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Wallabies 2022 (towards 2023)

RugbyReg

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
With the season almost over, we can start looking to next year.

Always hard to predict who will play for the Wallabies before the Super Rugby season is played, but with some obvious trouble positions in the Wallabies, it's important we have some options to look at in Super Rugby.

Fullback:

Reds - sounds like Petaia is going to get that shot at fullback which, if successful, could have a real impact on the Wallabies.
Tahs - don't really have any strong contenders for the test jersey but Donaldson or Nawaqanitawase are darkhorses
Brumbies - had the pre-injury incumbent in Tom Banks who is the man most likely, finally looking confident (if not dominant) for the Wallabies.
Rebels - two leading contenders which will make selection interesting. Kellaway or Hodge? Will the Rebels see it the same way?
Force - again, not strong front runner but if he recaptures previous form, Byron Raltson sits a longside the Tahs players as options.

Flyhalf:

Reds - JOC (James O'Connor) will have the 10 jersey as long as he's fit, which is another issue. Can his body hold together?
Tahs - Harrison surely would have got a shot this year sans-Covid, but may battle for the Tahs 10 with Donaldson and perhaps Edmed
Brumbies - Lolesio is the man most likely if we keep things domestic so another season with Nic White will only help
Rebels - the experienced Matt To'omua a leading contender but I hope they use him to 'babysit' Carter Gordon who is my Wallaby bolter
Force - Lots of 10s in the squad, a couple they've shifted to fullback, but its likely between one of the recruits in Pasitoa and Kuenzle. Neither a legit chance next year.

Blindside:

Reds - Liam Wright may have a real battle on his hands with Angus Scott-Young but neither look to be real Wallaby contenders without the strong running game. LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto) a possible Wallaby option but unlikely to get much game time there for QLD
Tahs - Lachlan Swinton the likely starter but will Ned Hanigan play there on his return from Japan? Both Wallaby contenders
Brumbies - Samu will likely play 6 I am guessing just reinforcing the versatility asset he is to the Wallabies
Rebels - Rob Leota should make the spot his own this year after a break out 2021
Force - Fergus Lee-Warner and Tim Anstee might be options but the shape of the Force backrow is still a bit of an unknown.

Hooker:

Reds - Alex Mafi would have been a Wallaby this year if not for injury and will look to push his credentials next year.
Tahs - apparently Dave Porecki is highly acclaimed, but I don't see it. Could benefit from having one of the Brumbies
Brumbies - 3 Wallaby hookers and another on an Rugby Australia deal. Two should relocate to get game time. But who is seen as the top two candidates?
Rebels - Jordan Uelese's late omission from the Wallaby squad was surprising and should be a strong contender again next year
Force - Feleti Kaituú hopefully won't suffer 2nd year season because he was outstanding this year. Will hopefully continue to push his credentials and step up a level next year.
 

Wilson

Peter Sullivan (51)
Blindside:

Reds - Liam Wright may have a real battle on his hands with Angus Scott-Young but neither look to be real Wallaby contenders without the strong running game. LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto) a possible Wallaby option but unlikely to get much game time there for QLD
I wouldn't count Wilson out yet, even if he's playing 8 there's every chance they'll look at him for 6 (or Valetini at 6 and him at 8) if he shows he's really nailed the "work-ons" they gave him.

I think there's also a lot of questions around the 2nd wing spot (assuming Kellaway takes the other), but that is very dependent on what happens with full back and foreign player selections.
 

wamberal

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
I am stunned that you didn't mention Vunivalu or Daugunu, Reg. If one, or both, does not feature in the Wallaby colours I will sputter and spew.
 

Froggy

Nev Cottrell (35)
A couple of brief comments Reg
I remain to be convinced that Petaia, despite his undoubted physical attributes, really has a football brain. As such, I think Banks is still the leading contender for FB, Hodge the back-up, but personally I would like to see a lot more of Kellaway there, he really has some smarts
At 10 JOC (James O'Connor) is looking more and more like a place-holder only. Lolesio is the obvious contender, but I remain to be convinced. I am a big Harrison fan, however he may finish up spending the season at 15. I haven't seen Carter Gordon, but by all accounts he is the messiah (now where have we heard that before?)
Leota looks to me to be our 6, however both Swinton and Wilson have this Super season to push their chances (in the case of Wilson with Valetini switching to 6). I think Ned will probably play lock when he returns, as the Tahs don't have any of them!
I agree that Mafi is the best available hooker. FF (Folau Fainga'a) is okay, but imo that's all. Uelese, Porecki (I obviously rate him higher than you), McInerney and Kaitu'u are all pretty even to me, and imo all clearly in front of Lonergan
Just my personal opinions, plenty will disagree
 

Joe Blow

Jim Lenehan (48)
All the hookers mentioned are above McInerney. Sadly he will most likely not get much game time being behind FF (Folau Fainga'a) and Lonergan. He might want to consider a move? Kaitu’u was OK but a bit loose in the test arena. He will be better for it.
It will be fascinating to watch them all play for positions in the next Wallaby squad.
 

KOB1987

Michael Lynagh (62)
Lonergan and Mcinerny ( I think) are native Canberrans so the logical solution would be for Fainga'a to return home to NSW. It seems that mackellar rates their maul skills immensely so it should suit all parties.
 

Joe Blow

Jim Lenehan (48)
I also think that Wilson is very much on the mind of Rennie and co. He had a breakout first year when he was excellent at #8 at the Reds and in test rugby. He is a more natural 8 than Valentini, who has really come on in leaps and bounds this year. Ultimately our best back row looks like Valentini, Hooper and Wilson.
 

Derpus

Tim Horan (67)
I also think that Wilson is very much on the mind of Rennie and co. He had a breakout first year when he was excellent at #8 at the Reds and in test rugby. He is a more natural 8 than Valentini, who has really come on in leaps and bounds this year. Ultimately our best back row looks like Valentini, Hooper and Wilson.
I thought we looked our best with Swinton, Hooper, Valetini.
 

Jimmyjam

Bill Watson (15)
I also think that Wilson is very much on the mind of Rennie and co. He had a breakout first year when he was excellent at #8 at the Reds and in test rugby. He is a more natural 8 than Valentini, who has really come on in leaps and bounds this year. Ultimately our best back row looks like Valentini, Hooper and Wilson.
I think we are really looking at the following rolling up to RWC 23

Hooper starts in all games
Valetini starts in all games but can play either 8 or 6

Leota/ Swinton/Wilson/McReight/ Samu/Wright fight it out for the other 2 spots depending on form and the makeup of the rest of the forward pack. We also potentially have McMahon to add.

Light on strong ball carriers? Hello Wilson or Leota

Need to strengthen the lineout Hello Swinton! Samu also strong here

Need more on ball pressure... McReight or Wright step up.

Back row is the one area in the Wallaby squad where we are sorted with top class talent.
 

Wilson

Peter Sullivan (51)
With the lack of full backs at Force and Waratahs surely Isaac Lucas has to be on radar...
On the radar of the Force and the Waratahs sure, but he'd still be a fair way off the wallabies radar, at least while he remains overseas.
 

Sully

Tim Horan (67)
Staff member
I'm not one to throw stupid left field ideas around willy nilly so if I'm chucking this out their so you guys can make fun of me you know it's been rattling around in my head for a little while.
Anyway here goes nothing.
I think Rennie should talk to Thorn about playing Wilson at inside centre to see how he goes.
He's a tackling machine. He loves hitting it up. And his work ethic is right up there with the best.
I think it would work and make a huge difference to the Wallabies over the next few years.
 

Jimmyjam

Bill Watson (15)
We've got an interesting comparison with Rahboni at the Waratahs who switched between I/C and backrow at the Sunwolves, he looked pretty good. Wilson would need to strip off a bit of bulk and work on his speed, but probably still young enough to make it work given enough coaching and game time..
 

Derpus

Tim Horan (67)
I'm not one to throw stupid left field ideas around willy nilly so if I'm chucking this out their so you guys can make fun of me you know it's been rattling around in my head for a little while.
Anyway here goes nothing.
I think Rennie should talk to Thorn about playing Wilson at inside centre to see how he goes.
He's a tackling machine. He loves hitting it up. And his work ethic is right up there with the best.
I think it would work and make a huge difference to the Wallabies over the next few years.
Hooper all over again.
 

Sully

Tim Horan (67)
Staff member
We've got an interesting comparison with Rahboni at the Waratahs who switched between I/C and backrow at the Sunwolves, he looked pretty good. Wilson would need to strip off a bit of bulk and work on his speed, but probably still young enough to make it work given enough coaching and game time..
I disagree, he's just the right size.
 
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