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Wallabies 2021

Adam84

Paul McLean (56)
not for the Wallabies he wasn't. All his test starts were at 1

Fair enough I can’t remember, for the Reds he was used as a THP though. Ben Daley had the LHP locked down and Incredibly Greg Holmes played mostly off the bench

2011 was also back when you could only carry one reserve prop and team lists were 22, which meant they were more adapt at swapping sides back then as well.
 

TSR

Geoff Shaw (53)
I feel some of the players performances are being remembered more fondly than they actually were.

Beale had a magnificent year in 2010 ish and was a nominee for International player of the year. But he was never as consistent any other time. He was quite brilliant at times but kicked away way too much ball and his defence was always shoddy.

O’Connor was brilliant. IMO he was one of the two best wingers in the world in 2011. Unfortunately he fell apart off the field not too long after that.

AAC was the standout back of that group and his record deserves the utmost respect. But he was renowned for not being able to pass left to right and generally opting not to pass right to left. To be fair though - scored a lot of tries of the dummy and run. We’d happily have him now.

Drew Mitchell was at about his peak in 2010. And a great winger. Unfortunately did his ankle in 2011 and was never the same (although still a quality player).

Berrick Barnes was a talented guy who seemed to take Robbie Deans mantra of ‘play what’s in front of you’ to mean ‘kick everything away’. I’ve never been as frustrated watching rugby as when Barnes & Beale used to continually hand the ball back with shit kicking. I am all for the value of a short kicking game - it is one of the reasons I like Rennie - but Barnes & Beale were horrid at it.

2010 was a bit of a watershed year for Cooper, than 2011 was his absolute break out. Until the World Cup where Deans tried to play a game plan for Berrick Barnes with Cooper at 10. It didn’t work and the fall out didn’t reflect well on either of them. He did his knee at the end of 2011 & then made the toxic comments at the end of 2012. He had a brief resurgence in partnership with Matt To'omua, but it was brief. (That’s all I’m writing on that - if anyone wants to reply specifically re Cooper, go for your life but there is enough already done to death on it)

Genia did his knee 2012. Was never the same - although did play plenty more quality tests for Australia.

McCalman - good, honest player. Nothing outstanding but was solid.

Pocock - legend and never more so than in the 2011 WC. But our current 7 is not too shabby either.

Elsom - very good, but not the same after he went OS

Sharpe - good player, but not outstanding

Simmons - underrated by many, but even as someone who is a fan I wouldn’t have called him outstanding. Current group could all be better - but he has 105 tests and they don’t so deserves utmost respect

Alexander - similiar to Simmons - deserves respect for his test record, but the reality is he was targeted as a weakness most of his test career (although he & Robinson were excellent in 2009 if I recall correctly)

Moore - we’d kill to have him now

Slipper - in 2010 was a young guy with a huge motor but struggled at scrums. At least he wasn’t injured then though I guess. Maybe some pretty good comparison with where Bell is at. I prefer the 2020/early 2021 version of Slipper. Hopefully he’ll be back in time for the tests

Don’t get me wrong - these guys could all play, some of the were extremely talented. But none of these guys produced consistently. And that’s without getting too caught up in off field behaviour, team moral, team culture issues etc

Our current group have, for the most part, achieved nothing so far. But I don’t see any reason to assume that the 2010 team - as a collective and when it comes to playing consistent, winning rugby, is a benchmark they can’t aspire to go beyond.
 

Adam84

Paul McLean (56)
I think there’s a good chance we will look back on the current squad in 10 years time and think they were a pretty talented bunch as well, whether they’re kept in Australia through their careers is another question
 

TSR

Geoff Shaw (53)
I guess one of the big questions will be how they manage the off-field stuff.

If I can make a sweeping observation with absolutely no actual authority at all on this - Australian rugby and the people around the top of it - seem more grounded to me then they were in 2010. There is far less rock star.
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
I had forgotten how young Isi is. Only 26. Honestly thought he was about 30. We really need to keep him in oz for the next world cup. Should be in the prime of his career then. His TT form has been impressive.

I am happy for Kellaway. Think he has potential to be a test player however he just needs to unlock that next level. The covering tackle on the weekend was a thing of beauty and I reckon Rennie would have loved it. Staying in the fight. Moments like that win test matches and often WCs. He is extremely athletic and is a wonderfully balanced runner, reminds me a lot of Drew when he was in his prime. Hopefully maturity and a bit more experience get him there.

Foketi has been excellent this year. I never thought I would be writing that. The form 12 in Aus and I'm very happy he has been selected. He will get a shot against France.

I think Wells has been selected to see if he can make the step up, if not Wright will probably come straight back in. Wright's form wasn't good when he came back at the end of SRAU however I thought he performed really well against the Kiwi teams. Happy for Leota as well, form rewarded. Tough on Hosea and Robinson.

For those talking up the value of Foketi. Remember the game has two main aspects, attack and defence. How any one who took part in the Tahs backline this year could expect to play in a test match where defence is essential is beyond me I'm afraid.
 

dru

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
I think there’s a good chance we will look back on the current squad in 10 years time and think they were a pretty talented bunch as well, whether they’re kept in Australia through their careers is another question

From 2010 the Reds took the Super final 2011. The 2021 Reds did not look close to being seriously competitive in a 2022 TT. Hey things can turn around, but I suspect that our current guys have a way to go to match the 2010 variety.
 

TSR

Geoff Shaw (53)
Yes - true but the 2009 Reds were rubbish. This group is, for mine, somewhere between 2009 - 2010 in their development. A lot of rookies still only in their first or second year.

Also, of the 2011 key Reds within 2 yrs 3 of their main players suffered major injuries (Cooper, Genia & Horwill) which impacted the rest of their career.

And Richard Graham was given the keys.

There is nothing to say this group isn’t going to get similiar thrown off course. But I don’t feel it is unrealistic to be optimistic.
 

dru

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
Yes - true but the 2009 Reds were rubbish. This group is, for mine, somewhere between 2009 - 2010 in their development. A lot of rookies still only in their first or second year.

Also, of the 2011 key Reds within 2 yrs 3 of their main players suffered major injuries (Cooper, Genia & Horwill) which impacted the rest of their career.

And Richard Graham was given the keys.

There is nothing to say this group isn’t going to get similiar thrown off course. But I don’t feel it is unrealistic to be optimistic.

I could not be more corrected! OK, the current 2021 guys equate to 2009 Reds. I'm in. Like the idea. Brad has another three years. Minimum.
 
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upthereds#!

Peter Fenwicke (45)
Seeing this 38, I don't think I can recall a weaker Wallabies squad ever named. I think it really shows how far the depth & quality of Australian rugby has fallen since the Robbie Deans years. Every coach since then has been fighting an uphill battle IMO.

For example, Cheika didn't have anywhere near the quality of cattle compared to Deans. Cheika arrived as the mass exodus of Australian talent (many of them experienced internationals) really exploded, especially post-2015. In my opinion, Cheika did alright considering the circumstances, it was pretty dire. The Australian rugby talent pool at it's lowest ebb post-2015.

Between 2015-2019 Australian Super Rugby squads were probably the weakest ever.

Didn't NZ teams go something like 38 games unbeaten 2017/18 seasons? Merely execution of the basics among Aussie Super Rugby players was really lacking across the board. An ever-dwindling talent (quality players heading overseas) base.. & genuine lack of quality Australian Super Rugby coaches (McKellar who started in 2018 - was probably the one exception).



I don't know if its so much the depth of Australian Rugby, or the number of players (many wallabies) STILL starting as top flight professional players in other competitions, their place being taken by clubbies and teenagers.

Only in Aus SR are you considered over the hill at 30.

Also, I would say that Australian has at least 5 players who would be in our top 23 (mostly starters!) not eligible (Latu, Arnold, Skelton, Mcmahon & Kerevi) This is compared to South Africa - 0, New Zealand - 0, England - 0, France - 0) etc.
 

Derpus

John Eales (66)
Timani, Kellaway and Foketi are very odd selections IMO. Particularly given other injured players have been selected.
 

eastman

Ron Walden (29)
Timani, Kellaway and Foketi are very odd selections IMO. Particularly given other injured players have been selected.

To be fair they are all probably squad players at best but Timani and Foketi are the most perplexing. Timani is adequate at set piece but suffers from Jack Whetton- syndrome across the park. Foketi isn't even a guaranteed starter in the 2021 Waratah's team and is consistent in his ability to do both good and very poor things in games; his selection is a reflection on the poor depth Australia currently has at 12/13 - there would be 40 better centres running around NZ.
 

Rugby Head

Larry Dwyer (12)
Only played a couple of games in his return from Japan, but think Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco should be considered. I thought his go forward was unbelievable on the weekend and something that could be very beneficial at international level.
 

Joe Blow

Jim Lenehan (48)
Timani, Kellaway and Foketi are very odd selections IMO. Particularly given other injured players have been selected.
Very strange indeed and just shows our lack of depth. In the case of Timani surely Hosea or Rodda would have been preferable?I guess that Timani is good for opposed set piece drills but surely no better than Rodda.
 

upthereds#!

Peter Fenwicke (45)
Timani, Kellaway and Foketi are very odd selections IMO. Particularly given other injured players have been selected.


In what way are they odd? I think considering injuries and the squad expanded to 38 it was always going to be the case that guys would make the squad who, in a fully fit and available world, would never wear a gold jersey (again)

IMO
Kellaway is there for Vunivalu/DHP
Foketi is there for Kerevi/Petaia
Timani is there for Arnold/Skelton

If we removed Foketi and Swain and replaced them with Kerevi and Arnold, I think we would all sleep better and the french maybe a little worse - but not to be. Instead we must promote people to fill spots that have been left vacant, whether they are ready/have the ability for it or not. Sounds a bit like our SR teams....


Please don't think I'm not concerned by some of the names in the squad, I just don't think it is odd.
 
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Dctarget

Steve Williams (59)
Rennie likes to send messages with his squad selections. Naisarani last year was in our top 2 no. 8s, but was kept out to improve. Now he's in.
Same goes for Hosea (dunno about Rodda). There's no doubt that Rennie wants to work with Hosea and sees him as part of the future, doubt he expects to take Timani to the RWC, so it's a message to Hosea. Also he gets to work with Timani and see if he can get anything out of him. His size is rare.
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
In these big squads I can never get too outraged about people being left out, as generally the unlucky players are competing for spots 28-38 anyway. So I can quibble with this or that but there's nothing seismic here.

The one that leaves me perplexed is Sita Timani over Trevor Hosea. If this is indeed a squad for the future then surely you'd flip this one on its head. I haven't watched that much of the Force, so maybe others can enlighten me - has Timani's form been that good?

I just worry Rennie is being sucked in to picking Timani in the same way previous coaches have been: they see an eight foot behemoth and think they can turn him into the ultimate rugby machine. But what we get (apart from very isolated examples) is more of a lumbering type who never really makes the impact he should. He's supposedly good in the scrum, which is great, but are our other options that bad at the scrum that it really makes a difference?

Sita is likely to end up on the bench at best, but I think we've missed a chance to blood Hosea and see if he's up to it.
 

Derpus

John Eales (66)
In these big squads I can never get too outraged about people being left out, as generally the unlucky players are competing for spots 28-38 anyway. So I can quibble with this or that but there's nothing seismic here.

The one that leaves me perplexed is Sita Timani over Trevor Hosea. If this is indeed a squad for the future then surely you'd flip this one on its head. I haven't watched that much of the Force, so maybe others can enlighten me - has Timani's form been that good?

I just worry Rennie is being sucked in to picking Timani in the same way previous coaches have been: they see an eight foot behemoth and think they can turn him into the ultimate rugby machine. But what we get (apart from very isolated examples) is more of a lumbering type who never really makes the impact he should. He's supposedly good in the scrum, which is great, but are our other options that bad at the scrum that it really makes a difference?

Sita is likely to end up on the bench at best, but I think we've missed a chance to blood Hosea and see if he's up to it.

His form for the Force has been the same as it always was. He's very solid in the set piece but his mobility and work around the park is generously described as ponderous.

He was definitely a handy signing for them, but he didn't even manage to outplay Thrush.
 
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