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Wallabies 2023

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
The discussion in this thread over the last couple of days has got pretty weird where more people seem convinced players already dumped from the squad are more likely to be selected in the RWC squad than Hooper regardless of whether he's fit or not.
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
It's not silly at all, it's based around only being able to pick 33 players

In a vacuum, Hooper would be great to have in the squad, but carrying 2 players that can only play 7 isn't really feasible in a 33 man squad that needs versatility. You can only really pick one of them, otherwise you are in big trouble if (realistically when) injuries occur
We should 100% take two specialist opensides. 33 is more than enough to be able to carry both of them (again, assuming Hooper is fit).

I am old enough to remember Ben McCalman packing down at 7 in a game against Ireland in 2011. I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes thinking about it. I have it tattooed, Memento style, on my ribs - 'take two 7s to a World Cup'.
 

Jimmy_Crouch

Ken Catchpole (46)
We should 100% take two specialist opensides. 33 is more than enough to be able to carry both of them (again, assuming Hooper is fit).

I am old enough to remember Ben McCalman packing down at 7 in a game against Ireland in 2011. I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes thinking about it. I have it tattooed, Memento style, on my ribs - 'take two 7s to a World Cup'.
Agree. I was supportive of Deans for so long but I was done at this point. His calls completely blew my mind. Nick Phipps got less than one half against Russia. Even after coming from the 7s program we decided to go with our first string #8 (Samu) on the wing rather than our 3rd string halfback. McCalman had a crack but the the game at the time needed a 7 (see Pocock v SA in QF).
 

Eddie's Eyebrows

Allen Oxlade (6)
I am not discussing what eddie has done or will do. Where else can he play? too small for test 8, too light for a good 6 and most people here seem to assume he is a 7. At this time I don't think he is test ready and my post reflects why I think that. Can you state why you think I am wrong?
I am over all this Gleeson love affair and waiting for a game from him where he proves me wrong. Incredible!
Langi Gleeson is a number 8. He is not too small. In fact he is just about the right size.

HeightWeight
Langi GleesonAus
1.89​
112​
Rob ValetiniAus
1.93​
113​
Ardie SaveaNZ
1.88​
102​
Luke JacobsonNZ
1.91​
107​
Duane VermeulanSA
1.93​
119​
Jasper WeiseSA
1.9​
110​
Caelan DorisIre
1.93​
106​
Jack ConanIre
1.93​
110​
Taulupe FaletauWal
1.89​
110​
Grégory AlldritFra
1.91​
115​
Rodrigo BruniArg
1.87​
109​
Billy VunipolaEng
1.88​
130​
Matt FagersonSco
1.86​
110​
Ave1.90111.77
 

Mr Arie

Herbert Moran (7)
Langi Gleeson is a number 8. He is not too small. In fact he is just about the right size.

HeightWeight
Langi GleesonAus
1.89​
112​
Rob ValetiniAus
1.93​
113​
Ardie SaveaNZ
1.88​
102​
Luke JacobsonNZ
1.91​
107​
Duane VermeulanSA
1.93​
119​
Jasper WeiseSA
1.9​
110​
Caelan DorisIre
1.93​
106​
Jack ConanIre
1.93​
110​
Taulupe FaletauWal
1.89​
110​
Grégory AlldritFra
1.91​
115​
Rodrigo BruniArg
1.87​
109​
Billy VunipolaEng
1.88​
130​
Matt FagersonSco
1.86​
110​
Ave1.90111.77
He's 1cm too short and thus will never make it
 

Tomthumb

Alan Cameron (40)
We should 100% take two specialist opensides. 33 is more than enough to be able to carry both of them (again, assuming Hooper is fit).

I am old enough to remember Ben McCalman packing down at 7 in a game against Ireland in 2011. I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes thinking about it. I have it tattooed, Memento style, on my ribs - 'take two 7s to a World Cup'.
Fair enough, but you'll have to either only take 3 locks or only have 1 player to cover 6 and 8 off the bench to have them both in the squad though. That's tough to manage throughout a tournament
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Fair enough, but you'll have to either only take 3 locks or only have 1 player to cover 6 and 8 off the bench to have them both in the squad though. That's tough to manage throughout a tournament

Nah, with about 18/33 to be forwards there's plenty of room for 2 x opensides, 4 x locks, and then another 3-4 backrowers depending on how many hookers they take... potentially 19 forwards if they only go with 2 halfbacks.

And one of those 4 locks could potentially be Holloway, and Tom Hooper and Leota can both play there too.
 
Last edited:

Tomthumb

Alan Cameron (40)
Nah, with about 18/33 to be forwards there's plenty of room for 2 x opensides, 4 x locks, and then another 3-4 backrowers depending on how many hookers they take.
The huge issue by doing this is leaving yourself stuck if any injuries occur

Taking 2 hookers means any injuries the day before the game (like Uelese) and you're cooked. Ditto for only taking 5 props. And if you only have 3 players coving 6 and 8 then you will need McReight and Hooper to play at the same time which would really affect the size and makeup of the pack
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
The huge issue by doing this is leaving yourself stuck if any injuries occur

Taking 2 hookers means any injuries the day before the game (like Uelese) and you're cooked. Ditto for only taking 5 props. And if you only have 3 players coving 6 and 8 then you will need McReight and Hooper to play at the same time which would really affect the size and makeup of the pack

Hypothetically...

6 x Props
3 x Hookers
4 x Locks - Frost, Skelton, Arnold and Holloway (covers 6)
2 x openside flankers - McReight and M Hooper (or Samu/Gleeson covering if injured)
3 x backrowers - Valetini, T Hooper (also covers openside and lock), Leota (also covers lock)

And then depending on how many backs are selected, there's still potentially room for another forward.

But ultimately there's enough variation there.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
If you only take 2 hookers it means you have to have a prop that can play hooker in an emergency. Do we have someone we can name there?

From some of the squads named so far:

All Blacks 3 hookers, 6 props, 4 locks, 5 backrowers (18 forwards)
England 3 hookers, 6 props (19 forwards total)
Fiji 3 hookers, 6 props (18 forwards total)
South Africa 5 props, 2 hookers (19 forwards total)
 

Tomthumb

Alan Cameron (40)
Hypothetically...

6 x Props
3 x Hookers
4 x Locks - Frost, Skelton, Arnold and Holloway (covers 6)
2 x openside flankers - McReight and M Hooper (or Samu/Gleeson covering if injured)
3 x backrowers - Valetini, T Hooper (also covers openside and lock), Leota (also covers lock)

And then depending on how many backs are selected, there's still potentially room for another forward.

But ultimately there's enough variation there.
Fair enough, lack of number 8 backup is a bit of a worry here
 

Tomthumb

Alan Cameron (40)
If you only take 2 hookers it means you have to have a prop that can play hooker in an emergency. Do we have someone we can name there?

From some of the squads named so far:

All Blacks 3 hookers, 6 props, 4 locks, 5 backrowers (18 forwards)
England 3 hookers, 6 props (19 forwards total)
Fiji 3 hookers, 6 props (18 forwards total)
South Africa 5 props, 2 hookers (19 forwards total)
South Africa have basically taken 3 hookers with Deon Fourie in the squad
 

Agent

Watty Friend (18)
Here is my crack at the squad:

LHP: Bell, Slipper, Gibbon
HK: Porecki, Faesslar, L Lonergan
THP: Tupou, Fa'amausili, Talakai
Lock: Arnold, Frost, Skelton, Phillip
Backrow: T Hooper, M Hooper, Valetini, Gleeson, McReight, Holloway
Half Back: McDermott, White, Lonergan
Fly Half: Gordon, Cooper
Inside: Foketi, Kerevi,
Outside: Ikitau, Perese
Wing: Koroibete, Nawaqanitwase, Petaia
Fullback: Kellaway, Wright

- Schoupp, Nongorr, Peitsch are not ready yet.
- If they need another utility back I think it should be Hodge (can cover everywhere pretty much and always gives his best).
- Vunivalu no, Donaldson no, I feel for Leota, Samu and Wilson but no.
- We need 3 halfbacks esp with concussion protocols.
- First players listed are the strongest XV in my opinion.
 

Sword of Justice

Phil Hardcastle (33)
It's quite difficult to get a sense of how many backs will be selected because so many of them are versatile. Kellaway, Petaia both cover 11, 13, 14, 15 hypothetically. Wright would cover wings and fullback also.

10 is the biggest issue in only having Gordon and Cooper seemingly anywhere near the level required. That's where a Donaldson, Hodge, O'Connor is critical which is unfortunate because the first 2 have just not shown enough and JOC (James O'Connor) was better at 12 this year but not in squads so far regardless.

However if we select 3 halfbacks, 2 5/8s, 3 centres and 5 outside backs with one of those able to play 10 and one able to play centre then we can pick 19 forwards which is hypothetically more than enough to select M Hooper, which I would do if fit, but not ahead of McReight.

Despite the recent losses, it's actually shaping up to be a very good squad based on the versatility of our talent. THP is a major concern and 10 could become one easily but otherwise we have good depth.
 

Eddie's Eyebrows

Allen Oxlade (6)
Here is my crack at the squad:

LHP: Bell, Slipper, Gibbon
HK: Porecki, Faesslar, L Lonergan
THP: Tupou, Fa'amausili, Talakai
Lock: Arnold, Frost, Skelton, Phillip
Backrow: T Hooper, M Hooper, Valetini, Gleeson, McReight, Holloway
Half Back: McDermott, White, Lonergan
Fly Half: Gordon, Cooper
Inside: Foketi, Kerevi,
Outside: Ikitau, Perese
Wing: Koroibete, Nawaqanitwase, Petaia
Fullback: Kellaway, Wright

- Schoupp, Nongorr, Peitsch are not ready yet.
- If they need another utility back I think it should be Hodge (can cover everywhere pretty much and always gives his best).
- Vunivalu no, Donaldson no, I feel for Leota, Samu and Wilson but no.
- We need 3 halfbacks esp with concussion protocols.
- First players listed are the strongest XV in my opinion.
I like it, but I suspect we'll see Donaldson or Hodge in the squad at the expense of Wright.

They both can provide cover at 10 and 15 (Hodge 12/13 also).

We need a 3rd 10 cover. If Cooper or Gordon get a head knock - who is the back up 10?
 

emuarse

Desmond Connor (43)
I like it, but I suspect we'll see Donaldson or Hodge in the squad at the expense of Wright.

They both can provide cover at 10 and 15 (Hodge 12/13 also).

We need a 3rd 10 cover. If Cooper or Gordon get a head knock - who is the back up 10?
I suspect Hodge to be in the squad; who is very versatile as a utility player covering just about every back position, plus with a cannon for a kicking boot - very handy for a 60 metre penalty after 50 mins.
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
I suspect Hodge to be in the squad; who is very versatile as a utility player covering just about every back position, plus with a cannon for a kicking boot - very handy for a 60 metre penalty after 50 mins.

Is it a different Reece Hodge from the one that played in South Africa?
 

TSR

Andrew Slack (58)
It’s worth noting that the key players who miss selection will be in Europe for the Australia A & Barbarian games. Won’t help covering an injury on the day of the game so I think they’ll take 3 hookers and 3 9s - but if there are any injuries there should be a replacement close at hand. You can’t cover every eventuality or dumb luck but they just need enough squad cover for any immediate/short term issues.
 
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