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Wallaby 31 players for 2015 RWC

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Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
No I get the point but the 'unnecessary risk of only taking 2 hookers' argument has been done to death. The coaches had to select 31 players and it's always going to be a compromise. Rightly or wrongly our coaches made the decision that the most important factor was that the 15 key players ALL be rested completely for the Uruguay game. SO that was their compromise, and it was easier to find a test level prop that can play hooker than a hooker that can play prop. Especially considering that (presumably) James Slipper is the back up to your plan A.

For your scenario to eventuate would require that one of our 2 hookers has a non-tournament ending injury that keeps them out of the England game e.g. a grade 2 calf tear. Further to that, it would require that we don't have a tournament ending injury to a player in the whole squad in between now and the England game. A prop or halfback aside, any injury and James Hanson will be the first player called in to the squad.

The point of my post was that we can't cover every contingency perfectly in a 31 man squad. A calculated risk has been taken, but I'm sure they know that.

I am not questioning the decision to only take two hookers. I have long since accepted that to be reality and have posted a couple of time to that effect. My point is that Sio is the wrong back up hooker. It would be far better from the perspective of minimising the impact of a short term injury to one of the hookers to have been schooling Toby Smith as the third hooker. I do not go along with the notion that we should weaken our LH prop stocks to cover for a short term need for another hooker. And that applies no matter which game it might occur in, not just against England.

I am not quite so concerned about the half back situation because I still believe To'omua should be our starting No 12, not Matt Giteau. I wouldn't mind therefore if Giteau did sit on the bench as replacement half back if that situation arose. I would be concerned however if Quade was then looked at as the versatile back reserve to cover 10, 12, 13. Much prefer Horne in any of those positions.
 

emuarse

Desmond Connor (43)
The Foley/Giteau 10-12 partnership has just not worked so far, and that we definitely need a more direct player such To'omua in inside centre.....

I don't buy into this talk that he's a "finisher"......

He was our best performing inside back throughout the RC, and we can't continue to be going sideways for the first hour of every match and chasing down deficits.

I would've liked to have seen Giteau given a shot in the 10 jersey at some point during the RC but it's too late now....

Foley has done enough to be our starting 10 with Cooper failing to impress in any of his opportunities......

This is definitely the most underwhelming set of halves Australia has ever taken into a RWC.


And for this reason, I cannot see us getting to the final, very well winning it.
I only hope I'm wrong.
 

KOB1987

Rod McCall (65)
Just a theory that the 11 players rested on the weekend are all penciled in to the A team.

Further, there were 6 players who 'needed the run':
TPN
Simmons
Douglas
Genia
Speight
Horne
Beale

I think we found out during the TRC that our lineout with Skelton, Pocock and Hooper all on the field was no worse than with any other combination. What we worked out was that we needed a lineout general.

On the weekend, Cheika was clearly more interested in seeing how Genia worked with Foley than he was in seeing Cooper at 10. And it worked.

So:

1. Sio
2. Moore
3. Kepu
4. Simmons
5. Skelton
6. Fardy
7. Hooper
8. Pocock
9. Genia
10. Foley
11. Mitchell
12. To'omua
13. Kuridrani
14. AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper)
15. Folau
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
This is definitely the most underwhelming set of halves Australia has ever taken into a RWC.


It's certainly not Farr-Jones and Lynagh or Gregan and Larkham but I also don't think its the worst.

All of the group need to improve their current form and hopefully that happens.

Last World Cup we thought this was an area of great strength as Genia and Cooper had been in superb form during that season (both Super Rugby and tests). Their form then completely deserted them at the RWC.

In 2007 we had the combination of a completely past it George Gregan and Berrick Barnes. There wouldn't have been much enthusiasm for that at the time.

We have more depth this year and all the players have shown glimpses of form at various points. Cheika has clearly been flogging the team in training so hopefully as they taper off heading into the cup campaign, everything comes together and the preparation proves to be good.
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
On current form I would prefer 2007 Gregan.........

Barnes only played because Bernie got injured after the Japan match, and to be fair he played well against Wales..........

Bernie would've returned for the semi had we survived England, but alas.............
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
So:

1. Sio
2. Moore
3. Kepu
4. Simmons
5. Skelton
6. Fardy
7. Hooper
8. Pocock
9. Genia
10. Foley
11. Mitchell
12. To'omua
13. Kuridrani
14. AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper)
15. Folau


I think that is just about right, but if Cheika starts Skelton with the Pooper he's learnt nothing from the RC.........
 

KOB1987

Rod McCall (65)
I think that is just about right, but if Cheika starts Skelton with the Pooper he's learnt nothing from the RC...

Yes I accept that it is the contentious point, I'm not completely advocating it, just trying to join the dots. Carter was clearly in the USA on the weekend so that Skelton didn't have to play. Unless he is carrying a niggle we don't know about (which is entirely possible), there is no other reason for it than to keep him fresh for Fiji.

Pooper only started once didn't it? And that was with Horwill and Mumm?
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
I wouldn't. He was very poor at the end of his career.

I tend to think our halves will go better at the RWC than they have in the lead up.

Some of the comments seem to be heaping on the doom and gloom for no particularly reason outside of their favoured player(s) not being selected in that position.

There are plenty in the Foley isn't good enough so let's pick Quade Cooper regardless of form camp.

The Matt To'omua and Matt Giteau should be our 10/12 combo despite not having started a game there together.

Clearly it would be great if all our inside back options were in better form but hopefully they get their timing right to peak in September and October.
 

fatprop

George Gregan (70)
Staff member
I think it is interesting to see the number of positions with no clear front runner


I see 5, 7, 8, 9, 12 & 14 not really clear what is the best option, with even Kuridrani not showing immense form either (although that may be an issue with the game plan & the chopping and changing inside him)


I see the reason as much about having more depth with many more viable options.
 

KOB1987

Rod McCall (65)
I think that is just about right, but if Cheika starts Skelton with the Pooper he's learnt nothing from the RC...

Just out of curiosity, what's the basis for this line of thought??

This is a very simplistic analysis but I just went through the info on ESPNscrum to see how Australia performed with Pocock/Hooper/Skelton all on the field at the same time during the RC.

v SAF they were only on the field together for the second 5 minutes of the second half - 0-0 (in that time)
v ARG they were all together for the final 32 minutes - 23-3 AUS
v NZ1 for the last 22 minutes - 17-5 AUS
v NZ2 no time at all together.

So perhaps there were flaws in the experiment, but maybe they're working on them? Simmons would help.
 

BarneySF

Bob Loudon (25)
On current form I would prefer 2007 Gregan...

Barnes only played because Bernie got injured after the Japan match, and to be fair he played well against Wales....

Bernie would've returned for the semi had we survived England, but alas.....

I remember Barnes' first-ish game (?) in the '07 RWC against Fiji and he was so excited to get out there, he was 'woo-hoo'ing' in the tunnel while everyone else was typically stern-faced. IIRC he had a bit of a blinder too and looked to be having fun. I thought at the time, 'this guy could be something.'

Kinda was. Kinda wasn't. I guess.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
D

daz

Guest
I remember Barnes' first-ish game (?) in the '07 RWC against Fiji and he was so excited to get out there, he was 'woo-hoo'ing' in the tunnel while everyone else was typically stern-faced. IIRC he had a bit of a blinder too and looked to be having fun. I thought at the time, 'this guy could be something.'

Kinda was. Kinda wasn't. I guess.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I thought the same when Barnes first hit the scene. He was a bloke I could genuinely get excited about (as a Wallaby, you lot of perverts), and in 07 I honestly thought we were witnessing the start of "Hall of Fame" career.

Repeated head knocks, general fan-base negativity and getting chopped and changed in position for years seemed to suck out his enjoyment of the game, in Australia at least.

One of my big regrets to see Berrick seemingly lost to the Wallabies.
 
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