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Time to throw out the bath water

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
Actually, the time was before this year's EOYT, but that opportunity has been missed. The mid-year tests next year will be the last real opportunity for Link to rid himself of the perennial under-achievers and replace them with bodies that could front up at RWC time.​
There should be no howls from the peanut gallery (us) that young players cannot be debuted against such and such a team or in the RC. There is simply no other option now to replace those who are still running around with the Wallabies to little or no effect.​
We all know the main culprits - Ben Alexander, Sitaleki Timani, Dave Dennis. So, who are the others that should be replaced before the RWC? Slipper? Kepu? Ryan? TPN? McCalman? Simmons? Horwill? Cummins? Tomane?​
The likely replacements should probably be considered before nominating particular individuals, barring in my view the three I have nominated.​
Front row is presently a shambles and I don't see the current occupants coming good for the RWC. I would retain Robbo and bring back Sio as standby LH. I think Slipper should revert to TH, or miss out altogether. Salesi Manu looks the most promising of the younger THs and should be brought in at the expense of Kepu and Ryan. We will need to keep an eye on how Toby Smith plays with the Rebels. He could earn a spot in the squad.​
Moore, TPN and Faingaa cover hooker adequately so long as TPN remains fit and healthy. Any problems, I think Siliva Siliva should be brought in.​
The second row contenders are Horwill (when fit), Simmons, Douglas, Fardy, Pyle, Carter, Skelton and Neville. Big Kev needs to get over his injuries and regain form, but when in form is a certain starter. Should Simmons be retained? I'd say not if a couple of the other possibles continue to show good form in next year's Super comp. I think Pyle, Carter, Skelton and Neville offer sufficient skills to more than adequately cover the second row spots with Horwill. Fardy goes to 6.​
The back row is fairly thin on the ground, especially for big, crashing ball runners. Fardy, Mowen, Jones, Pocock, Hooper, Gill, Higgers Aeulua, Schatz and Palu are the front runners. Fardy has been our best No 6 and needs to stay. Would like to see Jones come into the squad to replace either Dennis or McCalman. Poey is a lay down misere for 7 when fit. One of Hooper/Gill to back him up depending on the game plan. Higgers would be my No 8, with one of Fotu or Cliffy to back him up, largely depending on Cliffy's ability to get on and stay on the park injury-free. But if Fotu could reproduce his early form with the Brumbies he would be my second pick.​
Most of the backs are the babies we want to keep when we throw out the bathwater. All of them have at times shown enough to be in the squad, but I think it is inevitable that Godwin and Speight will replace two of them. Who? And will Jesse Mogg or Kurtley Beale force their way in again?​
I reiterate my contention that changes are needed and must be made from the mid-year tests next year. On top of the playing personnel, it is pretty evident that changes are also needed in the coaching team. The scrum has to improve and needs specialist coaching. The defence patterns need an overhaul also. A change in the defence coach also looks to be imperative. Do we need a specialist kicking coach? and how do we improve basic skills like passing, catching, running support etc?​
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
I'll bite first.

I think a lot of the players you've suggested with potential need to play very well in Super Rugby next year to get selected. If they do then yes, older players who've had plenty of opportunities should make way for them.

There's no point selecting a young player just because they're young if they're getting outplayed by the players you want to drop. It is possible that our team can go backwards from the poor position they're currently in.

Props are a difficult one. You've decided to ditch Paddy Ryan but bring back Scott Sio. Whilst I completely agree that Sio has huge promise, he's had more opportunity at test level and delivered just as little.

Locks are a massive problem and Hugh Pyle, Will Skelton and Sam Carter look like the promising young options. They should come under consideration. I haven't seen anything to suggest that Caderyn Neville should be close to a Wallabies spot. He has a huge motor, but he doesn't seem to be that effective.

I have no issues with debuting young players. They have to be showing in Super Rugby that they deserve selection though.

If some of the Wallabies you want to get rid of are playing better at Super Rugby level than the young players you want to bring in then that should be the first suggestion that these players aren't ready to play test rugby yet.
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
I'll bite first.

I think a lot of the players you've suggested with potential need to play very well in Super Rugby next year to get selected. If they do then yes, older players who've had plenty of opportunities should make way for them.

There's no point selecting a young player just because they're young if they're getting outplayed by the players you want to drop. It is possible that our team can go backwards from the poor position they're currently in.

Props are a difficult one. You've decided to ditch Paddy Ryan but bring back Scott Sio. Whilst I completely agree that Sio has huge promise, he's had more opportunity at test level and delivered just as little.

Locks are a massive problem and Hugh Pyle, Will Skelton and Sam Carter look like the promising young options. They should come under consideration. I haven't seen anything to suggest that Caderyn Neville should be close to a Wallabies spot. He has a huge motor, but he doesn't seem to be that effective.

I have no issues with debuting young players. They have to be showing in Super Rugby that they deserve selection though.

If some of the Wallabies you want to get rid of are playing better at Super Rugby level than the young players you want to bring in then that should be the first suggestion that these players aren't ready to play test rugby yet.


It's the 'yet' bit I object to. I want to see players who might be the goods come RWC 2015 given plenty of opportunities beforehand to lift their games to the required level. The current players who are consistently not up to scratch won't be up to scratch when they're a couple of years older. At this stage I don't really care if the world ranking falls a few spots so long as we are developing the team capable of competing at the RWC.

Caderyn Neville is one of the truly big hitters in the Aus teams, and not just one or two per match. His defence is already much better that some who have had many opportunities with the Wallabies. I see him as a possible back up to Horwill at TH lock.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
It's the 'yet' bit I object to. I want to see players who might be the goods come RWC 2015 given plenty of opportunities beforehand to lift their games to the required level.

And it's the "might be the goods" bit that I object to.

I think every year and every test is important and you don't make someone a Wallaby in 2014 because you think that after a season or so in the team they might be good enough.
Players have a lot of Super Rugby games to show their wares. If they outperform the current Wallabies on a consistent basis then by all means, they should be selected.


Sent from my HTC One XL using Tapatalk
 

The_Brown_Hornet

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
In terms of a hard hitting back rower, I want to see Luke Jones put his hand up next season. I think the kid has bags of potential and he could be a good super rugby season away from making the squad. It would allow us to put Fardy in at lock, where I think he's a more natural fit.

I also wonder how long we can go without giving Pyle a go at test level. I think he's ready. He's your classical athletic lock -- jumps in the line out and a great ball running option. I believe you need at least one bloke in the second row who does that and partner them with the "rock shifter" (thank you Bakkies for the term).
 
D

daz

Guest
In terms of a hard hitting back rower, I want to see Luke Jones put his hand up next season. I think the kid has bags of potential and he could be a good super rugby season away from making the squad. It would allow us to put Fardy in at lock, where I think he's a more natural fit.

I also wonder how long we can go without giving Pyle a go at test level. I think he's ready. He's your classical athletic lock -- jumps in the line out and a great ball running option. I believe you need at least one bloke in the second row who does that and partner them with the "rock shifter" (thank you Bakkies for the term).

Agree on Jones. If he has the breakout year we are expecting, Gold honours will come in 2014/15.

Pyle would have been a Wallaby in 2013 except for his shoulder injury. You can lock him in for 2014 (Ha! See what I did there?).

Agree also on a previous comment on Neville. Going backwards at a huge rate and is barely making the pine at the Rebels. You know you are pretty fucking ordinary when you can't get game time at the Rebels.
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
And it's the "might be the goods" bit that I object to.

I think every year and every test is important and you don't make someone a Wallaby in 2014 because you think that after a season or so in the team they might be good enough.
Players have a lot of Super Rugby games to show their wares. If they outperform the current Wallabies on a consistent basis then by all means, they should be selected.


Sent from my HTC One XL using Tapatalk


I know what you mean BH, but I am mostly concerned about the continued selection of a number of players who have proved (at least to me) that they are not capable of beating the best in test matches. I want to be rid of them in time for the RWC, and that means identifying potential replacements now (or at least by the mid year tests). More's the pity that this wasn't done before the EOYT imo.

I look back to the Lions tour and since, and see players like Sio, Fardy, Mowen, White, To'omua, Lealiifano, Kuridrani, Folau, Betham and Foley making their debuts and mostly improving the way the Wallabies have been playing. What if they hadn't been given a chance because they arguably weren't consistently playing better than those they replaced? I cite the fairly wide disagreement being expressed at the time about the selections of Mowen, White, Kuridrani, Betham and Foley.

I perceive a need to still replace certain players in the current group. I don't know if the suggested replacements will all front up at test level, but I would be more confident that some of the newbies will be better than those who have been tried and found out at this level. They at least deserve a decent go rather than persisting with the failed.
 

KevinO

Greg Davis (50)
I might be alone in this, especially as a Rebels fan, but I really don't rate Neville. He's got an enormous motor, covers huge ground and has very little impact on the game. He's a poor mans Hugh Pyle at the moment.

2nd that, thought Pyle and Jones was a lot more effective in the 2nd row.
 

Ruggo

Mark Ella (57)
I will make this prediction. If Beale handles his off field issues, a full season of Chieka rugby at the Tahs will have us all wanting him in the Wallabies. He will thrive with that style of rugby.

13 could be the smokey position for mine. I am not saying at this moment he is the right fit but Mitch Inman has a massive opportunity to stake a claim for the Wallaby 13.

Luke Jones I think is only a matter of time before he gets his chance.
 

wamberal

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
Caderyn Neville is one of the truly big hitters in the Aus teams, and not just one or two per match. His defence is already much better that some who have had many opportunities with the Wallabies. I see him as a possible back up to Horwill at TH lock.


Did you see the Shute Shield semi between Manly and Eastwood? I know it was only one game, but Neville was totally ineffective, to the point of being anonymous. And he was up against a no-name pack (with the exception of the LHP, of course).



Good to see that Pat McCabe has vanished totally from calculations. Big heart, no talent, unfortunately.
 

Slim 293

Nathan Sharpe (72)
I will make this prediction. If Beale handles his off field issues, a full season of Chieka rugby at the Tahs will have us all wanting him in the Wallabies. He will thrive with that style of rugby.

13 could be the smokey position for mine. I am not saying at this moment he is the right fit but Mitch Inman has a massive opportunity to stake a claim for the Wallaby 13.

Luke Jones I think is only a matter of time before he gets his chance.

I think it will take a few injuries for Inman to get a shot..........
 

Train Without a Station

Steve Williams (59)
Don't really get what the OP is getting at here?

We're talking about mass changes, but then pretty much noting that we have close to our best side available being selected anyway, with the only consensus being on the props. In all seriousness what are you going to change? Who are you going to pick that hasn't already been overlooked through injury? There's maybe one or two prop options that aren't already failing, and even they have failed (e.g. Sio who looked not quite up to it in his caps already).

Seriously, who out there is fit and playing the house down? I'd love to know. There's a couple of decent 6's going around and maybe a couple of centre options, but they're basically our best performing positions.
 

Forcefield

Ken Catchpole (46)
So what are we doing to get our Paddy Ryans, Salesi Manus, Scott Sios, Smith brothers and Oli Hoskinses up skilled and a few more steps toward being able to replace guys like Alexander?
 

Highlander35

Paul McLean (56)
2nd that, thought Pyle and Jones was a lot more effective in the 2nd row.


Jones just doesn't perform at Scrum time when playing 2nd row. Absolutely no problems with him playing at 6, but I (personally) don't like him playing more than 20-30 minutes at lock except in the case of injury.
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
Jones just doesn't perform at Scrum time when playing 2nd row. Absolutely no problems with him playing at 6, but I (personally) don't like him playing more than 20-30 minutes at lock except in the case of injury.


Jones is also an option at 8. Some of his strengths are an ability to catch the high ball, especially at Kick off time, and he is a bit like Hooper in that he doesn't give up when tackled but keeps going forward in the tackle.
 

BDA

Peter Johnson (47)
So what are we doing to get our Paddy Ryans, Salesi Manus, Scott Sios, Smith brothers and Oli Hoskinses up skilled and a few more steps toward being able to replace guys like Alexander?


This is the real problem that we need to address. Alexander has had a lot of time invested in him and he just doesn't seem to have improved at all. Yes he puts in a few decent scrummaging performances each year, but without fail he is completely dominated at some point. The RWC 2015 will be played in England and the conditions will require a strong scrum. I'd lock Kepu and Robinson in for the RWC (I still cant understand why Link doesnt start them against the NH teams). We need at least 2 more, maybe three. I think Slipper is worth persisting with. Alexander has had too many chances and at this point in his career I think referees will continue to crucify him because of his poor history. He has to go. I'd like to see Sio given some more opportunities to develop. I'm really hoping Dan Palmer returns to oz next year too.

My props for the world cup
LHs: Robbo, Sio
TH: Kepu, Palmer
LH/TH: Slipper

In terms of 2nd row, I agree, get rid of Timani. He has way too many games where he does nothing. Also he hasn't even committed to aus rugby in 2015.

I feel like one of the few people going around that really rates Simmons. He's a line-out specialist and the set piece will be the name of the game at the WC. He has a good work rate too. Can be quite physical at times too. Douglas looks ok atm. But again we need to blood at least one other lock and Pyle looks like the man. He'll get his chance next year. I think Skelton is a smoky. I really liked the impact he made for the tahs this year. He is obviously a work in progress, a bit rough around the edges, but 2014 will be massive for him. He'll get a lot more game time this year and if McKenzie is looking for a powerhouse lock to replace Timani, i think he could be the answer. I'll wait to see how he goes for the tahs this year but he's an exciting prospect because the wallabies desperately need more players that can physically impose themselves on the game.

No.7 and no.6 (Mowen/Fardy/MMM/Higgers) the depth is pretty good No.8 is a massive problem. The Wallabies pack lots generally poor without palu at 8. Mowen or McCalman at 8 dont doesnt work. We really need someone to step up over the next 12 months. I'm hoping Higgers plays exclusively at 8 this year.

Our backline players look the goods. add a more mature JOC and Beale to this group and we'll score tries.

So in terms of new talent, I really hope we see guys like Sio, Ryan, Pyle and Skelton have a massive Super season in 2014 and push for selection.
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
Don't really get what the OP is getting at here?

We're talking about mass changes, but then pretty much noting that we have close to our best side available being selected anyway, with the only consensus being on the props. In all seriousness what are you going to change? Who are you going to pick that hasn't already been overlooked through injury? There's maybe one or two prop options that aren't already failing, and even they have failed (e.g. Sio who looked not quite up to it in his caps already).

Seriously, who out there is fit and playing the house down? I'd love to know. There's a couple of decent 6's going around and maybe a couple of centre options, but they're basically our best performing positions.


Ok TWAS, I'll see if I can throw some light on the matter.

I believe the backline needs very little tweaking. It is pretty good as is and seems to be developing with more game time, but in reality we could expect at least two changes to be made as Speight and Beale become eligible or fit and healthy. Moggy might also force his way back in as fullback cover.

I do see a need for significant change in the forwards. Some changes will take care of themselves, being Pocock and Higgers imo. Both the front row and the second row need some drastic action. I do think Robbo needs to come into the starting lineup and be given first go at the LH position. I would rather have Sio as backup LH because by RWC time I think he will be indispensible. Slipper's best option in my opinion is at TH but he may not even consistently perform there, so we need to be bringing one or two others through just in case. I see these as being Dan Palmer and Salesi Manu. The current second row pairing is the most under-performing pair I can remember seeing in 20 - 30 years watching. Timani just doesn't cut it at test level. Tried and found wanting on many occasions. Kev is not playing at the required standard either atm. This might be due to injury; time will tell. If Horwill doesn't soon make a full recovery, with the RWC in mind, we will need to be establishing a whole new second row, including reserves.

In summary, I see the need to find two new starting props and two new starting second rowers. On top of that we should be looking for at least two or three reserve props (though Slipper might be one of those), two or three new second rowers, and another couple of back rowers at least to back up Fardy/Pocock/Higgers.

Then we have the likely inclusion of a couple at least new backs.

So who are the going to jettison to bring in maybe 10 - 12 new bodies? Seems like a lot of change in the wind to me.
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
I think on the whole the backs are fine. Add in Speight, Godwin, Beale, O'Connor to the current lot and we'll have a more than competitive backline.

The pack is just horrible though. I think when Link gets back to Australia he needs to pull a few promising youngsters aside and say to them "put your head down, train hard, bring the goods on the field in super rugby and you might get a chance next June".

Big big opportunity for guys like Scott Sio, Toby Smith, Salesi Manu, Hugh Pyle, Will Skelton, Luke Jones, Curtis Browning.

I think one thing is for sure and that is we can't go into the next world cup with a forwards squad of Alexander, Kepu, Slipper, Simmons, Douglas, Timani, McCalman, Dennis, Faingaa etc.

I still have hope for Moore, Robinson and Horwill - they are quality players going through horrible runs of form. And whilst I've never been sold on Palu, when he is fit (properly fit) he adds some much needed grunt to the pack.
 

Bullrush

John Thornett (49)
Let go of Horwill. Honestly…he's not much more than standard Test player. Not great, not outstanding……he's standard. Even when fit.
 
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