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Wallabies - a changing of the guard

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Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
The only backline positions that I think will remain settled at this point are:

9. Genia
12. Lealiifano
13. AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper)

I think Folau is almost a certainty to be picked somewhere when fit (and assuming he remains in rugby of course). Aside from that I think all the other positions will be up in the air at this point.

Whilst Godwin must be a contender at 12, I'd be surprised if any coach doesn't want to try and make Lilo and AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper) a permanent combination in the midfield.

I also think that Speight would have to have that right wing spot when he's eligible, with Folau on the other side.......
 

The_Brown_Hornet

John Eales (66)
Now it's said that history doesn't repeat but it often rhymes and we may be looking at a similar situation to that which followed the loss to the Lions in 1989. I recall listening to an interview with Nick Farr-Jones, who indicated that our G&GR favourite son Bob Dwyer initiated a clean out in Wallaby ranks that set us on the path to winning the RWC, Bleddie and all manner of other silverware over the next 3-4 years. So Braveheart, I agree with the premise of your original post and expand on it below.

There are some blokes whose role in the Wallaby set up will change, some who will miss out altogether and others who will step up and become significant players. In terms of the incumbents whose days might be numbered:

Ben Alexander -- as a prop your primary role in the team is to scrummage and he got shown up badly on the weekend. I think he's done his reputation some pretty serious harm and it would be a long road back now.

Kane Douglas -- I hope not, but his impact on the game in tests 2 and 3 wasn't great enough. We need someone of his kind of make up to partner Horwill and I hope it's him, but he will need to step up again and demand selection.

Wycliff Palu -- I've said before that the concept of Cliffy is often better than the reality and I wonder if he might getting to the end of the road. I think the big fella on his day provides great impact, but he's been broken a lot in the last couple of years and I still feel he goes missing in big games.

James O'Connor -- it's not all his fault. The selection at 10 for this series was almost universally slammed by all and sundry here at G&GR and the three tests showed that it's just not his best position. Much like Horan being shoe horned in at 10 by Greg Smith, it's not worked and harmed the other players in the backline. What he does have to take responsibility for, however, is his perceived attitude and behaviour problems. The fact that the Rebels now don't want him must be a huge concern over his future.

Pat McCabe -- firstly it's his health. He's had a couple of pretty serious neck injuries and I question if he can come back a second time. He's got ticker in spades so you'd never rule it out. The biggest problem McCabe has is that like JOC (James O'Connor), he's been played out of position. He's not a test 12. I think he's got the potential to be a good test 13 or wing.

Berrick Barnes -- see McCabe. I feel for Berrick. He's had so many head knocks now that I think someone needs to tap him on the shoulder and say mate for the sake of your health and your family hang up the boots.

Kurtley Beale -- like JOC (James O'Connor), there are significant questions over KB (Kurtley Beale). His off field struggles are well known and we don't even know where he'll be playing next year. Huge, huge talent but also like JOC (James O'Connor) he has some maturing to do.

In terms of guys who could come into serious contention with a changing of the guard:

Scott Sio
Hugh Pyle
Kyle Godwin
Matt To'omua
Rob Horne reborn as a test 12
 

James Buchanan

Trevor Allan (34)
Yeah, I think To'omua is showing the all round attributes of a test 10.

But in a perfect world, next season Cooper, To'omua, Foley, Beale & O'Conner will all be starting 10s for their respective S15 sides; and let the best unit win!

Now that is a loaded comment :)

I'm also of the opinion that To'omua has the most complete skillset of the Australian 10s despite QC (Quade Cooper)'s improvements.
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
What I don't want to see....

Scott Sio following the Ben Alexander path to accommodate his star rising....

Let him compete with Robinson for that 1 jersey....

Totally different situations, IMHO. Sio is still very young, he certainly seems to have the build for a THP. We have a dearth of THPs, so why on earth would any decent coach not want to see whether Sio can play there?


We just do not have the depth in our front row stocks, we have to be smart in utilising (and developing) our very scarce resources. If it turns out that Sio cannot play THP, all well and good. But if he can, so much the better.
 

Pfitzy

George Gregan (70)
I read things much the same way, although I feel Douglas may be dropped, and deservingly so. Simmons or even Pyle might be preferred.

Except Simmons is weak as piss. Scrum got better when Kepu came on, then creaked again when Douglas went off.

Pyle and Caydern Neville are big, angry, and quick. Would have either if them before entertaining the notion of Simmons, who was a Robbie favorite (a fact conveniently forgotten by fans of certain provinces on here when discussing ridiculous Robbie favouritisms).


-----------------------
I hate autocorrect ...
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Yeah, I think To'omua is showing the all round attributes of a test 10.

But in a perfect world, next season Cooper, To'omua, Foley, Beale & Holmes will all be starting 10s for their respective S15 sides; and let the best unit win!

Fixed........

JOC (James O'Connor) is just not a 10.........
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
Totally different situations, IMHO. Sio is still very young, he certainly seems to have the build for a THP. We have a dearth of THPs, so why on earth would any decent coach not want to see whether Sio can play there?

It depends on whether Slipper ends up being interchangeable or stays a THP.

Currently Sio only plays LHP and if you're trying to make a team without Alexander then you'd probably start with Robbo and Kepu and then have Slipper as your backup THP and Sio as your backup LHP.

Alternatively you could start Slipper at THP knowing that bringing on Kepu will slightly improve your scrum knowing that other forward changes could weaken it (i.e. Robbo coming off or a lock replacement).
 

Ignoto

John Thornett (49)
But in a perfect world, next season Cooper, To'omua

Next season? We've still got a shitload of Wallabies games to play, seven games in the upcoming Quad-Nations then the EOYT. I'd dare say Link or White will be bringing in Cooper and To'omua for the upcoming test matches.

I'm not sold on Fat Cat at the moment. He hasn't looked the same prior to the 2011 WC and that woeful defence that let in the first try on Saturday night was terrible.

Timani will certainly be gone. I can't see Link or White putting up with his laziness or inconsistency at the national level.

All I pray for is a full-time kicking coach to be brought in with the new coach!
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
I'm not so sure Lealiifano is a lay down misere for the 12 jersey.

In his two games he was very quiet. Touched the ball only a few times in both games. Kicking was flawless, but is that enough?

Yes he suffered with JOC (James O'Connor) at 10, but I would have hoped to see him step up and take the ball a bit more. Maybe we would have done better with a basher like Horne at 12.

I'm not sure I would drop him, but then again I'm not sure I'd keep him.
.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
I'm not sold on Fat Cat at the moment. He hasn't looked the same prior to the 2011 WC and that woeful defence that let in the first try on Saturday night was terrible.

Timani will certainly be gone. I can't see Link or White putting up with his laziness or inconsistency at the national level.

All I pray for is a full-time kicking coach to be brought in with the new coach!

Robinson had an average game on Saturday night but he's been good in the rest of the season and excellent this year. I think his football in 2013 is as good as he's ever been and his fitness is certainly superior than it ever has been. For the first time in his career he's regularly played 80 minutes in Super Rugby this year.

I think he is far and away our best LHP.

Timani and Barnes are off overseas. Given the current situation, no new coach is going to bring them back into the test side this year. The ARU will be quite keen to release them early so they can stop paying their ARU top ups.

A goal kicking coach is a must. Lealiifano should be our kicker going forward but even he isn't consistent enough yet to be in the same league as Halfpenny, Carter, Steyn etc. He's in a great position that he's a good kicker and if he remains healthy he's likely to be in the team for a long time. We need to try and turn him into one of the best goalkickers in the world which is a requirement if we hope to be the best side in the world in the next few years.
 

James Buchanan

Trevor Allan (34)
I'm not so sure Lealiifano is a lay down misere for the 12 jersey.

In his two games he was very quiet. Touched the ball only a few times in both games. Kicking was flawless, but is that enough?

Yes he suffered with JOC (James O'Connor) at 10, but I would have hoped to see him step up and take the ball a bit more. Maybe we would have done better with a basher like Horne at 12.

I'm not sure I would drop him, but then again I'm not sure I'd keep him.
.

Alternatively, you could move him into 10 if you want him there for his kicking. He supposedly goes okay there.
 

Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
I can see immediately both JOC (James O'Connor) and Beale being discarded by the new coach, whomever it is, and Benny A has probably played his last game for the Wallabies at 3. Barnes and Digby are off overseas so that saves them from being in the same boat as JOC (James O'Connor)/Beale. Cliff Palu is in the danger zone, even though I thought he had his best game in a couple of years, but still not enough involvement.

The replacement No 8 is problematic. Probably Higgers when fit. Not many other 8s putting their hands up.

Scott Sio will eventually replace Benn Robbo at 1, and should come onto the bench straight away.

The next good thing at No 2 will be Siliva Siliva. If TPN doesn't make it back from injury, Siliva also to the bench immediately to gain the experience needed to eventually take over.

I would persevere with Slipper at 3 with backup from either Waratahs' No 3s until a better option (Palmer? Manu?) comes up.

Hugh Pyle must come into the starting lineup to partner Horwill. Douglas to remain in the squad as backup.

Mowen for 6. Longer term, Cotterill.

Nic White has to be Will's backup, and needs time off the bench to rise to the level required.

Immediately, go back to QC (Quade Cooper) at 10 with Matt To'omua on the bench.

Godwin must come into consideration at 12, but I do think Christian is the right one these for a while, and Horne has looked pretty good at 12 for the Tahs.

Kuridrani is the next 13 after AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper).

Henry Speight will take a wing for the EOYT, while I hope Folau remains with Rugby and retains his spot, or battles Moggy for the No 15. Honey Badger to also be in the mix for a wing spot.

No place at all for either JOC (James O'Connor) or Beale.
 

GaffaCHinO

Peter Sullivan (51)
I'm not so sure Lealiifano is a lay down misere for the 12 jersey.

In his two games he was very quiet. Touched the ball only a few times in both games. Kicking was flawless, but is that enough?

Yes he suffered with JOC (James O'Connor) at 10, but I would have hoped to see him step up and take the ball a bit more. Maybe we would have done better with a basher like Horne at 12.

I'm not sure I would drop him, but then again I'm not sure I'd keep him.
.

I’m happy to give Lilo the benefit of the doubt. i wasn’t sold on him at 12 for the Wob except for his goal kicking. but im not sure many would have done well inside of JOC (James O'Connor).

I think Lilo and Godwin will be the 12'a going forward.

If AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper) is at 13 i don’t want Horne at 12 to similar for mine and limits the outside men.

But this could change if he can stay fit and he and AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper) make a good combo at the Tahs going forward.
 

Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
A goal kicking coach is a must. Lealiifano should be our kicker going forward but even he isn't consistent enough yet to be in the same league as Halfpenny, Carter, Steyn etc. He's in a great position that he's a good kicker and if he remains healthy he's likely to be in the team for a long time. We need to try and turn him into one of the best goalkickers in the world which is a requirement if we hope to be the best side in the world in the next few years.

Early days yet, but so far hasn't missed a kick in a test match. Not bad for a debutant.
 

Pete King

Phil Hardcastle (33)
9 genia
10 To'omua
11 JOC (James O'Connor)
12 lilo
13 AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper)
14 Folau
15 Mogg

KB (Kurtley Beale) to come on for the last 30 minutes at 10. Think this role would really suit him. He is good for one or two special things per game but not an 80 min international in my opinion.

Speight then comes in to contention and the worst perform of the back three possibly make way.

more importantly

Also have to look to Palmer at tight head. Douglas was a bit dissapointing in game 2 and 3. Think Palu has to make way also

1 Palmer
2 moore
3 robbo
4 Kimlin
5 horwill
6 MMM
7 HOOPER/GILL
8 Mowen
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
The next good thing at No 2 will be Siliva Siliva. If TPN doesn't make it back from injury, Siliva also to the bench immediately to gain the experience needed to eventually take over.

I think TPN will come back fine. I expect he'll play plenty during the Rugby Championship.

He's been running for several weeks already and I imagine will resume contact soon.

Even though it was a nasty looking break, he's got the advantage that it was a pretty good spot to break in the scheme of things and I don't think there was any ligament damage.

I think Siliva is a way off playing for the Wallabies. I can't see a new coach sending TPN, Fainga'a and Hanson to the scrap heap to blood a young hooker who has only started a couple of Super Rugby games.
 
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