Phil Kearns (64)
A few thoughts:-
- until last week I was totally opposed to the idea of selecting Hooper and Pocock in the same team, but it's hard to deny how much of an impact both have on the game when they're on the field. I still think the best approach is the start one of them on the bench and play the final 30 minutes with both on the field. IMO first half test rugby is in large part about physicality and the defense is generally more staunch. The means you need some genuine big ball carriers. In the second half defenders dont rush up as much and teams tend to be slightly less physical. In my view the approach should be to have Pocock and Hooper both on the field for the final 30 minutes of every game. Personally I would start Pocock as I believe he is more important in terms of our ruck work. Inject Hooper into the game in the final 30 and let him go ape shit.
I agree with that, but I think Pocock showed himself to be a more effective ball carrier than both Fardy AND Higgers in his time on the ground.
I think now the only reasonable explanation not to play Hooper-Pocock is the lineout.