I’m not having a go at Beaudy – he’s strong under the high ball (helps that he’s also tall for a 10 – same height as Quade (but better under the high ball) and 2.5″ taller than Foley), and he’s an exceptional broken field runner. When Link first moved Quade back, the excuse given was, “He’s our best decision maker, he’s an elusive runner, and we want the ball in his hands every chance we get.” Whilst many don’t want to accept that logic, it’s pretty sound. And he has a very good kick (which helps cover for wingers like Digby Ioane and Rod Davies, who weren’t going to kick for distance). It’s also very sound with Beauden, for exactly the same reasons (including kicking, also relevant when you select Reiko Ioane and Waisake Naholo as your wingers in a Test – you can’t leave all the clearance kicking to Dagg). I’m not as sure the logic’s at the same level with Foley (who’s a hard/straight runner, not as elusive a runner, and doesn’t have as big a boot).

        • USARugger

          Gives you a guy with vision and a (usually) good kicking game at the back to deal with opposition kicking/organize counters and keeps one of your most specialized positions out of the firing line, pretty common sense way to manage things as long as the players can execute it.

        • Who?

          If Link had first come up with the concept in 2008, when Kurtley was his 10 at the Tahs, he’d have been hailed as a genius. And given Kurtley’s genius in space and future brilliance playing 15, it certainly would’ve worked! But because he first did it at the Reds with Quade, it’s always portrayed as being all about how Quade’s useless.

        • Waz_dog

          Let’s call a spade a spade. Foley’s defence is better but he still defends out of position so that statement doesn’t really hold water.

          The amount of YC and RC quade has is ridiculous though. Attacks the ball not the hips and why he doesn’t adjust is beyond me.

        • Who?

          I question why he hasn’t learned – why he doesn’t go lower. Most of his cards have been on his own tryline, making last ditch tackles, and have mostly been pointless. Where if he’d not attempted the tackle, he’d have made no less impact on the scoring of the try than the best case scenario (but would’ve copped it for not making an effort).
          That said, Johnny Sexton’s said, “Everyone’s a little bit afraid of Cheika,” so why hasn’t it been that Cheika’s dragged him into camp (over the last few years) and just glared at him for an hour every other day whilst forcing Quade to tackle legs..? Man Management is supposed to be Cheika’s USP, but it seems there’s a good number of players who just don’t get the attention other guys do.
          Then again, this is a Wallabies defence coached by a bloke who in one season has overseen more 40 point scorelines against his team than the team had allowed in the rest of its history, so maybe defence isn’t really that important..?

        • Waz_dog

          I don’t know the question to that answer and it’s a shame.

        • McWarren

          Neither does Foley? No change in defence, both our 10’s defend at the back. Remember Link started it as a way of protecting Cooper and using his counter attack abilities. But no, everyone just bagged him and said it was go hide Cooper. Now nearly all 10’s roam the back field in defence

        • USARugger

          You do realize the Wallabies use the same exact pattern with Foley and Cooper and have for the entire time Cheika has been coach, right?

        • Who?

          Your comments apply equally to Foley. Reality is that we have a squad without a 10 that’s going to threaten to win a game in TRC… Our spark will have to come from elsewhere.
          At least, though, if Quade were selected, we could hope for another 15m on kicks in play. Given that Cheika’s game plan in June banned anyone not playing 9 or 10 from kicking…

      • Brisneyland Local

        TN, yep I agree. If Foley blows it out his ass, which he is prone to do, we cant throw a kid in there against the All Blacks. Foley’s form particularly his in hand kicking has been utter shit. I cant believe Cheika would risk it with a guy that cant kick 20 metres.

  • Nicholas

    Me english good

  • Andy

    I’m not that fussed on cooper. I know he is seen as the messiah by some but based on his form this year he shouldn’t be in the starting team. But I also admit Foleys form has been poor lately and his game is limited. Both should be in the squad though.

    Hanigan, Dempsey, Robinson and Phipps can count themselves very lucky. Honestly can’t work out Depmsey. Not saying he is a bad player but he’s not in form, has barely played and there is a guy over in WA killing it at 6. I think it is close to a disgrace that these guys have been rewarded for such bad seasons

    • Arty

      About to say the same about Dempsey and Phipps. Neither deserve selection even though its only train-on.
      probably Hanigan and Robertson for the train on but no further I would assume.

      • Adrian

        Phipps form in last 2 games he played prior to June and his injury was excellent.

        It’s a very unpopular thing to say here, but Phipps in form gives teams energy and commitment, something the Wallabies missed in June

        • Pclifto

          Agreed. Whatever his weaknesses, Phipps has a huge motor and keeps the energy and tempo up which rubs off on his teammates.

          Ideally Phipps yapping at his heels at training will spark Genia back into form, he has appeared slow and lazy in the last few Tests. Needs to sharpen up and cut out the fromage and good French plonk

        • Andy

          Agree he brings enthusiasm and energy but his overall game is fairly poor for a halfback. Game smarts poor, pass very average and kicking non existent. He hasn’t improved in these 3 areas after being in the international set up for 5 years. To me, that’s just no good enough.

        • David Creagh
  • Wolfman

    Chieka probably sees Hunt as a back up 10 as well. So he has Foley first choice and then Beale/Hunt. Lilo could be a bolter. If Foley got injured you would expect Cooper to get brought in.
    Toomua was a big loss. Great player in his prime.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I am not worried about Foley getting injured I am worried about him totally fucking up. He is as flakey as Cooper without any of the brilliance.

  • Waz_dog

    Really pumped for the Reds that got the call up – look forward to their development in the green and gold! Would have liked Hamish Stewart in there just to get the taste of the squad atmosphere.

    Cheika has his work cut out with the 9/10 combinations he’s chosen. That will be targeted by the ABs not doubt.

    Lastly, why isn’t this squad taken to Canberra or to the foot hills of the snowys? We need the boys to be able to handle cold, miserable weather. Instead they’ll be a hop, skip and a jump away from the best wineries the hunter has to offer – sheesh.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah but think of the parties. They’ll be great

      • Waz_dog

        On way to bring back champagne rugby! Chieka is onto something haha

    • idiot savant

      Not going anywhere north of the Tweed, nor south of the Murray, or west of Penrith…. Australia is a small country.

    • Andy

      What 9/10 combination would improve this on current form? I think he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t

  • Jack

    Great to see Tupou in the squad, but I hope he doesn’t get game time, he’s not ready, and it would be a shame to rush him in. The experience of being in the squad will be good for him though. I’m a Cooper fan so I’m disappointed for him, especially seeing there’s been no other specialist 10 chosen. He does run hot and cold but so does Foley, although probably less glaringly because he plays a lower risk game. I also hope the Magnay selection has the intended outcome, he’s a great prospect.

  • joy

    Well done.

  • Darrin Briggs

    Cooper did not deserve to be dropped on form in fact he was the only one that added some spark in the June tests when he came on

  • Adrian

    Fox Sports seem to infer that Cheika has said that Fardy won’t be selected

  • Jimmydubs

    Jermaine Ainsley* – meh
    Adam Coleman – yeah
    Pek Cowan – meh
    Jack Dempsey – nah
    Kane Douglas – nah
    Sef Fa’agase*- meh
    Tetera Faulkner – meh
    Ned Hanigan – nah
    Richard Hardwick – yeah
    Michael Hooper – yeah
    Sekope Kepu – yeah
    Adam Korczyk*- meh
    Tolu Latu – meh
    Sean McMahon – yeah
    Stephen Moore (c) – nah (nah)
    Tatafu Polota-Nau – yeah
    Tom Robertson – nah
    Izack Rodda*- yeah
    Rob Simmons – yeah
    Lopeti Timani – yeah
    Taniela Tupou* – meh
    Jordan Uelese* – meh

    Kurtley Beale – yeah
    Israel Folau – yeah (with a lot less enthusiasm)
    Bernard Foley – yeah
    Will Genia – meh
    Dane Haylett-Petty – yeah
    Reece Hodge – yeah
    Karmichael Hunt – yeah
    Samu Kerevi – yeah
    Marika Koroibete* – meh
    Campbell Magnay* – nah
    Billy Meakes* – yeah
    Eto Nabuli – nah
    Sefa Naivalu – yeah
    Izaia Perese* – yeah
    Nick Phipps – nah
    Curtis Rona* – meh

    • idiot savant

      And the mehs have it. Clerk! Record a majority vote to the Mehs.

      Tho I do like your yeahs.

  • jamie

    can an admin fuck this chick off?

    • mikado

      Personally I’m very curious to know where she got a new Land Rover Range Rover for $8,000.

    • McWarren

      I don’t think fucking a chick off is an admin job?

  • Parker

    Monica I believe you will receive a warm welcome on the Kiwi rugby sites. Now bugger off.

    • Geoff Buckland

      always deflecting, to cover your inferiority complex,sad.

  • onlinesideline

    ok im gonna say it – probaby the last of 215 comments – leaving quade out is a massive mistake.

  • ForceFan

    IMO the current status of Aussie OSFs is symptomatic of what’s wrong with Australian Rugby. The selection process for the Wallabies raises serious issues and in a major part explain why some of our best players have gone elsewhere. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5f5b920a64f47a841a20f1824b4a6098403055487c209967dcf5208c90786c62.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/20b8bf70f74b7e90fc106542d542f71f28071f7ec9608e75d704f269e70d910f.png

  • TheNutorious

    Yes I mis-spelled Folau, sorry if that offended anyone. It was a typo. Y is beside U on the keyboard, it happens.

    It was the first comment to be posted here. An article about the Wallabies squad didn’t mention the most noteworthy thing about it. Is it really not right to mention another talking point? Is that not the point of the comments section? It was not a criticism of Reg. It was overlooked as I am sure many did as they just presumed he would be included.

    Reg’s response to my comment said he was mentioned. The omission/omissions was to illustrate that a discrepancy in the edit and that I was not lying.

Wallabies
@RugbyReg

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

More in Wallabies