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Wallabies 2024

The Ghost of Raelene

Steve Williams (59)
Any Japanese players we’d pick? Much more available than France.

I’d have be happy with a Philip & Rodda second row.
Only Koro if he's back on board. He's never let us down and I think on the Wing it doesn't matter. No forwards from there. They don't seem to get the work in and be ready.

Kerevi can be a weapon but has anyone seen him playing? Seems a lot depends on his conditioning.
 

Raytah

Chris McKivat (8)
Skelton must be first picked - was Huge last year until injuries
Rodda - seems we have missed him but would love him to partner Skelton to start with a big pack
Swain in the mix for 19 and frost
Also hybrid types with hooper, Holloway and LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto) (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto) as the final cover
Could be a Smokey like Ryan smith is Williams from force

100% - Skelton's dominant in the best club comp on the planet. Close to World XV quality. He's in whenever available.

But assuming we won't see him until TRC, for Wales/Georgia I'd go with:

4. Frost / Swain
5. Rodda / Lukhan

Hooper also in squad and can cover lock.
Interested in Canham & Amotosero for the future but would like to see them play for Aus A. Neville / Holloway / Smith all solid but don't need unless injuries.

Reasonably happy with the options above so I don't think we need to go overseas (Skelton aside).
 

Linerunner2023

Alfred Walker (16)
100% - Skelton's dominant in the best club comp on the planet. Close to World XV quality. He's in whenever available.

But assuming we won't see him until TRC, for Wales/Georgia I'd go with:

4. Frost / Swain
5. Rodda / Lukhan

Hooper also in squad and can cover lock.
Interested in Canham & Amotosero for the future but would like to see them play for Aus A. Neville / Holloway / Smith all solid but don't need unless injuries.

Reasonably happy with the options above so I don't think we need to go overseas (Skelton aside).
Is there any Aus A games confirmed yet this year? Keen for this to get going again presume the island nations! Also why don’t they have a Aus a v NZ 15 before one of the bled cup games?
plenty of lock options with a few lock/ 6 options

The player I was hoping to see really take it on was Tom hooper this year - he has been solid but seemed to be in a brumbies rotation from lock, to 6 to bench

any chance of going for the 1 tonne pack again with Skelton, and t hooper at 7?
 

griffins

Watty Friend (18)
Is there any Aus A games confirmed yet this year? Keen for this to get going again presume the island nations! Also why don’t they have a Aus a v NZ 15 before one of the bled cup games?
plenty of lock options with a few lock/ 6 options

The player I was hoping to see really take it on was Tom hooper this year - he has been solid but seemed to be in a brumbies rotation from lock, to 6 to bench

any chance of going for the 1 tonne pack again with Skelton, and t hooper at 7?
Hooper looked to be playing hurt earlier in the season but has been excellent in recent weeks, mainly off the bench. He should be in the squad but probably not the 23.
 

TSR

Mark Ella (57)
I think the difference between our local locks and Skelton is minimal. They bring different skill sets, and I think we'd be fine without him. As a biased Queenslander, Ryan Smith's work ethic would just about have him walking into my Wallaby side.
I’d love to see Smith get a gig Sully and I don’t think anyone has been in better form or more consistent at Super level. My only concern is how his game would translate at test level. Quite possibly he would be excellent but I’m just not sure.

I don’t think on this years form any other lock would be more deserving though.
 

Sully

Tim Horan (67)
Staff member
I’d love to see Smith get a gig Sully and I don’t think anyone has been in better form or more consistent at Super level. My only concern is how his game would translate at test level. Quite possibly he would be excellent but I’m just not sure.

I don’t think on this years form any other lock would be more deserving though.
People who have seen him over the years say he has stepped up at every level he has played. It would be interesting to see if he could do it again.
 

TSR

Mark Ella (57)
People who have seen him over the years say he has stepped up at every level he has played. It would be interesting to see if he could do it again.
As a general rule I think lock and blind side flanker are probably the two positions where it’s hardest for the average mug punter like me to assess their true value because a lot of their job is the unseen work and also what they add to a scrum.

If better judges then me think he’s got what it takes I’d definitely love to see him get a crack and I’ll repeat my earlier comment that I think we should hold back on the likes of Canham & Williams. I feel like we’ve got past the point where we need to keep throwing guys into test teams before their time and we can start letting guys develop more before we throw them under the bus.
 

TSR

Mark Ella (57)
With regards to Skelton - where people are saying he is in whenever he is available - what if that is only 50-60% of the time? Team cohesion needs to be factored in somewhere.
 

Thalium

Fred Wood (13)
If thinking forward to 2025 I think try to get the combo of Swain and Rodda going since they will both be at the force next year.

As for Skelton the only drama is that he doesn’t jump which means you need to change up the back row if you are planning on a Valetini, Wilson, McReight combo

Someone who would be an awesome 30 minute lock off the bench is Sam Carter. Would be good to have him round the younger locks as well.

Frost could push his case to be a 6 as it’s one of the most open positions currently. However he needs some more game time as he was the reason that scrum was slipping he was having trouble keeping the pressure on and straight with only one shoulder loaded up.
 

Raytah

Chris McKivat (8)
With regards to Skelton - where people are saying he is in whenever he is available - what if that is only 50-60% of the time? Team cohesion needs to be factored in somewhere.
Because he is consistently dominant in the best league in Europe.

Agree he needs to be available to help build cohesion, but he is the incumbent wallaby captain and tight head lock. If available for TRC and Spring Tour, that'd be close to 80% availability.
 

Raytah

Chris McKivat (8)
If thinking forward to 2025 I think try to get the combo of Swain and Rodda going since they will both be at the force next year.

As for Skelton the only drama is that he doesn’t jump which means you need to change up the back row if you are planning on a Valetini, Wilson, McReight combo

Someone who would be an awesome 30 minute lock off the bench is Sam Carter. Would be good to have him round the younger locks as well.

Frost could push his case to be a 6 as it’s one of the most open positions currently. However he needs some more game time as he was the reason that scrum was slipping he was having trouble keeping the pressure on and straight with only one shoulder loaded up.
Word on street this week was Rodda may not be getting RA top up so reasonable chance he won't be at the Force (or even in Aus) next year. Would be a massive shame.
 

Raytah

Chris McKivat (8)
Is there any Aus A games confirmed yet this year? Keen for this to get going again presume the island nations! Also why don’t they have a Aus a v NZ 15 before one of the bled cup games?
plenty of lock options with a few lock/ 6 options

The player I was hoping to see really take it on was Tom hooper this year - he has been solid but seemed to be in a brumbies rotation from lock, to 6 to bench

any chance of going for the 1 tonne pack again with Skelton, and t hooper at 7?
I've heard there is an "Aus XV" tour of the Northern Hemisphere is happening towards the end of the year (playing Bristol and a couple of others). Have heard nothing on an Aus A team for the Pac Nations Cup before that. A shane but prpbably can't afford as would not be remotely profitable.
 

dru

Tim Horan (67)
With regards to Skelton - where people are saying he is in whenever he is available - what if that is only 50-60% of the time? Team cohesion needs to be factored in somewhere.

I've been skeptical about this since he was under discussion. It isn't simply a generic issue of cohesion, but impacts jumping (selection of the back row) and reinforces the role of the locks in tight. I would think that you have to design the team around his being available so that you need a "Skelton lite" when he's not there, even if the lite version is a jumper.

As for Skelton the only drama is that he doesn’t jump which means you need to change up the back row if you are planning on a Valetini, Wilson, McReight combo

Last year we saw that Skelton had taken on a jumping role though I don't think serious commentators were going as far a calling him a primary jumper. I presume he is still doing that, the same as I presume he is still in "world best" form?

@TSR It is an utter compromise and has implication outside of his availability. And we have been seeing some good locking talent coming through. Still we have few genuinely internationally rated possibilities. I wouldn't have him as Captain but I'm OK with him being the auto-pick - even when only partially available.

I'm not Schmidt of course.
 

Homer

Fred Wood (13)
If thinking forward to 2025 I think try to get the combo of Swain and Rodda going since they will both be at the force next year.

As for Skelton the only drama is that he doesn’t jump which means you need to change up the back row if you are planning on a Valetini, Wilson, McReight combo

Someone who would be an awesome 30 minute lock off the bench is Sam Carter. Would be good to have him round the younger locks as well.

Frost could push his case to be a 6 as it’s one of the most open positions currently. However he needs some more game time as he was the reason that scrum was slipping he was having trouble keeping the pressure on and straight with only one shoulder loaded up.
There is no way Valetini and Wilson will be in the same side. You only need one ball running 8. If Skelton is named then i think they will go with a lineout jumper in 6 like Uru, Wright or even Frost/Canham. Cale can then come off the bench to cover 6, 7, 8.
 

scrans21

Sydney Middleton (9)
Depending on when he's back it wouldn't shock me to have Rodda and Salakai-Loto starting in the second row with Frost coming off the bench for the Wales tests. Skelton will be in the squad for the RC, that's a given. You'd be mad to not pick him. Continuity and experience is key, and despite Wales being pretty shit we shouldn't take them lightly. If Salakai-Loto isn't available, then Frost to start against Wales with either Smith or Canham on the bench.

For Georgia, wouldn't surprise me to see Frost start with either Ryan or Canham, with the other on the bench.

Continuity and experience is key, and despite Wales being pretty shit we shouldn't take them lightly. If Salakai-Loto isn't available, then Frost to start against Wales with either Smith or Canham on the bench.

Also I'll say it again but Liam Wright will be the Wallabies 6 this year. I don't see any other viable options with Hanigan, Swinton and Kemeny heading overseas, Leota seemingly being made of glass this year (I still rate him highly though) and Hooper struggling to get a starting jersey at the Brumbies. Dark horse though could be Jeremy Williams at 6, but in all likelihood I don't see that happening..
 

Tomikin

David Codey (61)
Right now, I'd be picking Wright, McRight, and Valetini .... then probably a Hooper, Hollaway, Leota, Haniagan, Cale

I'd say Swain and Rodda as the starting locks ATM. I am not sure who the backup is, but it is one of LSL (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto), Frost, Hollaway... with Smith/Canham as backup...
 
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