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Wallaby 31 players for 2015 RWC

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abrixon

Bob McCowan (2)
With a 31 man World Cup Squad (based on additional prop) you need to look at coverage. In 2011 we had Mitchell, McCabe, Horne and A Fainga'a injured and we ended up running Samo on the ding. 2003 and 2007 we only took 2 halfbacks and we would have been better to take an additional back or in hindsight an extra 7 to cover Pocock.

For mine i would select the below squad:

Prop (5) - Robinson, Alexander, Slipper, Kepu, Ryan
Hooker (3) - Moore, TPN, Hansen
lock (4) - Horwill, Simmons, Douglas, Pyle
6/8 (4) - Higginbothom, Fardy, Mowen, McAlman
Openside (2) - Pocock, Hooper
Half (2) - Genia, White
Flyhalf (2) - Cooper, Lilo
Centres (4) - Tomooua, Kuridrani, Horne, AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper)
Wing (3) - Speight, Tomane, Cummins
Fullback (2) - Folou, Beale

Horne gets my vote for his ability to play both centre positions well but also to adapt to the straight hard running that generally occurs in the Northern hemisphere. Kuridrani has the size but if he goes down we lose a little defensively against a big midfield and horne can cover this. AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper) is the definition of versatility so he can obviously plug gaps where ever you need from 11-15. For mine i think this is a well resourced squad to overcome injuries. In all honesty i dont think we need to rest our halfbacks throughout the RWC, if anything put Genia on the bench and dont use him.
 

lily

Vay Wilson (31)
I was searching the thread wondering when Luke Jones would get a crack. If he continues his Marlins/Rebels form then it would be hard to leave him out.
 

Viking

Mark Ella (57)
I'd like to see Dan Palmer in the mix for this scrummaging. He should have returned by then.

Kyle Godwin in the Centres could be an option come RW15 too.

Other then that its pretty much going to be who's in form at the time from the players who are already part of the squad - or current fringe players.

Any other non-wallabies that could make it by RWC 15?
 
T

Train Without a Station

Guest
I was searching the thread wondering when Luke Jones would get a crack. If he continues his Marlins/Rebels form then it would be hard to leave him out.

I'm a fan but I think he really needs to nail down a starting jersey for the Rebels first.
 

emuarse

Desmond Connor (43)
Again, I refer to the team I opted for at the beginning of this post, to emphasise the fact that Ben Mowen, as respected a player as he is, would not make it to the world cup in 2015, very well the top 22 in 2014, barring injury, as was the case for 2013.
He is certainly not a fool, and would have been aware that he is not getting any younger, and that he should go for the gold while his name is in the neon lights. Good luck to him in his future travels

Slipper
Moore
Kepu
Skelton
Simmons
McMenniman
Pocock
Higginsbotham
Ginea
Cooper
Spleigh
To'omua
Feauai-Sautia
JOC (James O'Connor)
Folau

Bench
Tatafu Polota Nau
Robinson
Ryan
Horwell
Hooper
Beale
Godwin
Cummins
 
T

Train Without a Station

Guest
Emuarse, I agree with you. I can't understand all these people getting worked up in a lather over it. Talking about how we need to fix these, etc. The system is working fine for what it is. Ultimately, Mowen was an injury replacement and come 12 months time will likely be a non-playing squad member. He's decided to strike whilst the iron is hot. And from what he has said, if he was really that motivated to only play for the Wallabies, this contract situation wouldn't have changed anything.
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Again, I refer to the team I opted for at the beginning of this post, to emphasise the fact that Ben Mowen, as respected a player as he is, would not make it to the world cup in 2015, very well the top 22 in 2014, barring injury, as was the case for 2013.
He is certainly not a fool, and would have been aware that he is not getting any younger, and that he should go for the gold while his name is in the neon lights. Good luck to him in his future travels

Slipper
Moore
Kepu
Skelton
Simmons
McMenniman
Pocock
Higginsbotham
Ginea
Cooper
Spleigh
To'omua
Feauai-Sautia
JOC (James O'Connor)
Folau

Bench
Tatafu Polota Nau
Robinson
Ryan
Horwell
Hooper
Beale
Godwin
Cummins

MMM?

No Fardy?

What?!
 

BDA

Peter Johnson (47)
Emuarse, I like that backrow on paper, but at this point its tough to see MMM as a reliable option looking ahead to 2015. I think its much more likely that Palu will be fit than MMM. But who knows.
 

farva

Vay Wilson (31)
Robinson
Moore
Kepu
Simmons
Horwill
Fardy
Pocock
Higgenbotham

Genia
Cooper
Speight
Godwin
Kuridrani
JOC (James O'Connor)
Folou

Taf
Slipper
Ryan
Douglas
MMM
To'omua
AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper)
 

tigerland12

John Thornett (49)
Robinson
Moore
Kepu
Simmons
Horwill
Fardy
Pocock
Higgenbotham

Genia
Cooper
Speight
Godwin
Kuridrani
JOC (James O'Connor)
Folou

Taf
Slipper
Ryan
Douglas
MMM
To'omua
AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper)

No need to have Douglas on the bench when MMM and Fardy both cover lock, so I'd bring in Hooper instead to have a back up openside.

To'omua ahead of Godwin, although i think he will really have a break out year this season.
 

Hawko

Tony Shaw (54)
Everyone is naming teams of 23, blithely assuming everyone will be fit. Its a nice intellectual exercise discussing whether Fardy or MMM should be at 6, but that's all it is. If everyone in those 23's nominated is fit and available after a full Super season plus a RC then we will be the most fortunate team in the world. In reality we can expect that 3 or 4 will be in rehab after shoulder or knee surgery and that many others will be nursing injuries (like Mowen's neck this year). In terms of who should be in the World Cup team, we should be nominating squads of about 45 - starters and two back-ups for every position. Even that might not be enough to cover positions 4-8, which seem to have a very high attrition rate.

And in that discussion, can anyone nominate three players that are going to be up to international standard at tight head prop? Pretty sure I can't. So maybe much fervent prayer and the sacrificing of animals at shrines to the rugby gods is required.
 

Hairy Test Eagle

Ward Prentice (10)
1. Robinson
2. Moore
3. Kepu
4. Simmons
5. Horwill
6. Fardy
7. Pocock
8. Higginbotham
9. Genia
10. Quade
11. Speight
12. To'omua
13. Kuridrani
14. JOC (James O'Connor)
15. Israel

TPN
Slipper
Ryan
Kimlin
Hooper
White
Foley/Beale
Cummins
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
I think that at some point this season or next, Link needs to train up a likely world cup squad member as an emergency third halfback. I'm thinking someone like Foley, Hooper, Gill, JOC (James O'Connor) or To'omua.

I'm not talking full on change of position, but rather just a few specialised training sessions, and maybe a couple of games in that position in the new NRC. Obviously fitted in around super rugby and wallaby commitments which come first.

Having a capable third halfback allows a lot of freedom selection in the squad, and means Link won't have to carry a passenger like we did with Phipps in 2011.

I said before the last world cup that Giteau was the perfect selection to play 12 in the minnow games and be third string halfback in case of a last minute injury. Would have allowed us another back so that Samo didn't have to play wing in that game. Might have even allowed us to leave one of the centre reserves at home and take a second Flanker. Not even hindsight.
 

Tomikin

David Codey (61)
Again, I refer to the team I opted for at the beginning of this post, to emphasise the fact that Ben Mowen, as respected a player as he is, would not make it to the world cup in 2015, very well the top 22 in 2014, barring injury, as was the case for 2013.
He is certainly not a fool, and would have been aware that he is not getting any younger, and that he should go for the gold while his name is in the neon lights. Good luck to him in his future travels

Slipper
Moore
Kepu
Skelton
Simmons
McMenniman
Pocock
Higginsbotham
Ginea
Cooper
Spleigh
To'omua
Feauai-Sautia
JOC (James O'Connor)
Folau

Bench
Tatafu Polota Nau
Robinson
Ryan
Horwell
Hooper
Beale
Godwin
Cummins
Lol triple MMM haha Elsoms wants to come back next year too lol

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
 

Brumby Runner

Jason Little (69)
Everyone is naming teams of 23, blithely assuming everyone will be fit. Its a nice intellectual exercise discussing whether Fardy or MMM should be at 6, but that's all it is. If everyone in those 23's nominated is fit and available after a full Super season plus a RC then we will be the most fortunate team in the world. In reality we can expect that 3 or 4 will be in rehab after shoulder or knee surgery and that many others will be nursing injuries (like Mowen's neck this year). In terms of who should be in the World Cup team, we should be nominating squads of about 45 - starters and two back-ups for every position. Even that might not be enough to cover positions 4-8, which seem to have a very high attrition rate.

And in that discussion, can anyone nominate three players that are going to be up to international standard at tight head prop? Pretty sure I can't. So maybe much fervent prayer and the sacrificing of animals at shrines to the rugby gods is required.


I think you're right Hawko. At this stage we ought to be looking at the best 3 or 4 options in each position because of the certainty that a number of those presently judged to be best will not be available for one reason or another, or will be completely out of form. Unfortunately, the thread is titled "the optimum 23 players".

Nevertheless, here's a go at TH. Presently Kepu, Alexander and Ryan in whatever order takes your fancy. I'd suggest two of these probably won't make the RWC. Kepu will be there if he continues to improve on his EOYT form. Palmer will probably come in if he returns in 2015. Then there are a couple of promising others coming through the Super ranks and wouldn't surprise if one or more make the squad in 2015 - Slaesi Manu at the Force and Ruan Smith at the Brumbies.

LHP is another spot that might change personnel by the time the RWC comes around. I think Robbo and perhaps Slipper will stay in the squad while Scott Sio and maybe Toby Smith are good prospects. TBH I won't be the slightest bit surprised if Sio is rated the best LHP by RWC time. He has strength and speed that none of the other contenders possess and another year at Super level will help with his scrummaging technique.
 

Hawko

Tony Shaw (54)
Nevertheless, here's a go at TH. Presently Kepu, Alexander and Ryan in whatever order takes your fancy. I'd suggest two of these probably won't make the RWC. Kepu will be there if he continues to improve on his EOYT form. Palmer will probably come in if he returns in 2015. Then there are a couple of promising others coming through the Super ranks and wouldn't surprise if one or more make the squad in 2015 - Slaesi Manu at the Force and Ruan Smith at the Brumbies.

I agree that Kepu, if he keeps his EOYT improvement going, is probably one of the three. Alexander is very doubtful, he does not have the strength to hold steady if his THL and BSF are not pushing as they should. Ryan is doubtful because he's not going to get much Super game time to allow him to develop and his scrummaging to date has only been acceptable as a bench player. The best loose head props in Super have given him a lot of trouble.

I hope Palmer comes back but I have my doubts. I have heard nothing about his French form, which is a worry. He should be making waves over there if he is going to be what we want him to be.

I think Salesi Manu is the best young prop and I hope he comes good this year. Ruan Smith to me is doubtful. He got pushed around a bit at the end of the last Super season, which is not a good sign with the pack he had behind him. He needs to develop his strength and technique. He can still push his way back onto the list but the form is not there yet.

I've got Kepu and Manu pencilled in with a small question mark and big question marks around everyone else. This position is the key position for a NH World Cup. Forget Izzy, Cooper and the rest. If our tight head side goes like it did in the third Lions match we won't make the semi's.
 

Pete King

Phil Hardcastle (33)
1. Robinson
2. Moore
3. Kepu
4. Simmons
5. Horwill
6. Fardy
7. Pocock
8. Higginbotham
9. Genia
10. Quade
11. Speight
12. To'omua
13. Kuridrani
14. JOC (James O'Connor)
15. Israel

TPN
Slipper
Ryan
Kimlin
Hooper
White
Foley/Beale
Cummins

Pretty spot on here i reckon. The combination of cooper , To'omua and kudrini really excites me for the future. think AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper) and Cummins could easily be in place of the two listed but eithier way its not looking to shabby. How well we go will be dictated by how 1,2,3,4,5 can improve and develop
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
I reckon the tight 5 listed is still way too fragile.

I'd be willing to bet money that no team with Kepu and Simmons in the tight 5 is going to win a world cup.
 

Intruder

Dave Cowper (27)
I reckon the tight 5 listed is still way too fragile.

I'd be willing to bet money that no team with Kepu and Simmons in the tight 5 is going to win a world cup.

My 31 Man squad;

1. Ben Robinson
2. Tatafu Polota Nau
3. Sekope Kepu
4. James Horwill
5. Hugh McMenniman
6. Scott Higginbotham
7. David Pocock
8. Wycliff Palu
9. Will Genia
10. Quade Cooper
11. Adam Ashley Cooper
12. Matt To'omua
13. Tevita Kurindrani
14. James O'Connor *
15. Israel Folau

16. James Slipper
17. Stephen Moore
18. Dan Palmer *
19. Scott Fardy
20. Michael Hooper
21. Nick White
22. Kurtley Beale
23. Digby Ioane *

24. Scott Sio
25. Chib Hansen
26. Paddy Ryan
27. Rob Simmons
28. Will Skelton
29. Luke Burgess
30. Christian Leali'ifano
31. Nick Cummins

- I've picked the strongest scrummaging front row due to the fact that with the RWC being held in England etc plenty of points will come from set piece infringements. The 7 man Australian scrum that pushed around Ireland (Robinson, TPN & Ryan front row) is a prime example on how it can relieve and build pressure against opposition.

- I still believe that Wycliff Palu is our strongest 8 in the game sure Fardy and Mowen have had great tours etc but a 6 8 combo of Higgers and Palu will put fear into the opposition and that's what Australia is going to have to do to win in 2015 (be physically dominant). Add Pocock, McMenniman and Horwill and we are set.

- No real surprises in the backline for now however I still feel our center pairing will see some sort of shake up. McCabe, Tapuai and maybe a bolter like Inman could see some time maybe Izzy shifts in but what To'omua and Kurindrani showed in the EOYT warrants first selection.

- Bench is no real surprise Fardy deserves a spot aswell as Hooper. Palmer based on same reasons above and Ryan over Alexander for me. He is the weaker scrummager of the lot IMO and will be overlooked.

- Remaining members is a mix of new faces and experience still wondering if McKenzie will go with 3 halfbacks or not but if he does Burgess for me provides another experienced player with possible injury cover to Genia. Christian and Honey badger to also be rewarded. Could see Schatz or maybe young Jordy Reid in this side but the rest of the pack will be quite young, good to development pathway for 2019.

* Pending return to Wobs
 
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