I did find that a bit odd. Not so much not picking the OS players - I’m good with that - but why not pick the guys who are staying.
Not a good starting backrow if we are concerned about our lineout ability.Positives:
our backrow is so stacked Swinton won't even get near the starting side. I can't wait to see Hooper, Wilson and Valetini get stuck in, with Naisarani coming in off the bench.
My areas of concern:
Hooker and our lineout. I have a bad feeling this will be targeted and picked apart.
Hodge? He is still a better centre than most of those selectedHodge and To'omua are very lucky to get selected based on form.
If I was ikitau I would be upset.same as Fergus Lee-Warner.
Was Anstee available for selection? Though he might be a good development player
Comfortable with that UTR except Timani on the bench, would have either Swain or Leota ahead of him.
An alternative would be to start with Slipper and Kaitu'u, and have Bell and BPA off the bench.
Hodge? He is still a better centre than most of those selected
They are approaching selection in the same way World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer are in some cases, where if a player is not going to challenge to be in a world XV, find someone who is – or will be in the future.
I'd say we've seen Hodge hit his ceiling of potential and to be frank, it's like a lot of sharehouses that have a downstairs 'living' room that isn't legal height.
Chirsty Doran reported this over the weekend;
Hodge has struggled to cement a starting spot in the Australian team for the last few years, what's the odds he'll somehow produce something new that'll elevate him to a world XV?
Given his wallaby form last season to me this justifies To’omua starting in absence of other strong contenders..heck even Paisami has been so so last few weeks.With To'omua looking like ass in the last few weeks at least, who starts at center along with Pisami if not Matt?
Errr, yes. If we cannot at least hold our own in the set pieces we are stuffed.
Given his wallaby form last season to me this justifies To’omua starting in absence of other strong contenders..heck even Paisami has been so so last few weeks.
Would not be surprised to see Foketi get a guernesy if say perese out and with Paisami at 13. (If To’omua bombs in first test against french). I reckon Foketi will get a run in one of the French tests for Rennie to see what he can offer..