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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News has the spring Wallabies, a new-look Wallaroos squad, new Reds coaches and the Force are builder towards the future with the signing of a local scaffolder.


Spring Tour Squad

Michael Cheika has named the Spring Tour squad for the upcoming games against Wales, Scotland, France, Ireland and England.

Marika Koroibete, the new NRL convert who hasn’t played a game of rugby in Australia yet, is a controversial inclusion in the squad. Though if he comes on late against England, scores a hat trick, and in his celebration somehow lobotomises Steve Hansen, the complaining would probably stop, or at least die down for a while.

Kyle Godwin and Tolu Latu are two debutants from the NRC named in the squad, while Will Genia also returns.

Meanwhile, Godwin has publicly sympathised with ex-Force teammate Luke Morahan, after Morahan was overlooked for the Wallabies squad.

“Obviously you feel for those players (who miss out),” Godwin said, reports News.com.au. “Luke Morahan has been pushing his case and had an unbelievable NRC and training the house down in the Wallabies squad. It’s unfortunate but it’s one of those things; it’s the nature of sport.”

Squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Quade Cooper, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Kyle Godwin*, James Hanson, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Marika Koroibete*, Tevita Kuridrani, Tolu Latu*, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, Sefanaia Naivalu, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, Henry Speight, James Slipper, Lopeti Timani

Wallaroos Named

Wallaroos coach Paul Verrell is ripping it up and starting again, making six changes to the side (which had twelve debutants) that were mashed up 67-3 by the Black Ferns on Saturday.

The Wallaroos are set to do it all again, facing the Kiwis later today in Auckland.

“We are very disappointed with many facets of our game on Saturday but we have owned up to our mistakes and have to move on to raise our standards,’’ Verrell said, according to Fox Sports.

“This Wednesday is a big game for us to restore some pride in the Wallaroos jersey and for several players to show what they can do less than a year out from the women’s Rugby World Cup. We have started a long journey to be at the standard that we want to play at and we must continue to make inroads starting with the second Test against the Black Ferns.”

Mollie Gray will go to number eight, with Ariana Kaiwai (openside) and Grace Hamilton (blindside) moving to either side of the backrow after impressive debuts from the bench. Sarah Riordan will swap #15 for #12, and she’ll have Katrina Barker on her outside. Chloe Leaupepe will make her debut for Australia at fullback.

Squad: 1. Louise Burrows 2. Alanna Patison 3. Hanna Ngaha 4. Alisha Hewett 5. Chloe Butler 6. Grace Hamilton 7. Ariana Kaiwai 8. Mollie Gray 9. Iliseva Batibasaga 10. Ash Hewson 11. Madeline Putz 12. Sarah Riordan 13. Katrina Barker 14. Cobie-Jane Morgan 15. Chloe Leaupepe
Finishers: 16. Ivy Kaleta 17. Emily Robinson 18. Danielle Meskell 19. Michelle Bailey 20. Liz Patu 21. Kirby Sefo 22. Nareta Marsters 23. Cheyenne Campbell

Reds Coaches

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The Qld Reds are going all-in next year, appointing two highly-rated rookie coaches as Nick Stiles’ assistants next season. So says The West Australian.

Jason Gilmore and Shane Arnold are the names expected to help Stiles, with Gilmore looking after the defence, while Arnold will be teaching the squad how to attack.

While both rookies, it seems that both coaches are well-established in the Reds system and have a Gordon Bray-level of relationship with both the senior and junior squads. Both coaches have also previously sat in the hot seat for both NRC clubs with Gilmore looking after Country and Arnold City.

These promotions also mean that yogi and current contact coach for the Reds, Brad Thorn, will also now take charge of the u20s.

Force Building

Meanwhile, the West Australian also reports that the Force have signed local/Kiwi Michael Ruru as a backup scrumhalf for next year. Ruru quit his job as a scaffolder to take up his dream job.

“I finish up work this week and then I start. Super Rugby was the goal, it was the dream. It’s a big step up but it’s a risk I’m willing to take,” Ruru said. “I’m looking forward to it, I like a good challenge…it’s got to be better than working.”

It also turns out Kiwis can still be dicks about Australian rugby even if it means one of their family members has got a new exciting job. As the article says:

Ruru still has family in New Zealand including younger brother Jonathan who is in his first year of the NRC with Otago. “They laughed for a little bit when I told them I had joined an Australian club but they are happy for me,” Ruru said.

  • Attizar

    If picking Koroibete for the tour means the Wallabies have finally moved on Rob Horne as a winger I’m all for it.

    • Braveheart81

      Horne is still recovering from shoulder surgery. It is good that we have pacier options available though. Hopefully Korobeite transitions to rugby well. Speight certainly had a tough game against the All Blacks missing a bunch of tackles including one that directly cost us a try when he went for an intercept in our 22.

      Horne clearly provides less in attack but is substantially better in defence. Hopefully we eventually find someone who does both well.

      • Attizar

        All the best to him in his recovery. But in truth the opposition was never once heard to say “Oh sh#@ Horne is on the wing. We’ll have to be on our game today”. A 2-way player is definitely preferable but attack is more important. Otherwise they wouldn’t hide lesser defenders on the wing.

        • Braveheart81

          I think it’s hard to say that attack is more important. Sure, lesser defenders get hidden on the wing but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be exploited. Speight made 3 tackles and missed 5. I don’t think you can just gloss over that and say that defence is less important. No one has enough attacking ability that they can concede tries regularly and still be worthy of a spot.

        • Attizar

          Fair point. Score 2 let in 3 and you’re a liability.

        • Seb V

          2 of those missed tackles were chasing kick-offs so I can gloss them over. However 2 directly led to tries – not good enough. but I will come to Speights aid and say that he is usually very solid in defence, I rated him up there with Horne prior to this test. First game in a long time so maybe some jitters there. The ironic thing for me even with last game I am confident in his defence but still question marks on his attack. I hope we get the old Speight back soon.

        • Braveheart81

          I would pick him again. He’s better than that. Was merely pointing out that you can’t just pick a winger because they’re good on attack. One of the Wallabies biggest deficiencies this year is we’re giving up too many tries and need to improve our defence across the park.

        • Whig

          Campo conceded tries regularly and was worthy of a spot. Admittedly, no one else springs to mind.

        • Greg

          and scored a truckload

        • brumby runner

          Well, I clearly remember a couple of weeks ago that many were calling for DHP to be dropped because he missed a truckload of tackles in a couple of tests. I think events since have probably shown it was as much the defensive structure put in place by N Grey as it was a deficiency in DHP’s defense that was the problem.

          I am glad that DHP was persisted with and he now looks to be a lock-in at wing or No 15 for the future. Hopefully, Henry can evolve the same way on this tour.

        • Dud Roodt

          You say that – but I would have taken Rob Horne on the wing over Henry Speight. Rob Horne has done much better in his Wallaby career than Henry Speight has.

        • Attizar

          I’m not convinced yet that Speight is the final answer either. However if the Wallabies drop every winger that leaked tries against the AB’s then the cupboard will be bare pretty quickly. I’m keen to see how Naiavalu Koroibete and Speight go on the nh tour.

      • onlinesideline

        I had massive hopes for Speight being a wallaby but so far and I say so far ……he hasnt really stood up

      • Pedro

        I think we missed Horne big time this test window, his defence creates opportunities in attack, plus his conditioning is on par with hooper’s.

        Don’t know why you had to bring speight into it. I felt that try was definitely a shared mistake between himself and Kerevi.

        • Braveheart81

          Not sure about that. Speight attempted an intercept on a player he had covered if only he went to tackle him instead.

        • Pedro

          It was a mistake no doubt.

        • McWarren

          Yeah agree Pedro. I know Horne doesn’t instil a fear of attack into opposition in a one on one situation, but his support play and kick chase are second to none. Add that to his defence and leaves a big hole in the side. You do get the feeling Horne would have taken the opportunity to knock the crap out of the Kiwi centre rather than attempt the intercept.

        • John Tynan

          I thought all the trolls had moved on, Pedro…

        • Huw Tindall

          Rob Horne is probably up there with Mumm and Hooper in terms of the hater brigade’s most hated. Again unjustifiably so IMO. Horne is the guy you want by your side with Savea steaming down on you at 25km/h. His electrifying run against the Saffas in Brisbane a couple of years back to win the test was top attacking work. I’d take his defense of Speight’s attacking abilities any day. Hopefully he carves it up at the Tahs next year.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah but Speight is a winger who came on and played centre. two completely different positions and one he hasn’t got a lot of experience at, certainly not at that level. It was a shame really because if his timing ha been just a bit better he may have got the ball and gone. I think he’d have been chased down but it would have been interesting.

        • Braveheart81

          Speight started the game and Kerevi was still on the field at that point. It was a huge defensive mistake from Speight. Going for an intercept in your 22 when you’ve otherwise got a player covered is a recipe for looking very foolish.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bloody cool if you pull it off though. Yeah risky and I’d never condone it as a coach but at the same time you have to let your team have a go.

        • Tim

          It was high risk high reward. If had got the intercept everyone would have said his brilliant.

        • Redfish

          worked pretty well for Stirling Mortlock in Sydney in 2011 … mind you, he had a 20 meter pass to look at on that occasion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD90oDnyKVk

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah thanks for rubbing that one in and bringing the pain back. I was so gutted when it happened but yeah great move. Mortlock was a legend

        • first time long time

          Ahhhh for the good old days!
          When Trump was just a billionaire with a shocking haircut, when we once had hold of a cup big enough for us all to drink our fill and nothing was more certain than the AB’s crashing out of the RWC in the knockout stages.

        • Joy

          Yeh sure. And when Hillary was wondering what the hell was wrong with her mouth.

        • AlltheWallabies

          Tell Stirling Mortlock that :)

        • Braveheart81

          Look at the two situations. Mortlock intercepts a long, cut out pass that was cutting out two players and only went for it when he could see that the player he was covering was being cut out by the pass.

          Speight went for the intercept when the player he was covering was the intended target of the pass.

        • I’d say the intercept was on. It only looks bad because he missed it by a bees dick. Could have been a Stirling Mortlock moment.

        • Pearcewreck

          Sorry, but Speight is no Mortlock.

        • Was making a comparison to a certain intercept that changed the course of the 2003 semi final not comparing the two players…

        • Pearcewreck

          Thanks MC, but I’m sure every person on here got the reference. You don’t have to explain it.
          But even so, I don’t think it was on, even if he caught it, cover would have got him by half way.

        • Then why say “Speight is no Mortlock”?

        • Hoss

          Sorry KRL, but Speight accidentally brushed shoulders with Savea in the tunell while on the way out. Owen would have called it back for obstruction……….

          I promise i am trying to let it go, my counsellor reckons anther week or two and i will be mostly a functioning adult again.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Breath in deeply brother

      • Joy

        Why wouldn’t Koroibete transition to rugby well? He transitioned from rugby to league brilliantly.

  • muffy

    Luke Morahan is another Liam Gill… Many of us, even those without a Reds bias, can not see why they are out of favour. Constantly

    • Gottsy

      You would be filthy if you were him wouldn’t you

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Or you’ll start looking off shore for more money

        • Bay35Pablo

          Or go to NRL for a year, then send your CV to the ARU, who would have a revelation they should sign you.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha true

        • Simon

          Yep, that’s the two ways to guarantee a golden parachute into the gold jersey, apparently. Sign with the NRL, or sign in Europe and have Cheik personally come to fetch you back.

        • Joy

          See above

    • FTLT

      Yeah I never seem to get an explanation for his lack of opportunities,
      It’s not his speed, defence or attacking abilities but multiple coaches keep overlooking him.
      Would like to know what they are seeing that I’m not.

      Have had to change handle as gave apparently been banned.
      Please explain!
      Lots of love first time long time

      • It’s probably an IP address thing. We’ve had to be pretty liberal with it’s use on the flying monkey man-child kiwi trolls recently.

        • first time long time

          Have you put me back in coach?
          I’m fresh and good to go.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Welcome back!

        • McWarren

          give him more time on the sidelines Matt, his family would love to see him.

        • Colin Fenwick

          Has anyone seen my Golden Cap?

      • Pearcewreck

        FTLT,
        I’m pleased with your level of commitment.
        Creating a whole new profile so you can keep contributing to the Comments Section is impressive.
        It’s this sort of commitment that Australian Rugby needs.
        If you have boots and a passport you should be on the plane too.

        • firs time long time

          Social convenor maybe????

        • McWarren

          Missing T who are you?

        • first time long time

          Just keeping you on your toes

      • brumby runner

        In addition to his speed, defense and attacking abilities, he also has quite a good boot on him and if the NRC showed anything it’s that he also has terrific vision and option taking ability.

    • Seb V

      Too similar to DHP maybe? But personally I think he should be there as his back-up. Why you need 3 wingers in the same mould in Speight, Koroibete, and Naivalu is strange. Should take 2 all-rounders in DHP and Moragan and 2 flyers.

    • Mart

      Morahan has been one of the form outside backs for years
      Madness. Had a belter of an NRC. Much better than Speights

      • Muff

        Totally agree Speight has done exactly nothing since he became eligible for us. His position is redundant now with Sefa. Not Korobiete’s fault

      • Simon

        He also has one particular speciality nobody else in the Wallabies has – the chip and chase. One of the very, very few methods even the ABs can’t defend against.

    • Joy

      Physicality

  • While I can see the merits of selecting Latu, the overlooking of Andrew Ready is still disappointing to me. If Moore is first pick hooker or Ready doesn’t get significant time on the field, it will be a tragedy. Hansen deserves a shot; he’s done the yards. I think Moore is a poor pick for the Reds. I am sure some will respond to this with a few “I told you sos” after he produced a better game last start but I think there comes a time where change is needed and it isn’t always easy. Chieka is taking young and inexperienced to Eu to blood them and introduce them to the touring life, why isn’t Ready going?

    • Braveheart81

      Latu’s form was a fair bit better than Ready’s in the NRC and that is why he’s been selected. I think if Ready had continued the strong form he showed in Super Rugby he would have been taken instead.

      • Happyman

        I thought Ready looked overweight during the NRC. perhaps the Reds are trying to put some more size on him for next season but for mine looked out of shape.

        • Dud Roodt

          I think he actually looked overweight all year. He has the same spare tyre that Faingaa carries.

        • Tip

          As a Reds fan, I’m glad he’ll be chained to the Gym for all of November.

          He needs as many proper pre seasons under his belt as possible at such a young age.

      • Yeah agreed. However, if the blooding of rookies is a aspect of a grand slam tour selection, I feel frustrated that arguably stand out hooker and ne of the most consistent players of the super season wasn’t given a chance at even making the squad for the Championship. Ready formed a big part of one of the best front row partnerships in the super comp, and arguably the best in the Australian franchises. I suppose what I am trying to get at is, I am not sure it is going to be easy for Stephen Moore to regain form to justify his selection in the wallabies, let alone the captaincy, and there needs to be a time to move on. Hansen, Latu and Ready would have been a reasonable combination v some proven front rows in EU.

        • Braveheart81

          Are you really suggesting that the Australian captain should have been left out of the EOYT and that would be the best way forward? Moore was struggling for form earlier in the test season but has strung together some pretty good games in the last month. There was no way he was going to be left out just so another youngster could be taken on tour.

      • Chiraag

        That’s a good answer in theory, but it’s a double standard since NRC form didn’t seem to matter when it came to the inclusion of Skelton or Speight, amongst others. Their NRC form was very average from all reports.

        • Braveheart81

          Skelton is clearly a project player. I wouldn’t have taken him on tour because I don’t think his form is up to scratch but he has the physical capabilities to provide something none of our other locks do. That would be the reason he’s selected.

          Speight has a high ceiling and has been in and around the squad a lot before.

          Latu and Ready in many ways are a like for like selection in the sense that they are both uncapped. In this situation it seems clear that form was used to decide who was selected.

          If you try and compare every selection decision against every other selection decision there will always be discrepancies. It’s the same in any sport.

        • First time long time

          Skelton a project player might be a it of a stretch. At mid 20’s I’d say he is almost halfway through his career.
          This project has already been going for 4 years.

    • Attizar

      Ready should get his chance next year when he outshines Moor at the Reds.

      • why?

        • Attizar

          If he can upstage Moore at the Reds then the selectors shouldn’t have any further reason to ignore him.

        • I would suggest there was no reason to ignore him for the championship squad but he wasn’t given the opportunity that Latu has been given. From my observations from last super season, and from consistent reports in the press, Ready was not only one of the better performing 2s in the super comp, but arguably the most consistent and top performing 2s in Aus franchises. He was injury free, consistent and offered a strong, consistent set piece as a part of a dominant Australian franchise front row. To me, he offers a great deal more over the ball that all other Australian 2s do. If Latu, Tupou, Godwin, Mumm, Phipps, Koroibite et al are given the opportunity while their form has been questionable or not applicable, how has Ready’s not while in peak form? My response to your opinion is why should he have to upstage Moore next season when he did last season? I am a reds fan and I hope that Ready is not starved of game time so that a 34 year old hooker can try and squeeze out a retirement plan before the end of his 3 year contract. He will be 36 at the end of his Reds contract. I think it is time for some harsh realities for Moore and his Wallaby and leadership career. I would have been good to have Moore at the reds 3-4 seasons ago.

        • Attizar

          I think Ready is definitely up there and deserves a chance. But who stays home. Moore Hanson or Latu. Hanson and Latu have done nothing wrong so the candidate to stay home is Moore. Rightly or wrongly that wasn’t going to happen bcz he’s the captain.
          Ideally Ready will outplay Moore and lock down the Reds starting role. It’s a new coaching team at the Reds. Hopefully they won’t feel obligated to pick Moore on reputation and being the incumbent Wallaby hooker rather than just on form.
          By dominating Moore within the same SR club then he will give selectors no option than to give him a go.
          As for the Wallabies selectors maybe they have a selection policy of only picking one Terrace hooker per squad.

        • Joy

          Why would that be ideal. Wouldn’t it be better if Moore dominated an improving Ready and bring all that experience to the Reds starting side next year. That would be good for Ready too.

        • unfortunately true. unfortunately Latu IMO. Moore needs to wind back the clock to maintain his position and captaincy. otherwise, there is obviously a lot of players who need international experience for the long term options.

  • onlinesideline

    Come selection announcements for quite a while I was always worried about our forwards and felt warm and fuzzy when looking at our backs. Now its the other way around.
    What happened ?

  • Tomthusiasm

    Godwin should’ve been there a few years ago, Koroibete should’ve taken a year or so to crack the squad. You see, it all evens out in the end.

    Good luck to Ruru, Kiwi or not, he is still local talent and the Force could be shaping up for a good year in 2017. The low level of expectation coupled with NRC success, a few handy recruits and a rookie head coach could be the right ingredients.

  • A fan

    Force 2017
    1. Cowan
    2. Tessman
    3.Ainsley
    4. RHP
    5. Coleman
    6. Cottrell
    7. Hodgson
    8. McCalman

    9. Prior
    10. Lance
    11. Masiwera
    12. R. Coleman
    13. Meakes
    14. Morahan
    15. DHP

    With the likes of Ben Daley, Tapuai, Curtis Rona and all the great NRC talent (havilli, hardwick, naisarani from Brisbane City)

    Apart from front row great team. Could be a 3rd place finish in Aus conference

    • seabass

      “great team” might be a stretch, but improving definitely.

    • Happyman

      Hi A fan

      Watch for Naisarani assuming he stay uninjured he will be your starting number eight by the end of next year. I think he looks like a young Samo, but he killed it all of last year in Brisbane and the Reds will rue the day that knocked him back.

    • McWarren

      A Fan who was the number 8 for the Spirit. Stander was it? He looked promising, hard tackler and made some good run metres as well. Is he at the Force next year?

      • True Blue

        Yep Stander is there, Hardwick the Phil Waugh medal winner and Koteka still on the books I think. Signed Ben Matwijow who was at the Reds and has been playing in the Mitre 10 Cup. Force finally have some depth. This new coach has to be an upgrade on Michael Foley. Prediction that they might average more than one try a game next season.

        • McWarren

          Yeah looking on the up. And with DHP, Morohan and Godwin in the backline there is some strike power as well.

        • Braveheart81

          Godwin has gone to the Brumbies.

        • McWarren

          bugger that’s right. Thanks BH.

        • Adrian

          Meakes is a good centre,…was briefly in Wallaby squad this year

        • Attizar

          Speaks volumes that a player like Matwijow chooses to test himself and improve his game in Mitre 10 cup than NRC. Great decision on a personal level for him but one that I hope fewer players make for the sake of Oz rugby.

        • Braveheart81

          He didn’t have a Super Rugby contract (only on an injury replacement contract at the Reds) so he wasn’t committed to the NRC and could earn more money playing Mitre 10 Cup.

        • Attizar

          Exactly. He had the choice as a fringe SR player between NPC and NRC and chose NPC. I feel that the opportunity to play consistently against better opposition has some bearing in his decision too. No slight on NRC just a reflection on NZ depth. This wasn’t his first season of NPC either. The problem is fringe SR players is exactly who the NRC is aimed at.

        • Mica

          I would suggest this is good long term for Aus rugby

        • McWarren

          In all honesty Attizar I am not that disappointed he is heading West. Only just a solid SR player for me. So hopefully the Mitre 10 cup did what you think the NRC couldn’t.

        • Muzz

          They get paid better in Mitre 10 cup while NRC is still working on that. Might not be the main reason he went but it would have been a big consideration.

    • Thomas

      Hate to say it mate but I think the Force are nailed on for the wooden spoon. Bigger concern is it could be the last year we have a team in Perth.

      • brumbyrunner

        I’ll say the Brumbies have that sewn up three months before the season starts

        • brumby runner

          Bloody good troll mate.

      • Valzc

        Well if people are so concerned about losing the Force, I encourage you to sign the petition!

        • Thomas

          I think Super Rugby should lose the Force.

          And the Rebels.

          And the Brumbies.

          And the Reds.

          And the Waratahs.

      • Skankhunt43

        I just can’t see the force getting the boot unless the Super Rugby system gets completely split up. As it is the 930pm kickoff slot is a cash cow in linking the early NZ/AUS matches with those in South Africa. Europe Andy South Africa who run the comp with all the cash love that time slot. Had to be either the Brumbies or the Rebels if people were thinking logically, leaning towards the Brumbies as the smallest market who are soon to be under ARU control right?

    • Simon

      Daley has developed into a bloody good scrummager the last couple of years. Unfortunately he picks up season-ending injuries like Aaron Smith picks up groupies in disabled toilets, but if you want a stronger set piece he’s a good option while fit.

      I really hope the Force pull it together under Wessels. There is some good talent there now, it just needs to be harnessed. A win in the 10s, a win in the NRC and two of the best new Wallabies. Go Force!

  • First time long time

    Can someone running the show exlain why I have been banned.

    • First time long time

      Apart from my poor spelling above

    • Muzz

      Maybe you are a flying monkey from NZ

  • Thomas

    It’s a shame that Kurtley Beale isn’t there.

    Any predictions for the tour?

  • McWarren

    So we set up this wonderful competition called the NRC. Many respected rugby heads around the country praise the quality of the football and the tries scored. We have five super rugby teams with quality wingers pushing for higher honours and yet we go and hand a tour spot to an untried, untested Fijian leagie.
    Can I pose a question? If Koroibete turns out to be just an average winger, and indications are he wont be, but if he is, and in the mean time Luke Morahan takes a contract in France or England? Do we think the ARU and Michael Cheika and all the heads of the SR franchises in this country will wake up to themselves and realise it is actually them showing a huge amount of disrespect to the Wallaby jersey and the players who have stuck around pushing and waiting for their chance? I for one do not.
    I do not mean any disrespect to Marika Koroibete, he may turn out to be a champion and indeed score 3 tries against England. But the hypocrisy of Cheika is now too much for me to bear. I supported him in his whinge about the Kiwi’s showing the Wallabies disrespect, even if he got it wrong, I was happy that he had seen it that way and reacted. Then in almost the same breath he picks an unknown quantity to go on one of the most sort after and cherished honours of any player in Australia, the Spring tour for a Grand Slam.
    The rest of the Squad looks as suspected. Though I don’t know how we will fill the huge void at 6 with Mumm suspended for a match. I suspect Cheika will organise a one off match against Singapore on the tarmac on the way over for Mumm to serve his ban.

    • Whig

      Nah mate, you’re just having a McWhinge.

      • McWarren

        Your right I am. I’m really annoyed at this. More so than the team selections through the year which could be argued one way or the other. But this just smacks of desperation, poor planning, lack of respect for players such as Morahan and a short sighted approach to squad development.
        Don’t get me wrong I’m not whinging about the guy coming over from League. That’s fine, its a professional game. I don’t think we need to be poaching high profile League wingers but its not my call.
        What I am though is a Wallaby supporter since birth. Its a team I care a damn lot about and believe that you earn a right to go on a spring tour. Just handing a tour spot to newbie is the ultimate in disrespect to the Wallaby jersey.

        • Thomas

          How is it poor planning? They signed him on an ARU contract several months ago and Cheika has been open about his inclusion on this tour since.

        • McWarren

          The poor planning I talk of is rather than signing a League star 7 months ago and bringing back the old brigade for the England series, give Morahan or English a shot at making the spot theirs. Its not like those two guys have only just immerged. Why were we looking for a winger 7 months ago when we had, IMO, at least two who could step up to international level. What was the point of all those Cheika love in’s when he was just going to go and buy a winger from League. Why bother improving our development channels when we can just let the Storm or the Broncos do it for us?

        • Thomas

          There is nothing stopping any players in Australia from staking a claim for the jersey though. This is happening, and is evident in the current squad.

        • McWarren

          Exactly, so why are we blowing our $$’s and tour spots on League projects.

        • Thomas

          To strengthen the team obviously.

        • McWarren

          Thomas I’ll just have beg to differ on approaches to strengthening the team and the sport. He may give a short term boost of depth, he may not. But IMO this type of squad development has a long term detrimental effect to a team and the sport as a whole. I don’t think it is out of the realms of possibility that a few youngsters who we don’t even know of yet are thinking, ‘you know what I’m going to take that contract with the Canberrra Raiders. I’ll get paid well, and then in a few years time I can go to Union and get on the spring tour and be a shoe in for the Wallabies.

        • Thomas

          You’re right, it doesn’t reflect well on the game that we have to do this. Unfortunately that is the reality we are in. Because of the mismanagement of the game at all levels we are not organically developing players who are good enough to compete at the level we want anymore.

        • Valzc

          It’s definitely a slap in the face to guys who have worked hard to reach the dream. Cheika risks on quickie shortcuts instead of utilising what’s under his nose. Aka Giteau Law. Koribete deal smells of dodgy deals to me.

    • seabass

      I really doubt he will get much, if any game time at all. I think he is just coming along for training purposes

    • Thomas

      Come on, it’s not a disrespect to the jersey.

      The NRC is a feeder competition for Super Rugby, not the Wallabies, and NRC players still have been considered. Koroibete is on an ARU contract and the plan is for him to be heavily involved in 2017. His inclusion on this tour, and working day in/day out with the cream of our game, will help him surely?

      • McWarren

        So is it a meaningful Spring Tour for the Grand Slam or a training and development tour? Look Thomas I’m probably being thick about this but I don’t believe you use the Spring Tour to educate a League player. Develop rookies who have been playing day in day out in the NRC and SR. Its left a bitter taste in my mouth and I wasn’t even in line for a call up.

        • Thomas

          In my opinion an insult to the jersey would be a token-gesture call up to a player as a reward for NRC performances. NRC players have been included on merit.

          This isn’t normal, it’s an exception and the ARU has made the investment in him for this purpose. He has been earmarked for the Wallabies in 2017. He’s not going to get any game time against Wales, Ireland, France or England. He’s there to train with the best coaches and players we have. Surely this benefits everyone?

          It’s a 32 man-squad, he’s not keeping any world class players out and NRC players have been included

          Israel Folau would have been brought on a November tour had he signed a few weeks earlier too.

        • McWarren

          So you don’t think Morahan should feel hard done by? And I’ll bet he sees more game time then you are willing to concede in the comment above.
          I’m not handing any token jersey’s out. NRC form is valid form, and if you can identify someone playing league as being a possible benefit to the rugby playing Wallabies, I don’t think it is too much of a leap to identify talent playing domestic rugby. I don’t want anyone given a token jersey, be they from the NRC or NRL.
          And if Izzy had got the call up I would have been equally annoyed. He spent a whole off season with the Tahs and still looked lost when he debuted. God help us if Marika gets the call up due to injuries when we come up against England.

        • Thomas

          Koroibete’s spot in the squad was pre-determined in May I am sure.

          Let’s be honest, an NRC bolter is more likely to stake a claim for a Wallabies spot than a seasoned professional who has been around for years and has already played for the Wallabies.

          I really do not want to disrespect Morahan, but he is a known quantity at Super Rugby level, and has test caps. He didn’t show enough in Super Rugby to be included in any Wallabies teams in the last couple of years, what would NRC performances (a lower level) prove? If he was 5 years younger (or a forward) it would be different. His inclusion likely would have been tokenism rather than building for the future, and that is not meant as any disrespect to a good professional.

          Look, like you and everyone here I wish there were top-quality players banging on the door of the Wallabies demanding inclusion, but there aren’t.

        • McWarren

          I beg to differ Thomas, we need to turn down the NRL on the telly so we can hear the banging at the door.
          We persist with players who haven’t performed to the lofty standards promised by their backers/supporters and shunt guys who get limited chances and fail to perform instantly. We hang on to old guys who haven’t set a high standard previously and fail to give young guys a chance to prove themselves. And our solution to a perceived shortage of wingers is to buy in from the NRL.
          I don’t know how many games you go to live each year of the SR, NRC and local club games. But I get to a few, not as many as I’d like. What strikes me every time is when a Wallaby or Red is playing he is quite often outshone by other players on the field, either in opposition or on their own team. There is talent to burn out there, they just need to be given the chance and the carrot. And in this case the carrot has been snatched away.

        • Thomas

          Does it matter how many games I have been to? I’ve been to every Waratahs game played in Australia this year, every home Rays game, every home Marlins game and most away games, and played club rugby all year. Are my credentials good enough to have an opinion?

          Elite players may perform worse at lower levels because that is human nature. You would need to address each case individually. The NRC is not going to prove that players who have been playing in Super Rugby for years are good enough for the Wallabies. It can help us identify young talent which may be, and talent that may be good enough for Super Rugby.

          I don’t see any players who have been omitted who should be in the squad, not a single one. Koroibete’s selection is based on entirely different criteria.

          Morahan is not good enough to be get a place in the Wallabies team. He needs to prove it in Super Rugby. It remains to be seen if Koroibete will, it’s a big-money gamble that the ARU is making. The ARU would obviously much prefer not to have to do this.

        • McWarren

          Steady on Thomas, I wasn’t having a go at your credentials. I was just highlighting that at the games I attend in club land and the NRC, Wallabies and SR players are often outshone. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be Wallabies or SR players I am just pointing out that we have the talent, oodles of it, we just seem reluctant to trust our players or our development channels. This has been the bug bear of Australian rugby for many years and has fuelled this misconception that we don’t have depth. Well sorry mate we do, and if you aren’t seeing it at the Tahs, Rays and Marlins games then I feel you.
          I beg to differ on Morahan, he has shown time and again at the Reds and the Force that he is good enough for the Wallabies and he should be on that plane. Tom English is another who should have gotten a gig ahead of Koroibete and for mine so should have Kelaway from the Tahs. In my opinion all three of these guys at the very least should feel appeased for being overlooked. There will be people who say Kelaway isn’t ready yet, ok so take him on the tour with the same plan you are hatching with Koroibete?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I think the point that an untried code hopper being given the jersey before ever proving themselves is valid. It may work out well but it also might not and I agree that finding that out while wearing a Wallaby jersey isn’t ideal. Fair point on NRC being a feeder for Super Rugby. I agree with that. I just don’t agree with the NRL being a feeder for the Wallabies

        • McWarren

          Exactly KRL.

        • Thomas

          He hasn’t been given a jersey. He’s there to train

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          So you don’t think he’ll get a game? I don’t read it that way

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate regardless of the outcome I think that it’ll be a long wait before you get any admission of a mistake with either the ARU or Cheika. You will get lots of reasons why their decisions were correct at the time but that’s about all

    • Muzz

      Well said McWarren that echoes my thoughts completely. But I had a big whinge about it yesterday and can’t be bothered today.

    • Nutta

      Fair points raised. Agreed terms are agreed terms so if K’biti is going then so be it, but I can’t get over leaving Kellaway behind. The kids a proper white powder hound of the non-Dell variety

  • Bernardo Faria

    I’m happy for Godwin. He didn’t stand out in the NRC like you would expect a test player to do but he’s proven his talent before for the Force and with Giteau, Toomua, Beale and Lilo unavailable he suddenly looks like one of our best options at 12. Hopefully he will fulfil his potential.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR Moderators!
    I noticed there were no player ratings for this last test. Have I missed them, or did they go through to Gilchrist?

    • Pearcewreck

      “Bowled Shane….”

    • BigNickHartman

      Don’t quote me on this, but it’s a tough gig and no one seems to want to do it.

      If you do though, shoot Matt an email and let him know

      • Brisneyland Local

        Sweet, I will probably do that!
        I hope everbody is prepared for the BL acerbic style player rankings!
        I will probably break the internet!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Go for it mate

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thanks for the support, lets see if you are still speaking to me after I do it! ha ha

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Looking forward to discussing the score mate. I like the way G&GR have their rating. The NZ Herald just does 1-10 but no explanation and it’s always 7 and above so meaningless

    • Simon

      The last two tests have missed their player ratings. So have a go at the Twickenham one too if your memory is good enough. ;)

      • Brisneyland Local

        Whats done is done will aim for the next one.

  • Pearcewreck

    Surprised that the Force fans aren’t all over the fact that Godwin only gets a boat once he switches to the Brumbies.
    Maybe it’s just coincidence.

    • Braveheart81

      He went on the 2014 EOYT as well.

      • Pearcewreck

        Yeah, I’m assuming he will actually get a run this time, rather than just carrying the bags

    • Beagle

      As a Force Fan (not the ForceFan) I’m annoyed that Morahan didn’t get picked.
      I’m also annoyed that Curtis Rona wasn’t offered a spot but that Marika Koroibete was.
      And don’t get me started on Billy Meaks

  • PiratesRugby

    Just thought I’d pop back to the comments section to say hi to all the Will Skelton fans. I see your fellow has gotten on another tour with the Wallabies. After keeping much better locks like Arnold, Coleman, Jones, Timani, Horwill out of the Wallabies for the last 18 months, he’s now at least not taking anyone’s spot. Even coach clown sees that Arnold and Coleman are Australia’s future second row. Timani has some potential at 8 and we’ll see how he goes. The Skelton experiment has ended with nothing to show. As I always told you it would. Now if we could just get balance up the back row by ditching Hooper and Mumm for Pocock and Fardy…

    • Nutta

      Hi Pirates!

  • Make the Wallabies Great Again

    As a Waratahs fan I can’t believe that Skelton has made another squad he really hasn’t shown anything at Test level and just doesn’t have the athletic ability. I would have rather seen someone like Sam Carter or Tom Staniforth who although down the pecking order now could have been developed further to provide depth

    • McWarren

      I thought they might have taken David Klemmer, you know as a project player.

      • jamie

        2m, angry and 120 kegs. Would’ve been nice to have him playing union from the age of 6

        • McWarren

          No no he’s taken the correct pathway to a Wallaby spot.

        • jamie

          No he hasn’t. Forwards don’t transition well. Klem would be a lock or a 6 and they’re too technical for a late pick-up. Barring one legend, of course.

        • McWarren

          cheek…..tongue……in

      • Nutta

        I was backing for Nic Naitanui or maybe Fifita

  • Make the Wallabies Great Again

    Korobiete wont play in any Tests he is just there to get familiar with the systems so then after what promises to be a good Super Rugby campaign he will head into those June Tests against Scotland not completely new to anything. Seems the right thing to do in the first year of the new World Cup cycle. If he has what it takes this will see him become a world class attribute sooner which is a gamble we would all take

    I had heard Cheika was trying to get him some game time with the Barbarians who are playing three games against South Africa, Fiji and the Czech Republic.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think that was the plan before Kerevi was injured. Not sure that’s the case now

  • Adrian

    Does anyone know?

    1. If there will be free to air television of spring tour, and if so by which channel?

    2. Has there been any mention by Cheika and Co of using Beale late in the tour?

    • jamie

      Should be Channel 10 mate. They own the rights.

      No mention, but we’d be silly to think it wouldn’t happen.

      • Adrian

        Just is, at the end of Bledisloe 3 which I watched on 10, they said it was their last Rugby telecast for 2016

  • hippyb9

    The selection of Marika Koroibete is immensely disappointing on several fronts. Firstly, of course, he has not played senior rugby. Notwithstanding his apparent talents as a league winger, how can he be picked as a Wallaby tourist without evidence that he can play rugby to the requisite level? Secondly, as has been pointed out by others, it does little to encourage wingers who have shown their capabilities in rugby, the most obvious current example being Luke Morahan. Thirdly, it shows Bill Pulver’s claims to be supportive of “grass roots rugby” to be completely without substance. Lastly, it raises a broader issue as to the selection of foreign born players who have served the minimum residential period, simply in the hope of chasing short term success. Nothing can prevent people electing to live in another country and no one would begrudge someone the chance to represent a country where they have lived since a child. However,the selection of Marika Koroibete sets a real precedent for a future where the majority of the Wallaby team is comprised of players who have successfully targeted and exploited the residency rules.

    • jamie

      I don’t think any wingers that aren’t in the squad have put their hands up and demanded a spot. End of. Koroibete has been setting the house on Fire in a very similar sport in a very similar position, while also having the background of having played union all his life.

      • McWarren

        Jamie, Morahan deserves a spot. End of.

        • Jay-c

          On what grounds?
          Being a starting winger in the worst super team in Aus?
          Scoring 5 tries in a 3rd tier Comp?
          He’s been in and around the squad for years and hasn’t done fuck all with his chances-
          He’s not good enough.
          Koroibete might be, may as well give him a shot and find out.
          He was dynamite in the nrl gf and that’s a higher level than anything Morahan has been around.

        • jamie

          That’s an opinion. He plays for the worst team in the comp that have the worst gameplan for wingers. He made 387m over an entire season, from 88 carries and a tackle rate below 80%.

          His best feature is that he can kick.

  • Davo

    What effect would a lobotomy have on Steve Hansen?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      He’d still be a better coach than Cheika

      • Phil

        I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  • Dom par

    I for one am glad we’re buying NRL wingers. We need to be buying more. Remember Tomane? He was only half the winger Koro was at the Storm. Get it through your thick heads this is a PROFESSIONAL sport. Wingers are the most interchangeable position and there is an absolute glut of them not getting a run. Sling them SR contracts and get rid of the need for dead wood “wallabies” like shipperley, f. sautia etc. defence-only joke players like Horne and that guy who Deans was obsessed with ( pat something) need to be kicked to the curb as well. We have over 30 professional contact sport teams to pick from( afl/nrl). Let’s start buying athletes with transferable skills now.

Rugby

Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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