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Wallabies 2024

Derpus

George Gregan (70)
The urge to take the bait is almost insurmountable...

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Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
We must disagree here BH, our history (based on watching not stats) is that we have lost a lot of tight games through poor kicking. There have been many close games where our goal kicking has been average and we end up hammering away at the line with 10 to go when a field goal should have been an option.

Sure, but all our other options are pretty comparable. They could all be better and that would be great.

The reality is that most of our players could be better at most things. It's a big part of why we're now clearly in the bottom half of the top 10 test teams.
 

stillmissit

Chilla Wilson (44)
The reality is that most of our players could be better at most things. It's a big part of why we're now clearly in the bottom half of the top 10 test teams.
True BH but the big question is - Do we have the talent or is it our coaching etc. that's poor? If we don't have the talent then it's OK to be 10th, if we have the talent and are not making the most of it then that is NOT OK.
 

Joe Blow

Peter Sullivan (51)
Not sure if Mark N (Nawaqanitawase). warrants a spot based on form so far this year and he is leaving. However we have 3 exciting new young wingers whose form is all a worth a look at and consideration given to including them.
Kellaway ALWAYS takes the right option and his nose for a gap and the line are impressive this year as always. He is also excellent under the high ball. I expect Schmidt will go for him at 15. Wright has also been good and less erratic this year and will be in the squad. I cant see Beale or JOC (James O'Connor) getting a spot.
 

The Ghost of Raelene

Andrew Slack (58)
Don’ know if he’s played in the Centres in pro rugby but Tom Wright has the Kick, Pass to go with the ability to beat the first man and create an overlap.

He fits the utility spot on the bench for me.
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Don’ know if he’s played in the Centres in pro rugby but Tom Wright has the Kick, Pass to go with the ability to beat the first man and create an overlap.

He fits the utility spot on the bench for me.

His earliest games with the Brumbies were at 12, and he played at 13 for the Vikings in the last season of NRC.

But I think his skillset is best suited to fullback.
 

Rugby Survivor

Ward Prentice (10)
Kellaway should be 15 in my opinion with Wright playing that second fullback role just as Rob Egerton did in 1991. Wright has ex-factor but makes too many mistakes in high pressure test matches at fullback. Him and Kellaway will work well together.
 

Tomikin

David Codey (61)
I'm coming round to the view that you have both Kellaway and Wright on the field. I'd personally have Wright on the wing because I think he's a better winger than Kellaway and Kellaway has historically had a lower error rate.
I think its a pretty easy selection to pick them both.. easily the pick of the back 3 this year.. either or at 15, 14..
 

Wilson

Michael Lynagh (62)
With Schmidt talking about the importance of player lead coaching he could do much worse then getting O'Connor involved with our young tens:

Not sure he'll be pushing for a space in the 23 anytime soon, but that sort of player coach role in the squad could be invaluable. Doesn't hurt that he offers emergency cover for a lot of positions either.
 

LeCheese

Jim Lenehan (48)
With Schmidt talking about the importance of player lead coaching he could do much worse then getting O'Connor involved with our young tens:

Not sure he'll be pushing for a space in the 23 anytime soon, but that sort of player coach role in the squad could be invaluable. Doesn't hurt that he offers emergency cover for a lot of positions either.
Wasn't there a big emphasis on O'Connor's transition towards a coaching role when he most recently re-signed? His time on the sidelines probably sped this up a bit. As you say, could certainly do a lot worse.
 

SouthernX

Jim Lenehan (48)
Eddie did something similar last year. He opted for the level headed no controversy recently retired Berrick Barnes over Quade Cooper!

kind of sucks for Berrick because I thought he had a future in coaching and unsure what he is upto these days
 

Dctarget

Tim Horan (67)

Nice piece by Bishop on Parling. Ignores the fact that the Rebels lineout has been ass.

Does defend his work by saying when he was LO coach for the Wallabies they had their best LO in years.

Happy Geoff is an Aussie now and feels at home.
 

Wilson

Michael Lynagh (62)

Nice piece by Bishop on Parling. Ignores the fact that the Rebels lineout has been ass.

Does defend his work by saying when he was LO coach for the Wallabies they had their best LO in years.

Happy Geoff is an Aussie now and feels at home.
Defensive lineout has been great for the rebels though. I feel like their main problem has been the consistency of the throwing and that's more down to the individual players and list management.

Would probably nice if the Wallabies were able to bring in a skills coach for that though, it has been a bit variable across the board.
 

scrans21

Sydney Middleton (9)
Anyone want to copy and paste the article about O'Connor? Would love to read it but I refuse to give my money to Lachlan Murdoch.
 

ReeceHodgeOfficial

Frank Nicholson (4)
Anyone want to copy and paste the article about O'Connor? Would love to read it but I refuse to give my money to Lachlan Murdoch.


Ten five-eighths in 11 years. That’s how many playmakers the Wallabies have used since the British & Irish Lions came to these shores in 2013.
And the man wearing the No.10 jersey for that series, James O’Connor, has made the stunning admission that he “didn’t know s--- about playmaking” at the time.
With Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt in the midst of deciding who will be his first five-eighth – Carter Gordon, Ben Donaldson and Noah Lolesio seem to be jostling for the coveted jersey – the constant problem for Australian rugby is not going to be easily solved.
Australia has struggled to find their playmaking answer while their Rugby Championship rivals have had more seamless transitions; the All Blacks moving from Dan Carter to Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga, and the Springboks from Morne Steyn to Elton Jantjies and Handre Pollard - both nations winning two World Cups each with a mix of those players at the helm.
In a strange coincidence, O’Connor could be a key figure in fixing this critical issue.

This year, the 33-year-old has spent most of injury-riddled season mentoring young Queensland Reds playmakers Lawson Creighton, Tom Lynagh and Harry McLaughlin-Phillips.
O’Connor, the teenage prodigy who burst onto the Super Rugby scene in 2008, now candidly admits he did most of his learning about being an effective five-eighth abroad.
“I think back to when I first started playing No.10 for the Wallabies in the Lions series, I was a professional player and very good at what I did, I could manipulate defenses, but I knew nothing of the game,” O’Connor told this masthead.
“I didn’t know shit. If something went wrong, I had no idea how to fix it because I was never taught.

“Maybe it took me longer because I played a few positions, but it took me until 28 before I actually understood how to manage a game correctly.
“The little clues of seeing a game, and even feeling your teammates’ energy, it’s not just what I see as a 10, it’s what I’m feeling around me. How many runs have our forwards made, how many kick-chases have we done, are we stuck in our half, do we need to change our kicking game, where are their two fullbacks sitting, do they have a pendulum?
“All these little things, I had no idea about when I first got into 10.
“I was just all about, how can I create space for other players. It’s not really managing the game, you’re just ball-playing.”
After having his contract torn up by Rugby Australia for off-field infringements, O’Connor played a season for London Irish before joining French glamour club Toulon for three years where he learned from Matt Giteau, Ma’a Nonu, Drew Mitchell and Bryan Habana.
“Even in England, playing against Andy Goode, the first time I played fullback he schooled me,” O’Connor said.
“He was just picking me apart in the backfield, making me run all day, like a tennis match, I was just running after the ball all day and it took the sting out of my legs.
“I spoke to him after and he said, ‘We didn’t want you to be fresh because we knew what you could do in counter-attack, so I made you run boy’.”
O’Connor has brought this knowledge to the Reds, and it would be wise of the Wallabies to tap into that knowledge.
“There was a big narrative last year that I’m moving into coaching, and as much as I’m doing coaching to upskill myself and possibly for life after footy, I have definitely got an interest in it, but the mentoring part is what I’m more interested in and where I see my value,” he said.
“What I’ve been doing the last couple of years is what the senior guys did for me.
“When I was at the Force, I got to a place where I just stagnated. Same as at the Rebels.
“Coaches are focusing on the whole team and games plans for the weekend, making sure everything is humming and connecting between each person.
“But how I evolved my game was when I went overseas, I was around senior guys, some of the best in their position, who put energy into me.
“I’d be training and in real time they’d be having conversations with me about manipulating defences.
“I remember drawing up plays and having conversations about how to manipulate the back field, how to close out a game, what does that look like? I had no idea.
“I knew how to run the plays the coaches would give you, but until you really understand what they’re trying to get out of the play and how that fits into the whole package of the game.”
Not only have the Wallabies used 10 five-eighths since 2013, national coaches have constantly dropped, recalled and used different combinations of them all in that time.


Five-eighths used by the Wallabies since 2013
James O’Connor
Quade Cooper
Christian Leali’ifano
Bernard Foley
Kurtley Beale
Matt To’omua
Noah Lolesio
Reece Hodge
Ben Donaldson
Carter Gordon

The constant chopping and changing at No.10 has resulted in Australia’s two worst World Cup results in history in their past two campaigns; being monstered in the quarter-finals in 2019, then failing in the pool stages last year.
“For a long time in Australia, senior guys were going overseas because there were lucrative deals over there, you see in programs all over the world, guys finishing and then coaching, and we probably haven’t had as much of that here,” O’Connor said.
“It would be awesome to see that change.
“We need to nurture the young 10s.
“You need guys to help you, you don’t know what you don’t know.
“I thought I’d mastered the game, or gone as far as I could, when I was 23. I didn’t know a way to improve my game, which is why I got so frustrated.
“Teams pick up your traits, they start double defending you as a running 10. So I thought, ‘I’ll be a passing 10, I’ll work on my kicking’. It’s not until you get wisdom from others that you learn the art of it.
“I’ve played hundreds of games, I’ve played for 18 years straight now, I know what not to do and what to look for. I’ve lost as many games as I’ve won and now my strength is knowing how to get back up, I use that to your benefit.

“Until you can look at yourself and go to those dark places, you’re never going to have the discipline or ability to look at a game and really pull it apart, because you don’t have the patience, the insight, the tools, to really go deep into that.”
O’Connor has struggled with a hamstring injury all year, and finally made his comeback in last weekend’s victory over Melbourne Rebels.
His helping hand to younger rivals is a welcome step in his development.
“Previously I wouldn’t have wanted to help anyone,” O’Connor said, “because, ‘What if they take my spot?’
“Now I see the like younger brothers of mine. I want the best for them all.”
O’Connor, who is off contract and has options to remain in Australia, move to New Zealand or Japan, will make a decision on his future in the next fortnight.
“I just want to be valued,” he said.
“I would love to be in Queensland. I want to utilize my whole skillset; training, game plans, off the field. I’ve really enjoyed this season, even though I haven’t got to play a whole lot, I feel very included.
“I still feel like I’ve good a good few years left, three or possibly four years.”
 

stillmissit

Chilla Wilson (44)
Great asset to the game but not sure "I still feel like I’ve a good few years left, three or possibly four years.” in Australia, but maybe in Japan where his skill set will add value to a team.
Will be interesting if he ends up coaching.
 
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