Wallabies 2016



  • With all the focus in NZ on the retiring ABs, I haven't kept much track on who is and isn't available for the Wallabies from next year but keep seeing names linked to overseas clubs etc
     
    Hopefully someone can help me out.
     
    Here is a list of the RWC Squad and (from what I can see) where they are next season. I can't recall how the eligibility thing works with overseas players, but am guessing that even those that qualify won't have releases for the TRC?
     
    James Hanson 
    Stephen Moore - Brumbies (but under offer from overseas)
    Tatafu Polota-Nau 
    Greg Holmes Sekope Kepu - Bordeaux
    Scott Sio 
    James Slipper 
    Toby Smith 
    Sam Carter 
    Kane Douglas
    Dean Mumm 
    Rob Simmons 
    Will Skelton 
    Scott Fardy 
    Michael Hoopah 
    Sean McMahon
    David Pocock - Brumbies (but under offer from overseas)
    Ben McCalman Wycliff Palu - ToyotaWill Genia - Stade Francais
    Nick Phipps Quade Cooper - Toulon
    Bernard Foley 
    Kurtley Beale Matt Giteau - Toulon
    Tevita Kuridrani Matt Toomua - Leicester (after Super Rugby)Adam Ashley-Cooper - Bordeaux
    Rob HorneDrew Mitchell - Toulon
    Henry Speight 
    Joe Tomane 
    Israel Folau



  • It's not really much of a change is it. They are losing AAC who was the glue guy and only genuine quality outside back they have, but aside from that it's really a bunch of guys who were gone until the eligibility changed months ago, guys who were on the fringes anyway (Cooper, Palu) and then whatever your personal opinion of Kepu and Genia was. They survived quite well without Genia in the 2014 TRC and he didn't really impress in 2015 so not much there for mine.
     
    With Cheika being the best coach in the world and that kind of squad consistency the Bledisloe will be undoubtedly won by Australia next year... in the papers during the lead up to the first test as it is every year.



  • Is there actually a reason why they get the first game of the championship at home every year? It seems weird considering that we always seem to play the long game and they target a good start. They always seem far more 'up' than us in that opening match.
     
    Just realised that we aren't even playing at fortress Eden Park this year. Talk about making it even tougher.



  • Toomua to Leicester straight after the Super Rugby.
    The midfield is starting to look thin.



  • Just realised that we aren't even playing at fortress Eden Park this year. Talk about making it even tougher.

    3rd Bledisloe test is at Eden Park.
     
    I also see the 2017 TRC venues are out too here
     
    ABs going back to North Harbour for the first time in a while against the Boks - strange. Obviously trying to spread it around after the Lions - but still if a major test is going to be in Aucks play it at EP.



  • Bonocock wouldn't leave this early in his career would he?



  • Is there actually a reason why they get the first game of the championship at home every year? It seems weird considering that we always seem to play the long game and they target a good start. They always seem far more 'up' than us in that opening match.
     
    Just realised that we aren't even playing at fortress Eden Park this year. Talk about making it even tougher.

    Yes there is a reason. ARU struck a ten year deal to always have first bled test in Sydney. Unsure what commercials the nzrfu get out of it but I'm pretty sure there is some financial incentives to the nzrfu to give up that game every year.



  • Bonocock wouldn't leave this early in his career would he?

    Have you seen France's issues at the moment. Who better to go and solve all their problems via Twitter. It's time for Pocock to save them now, Australia is sorted.



  • Bonocock wouldn't leave this early in his career would he?

    He has a lot of bargaining power at the moment and will surely be pushing the ARU as far as he can. His agent is probably fielding lots of offers and passing the numbers onto the ARU who will be hoping they can afford him.



  • Not sure how the releases will work for TRC, but worth noting that AAC, Giteau, Mitchell, Palu, Kepu and Genia are all eligible to return,
     
    Of those, Kepu, Palu and Giteau seem unlikely to return, but the others are probably in if the schedule permits.



  • Have you seen France's issues at the moment. Who better to go and solve all their problems via Twitter. It's time for Pocock to save them now, Australia is sorted.

    It seems obvious when you explain it like that , # off to save France, back for the rwc.



  • .... all eligible to return,

    I am completely unconvinced that players will be fit for international rugby after playing in the NH comp.  In the short term, and possibly for world cups you might be able to get people up... but I can't see it being a winning strategy for most rugby test matches.  PLayer conditionining is different, the season is back to front, I think it is not the recipe for success.

    That, and it dilutes the local comp very quickly.  Will be itneresting to see how it goes for Aus, but I'm all for the ABs not going that way.



  • I am completely unconvinced that players will be fit for international rugby after playing in the NH comp.  In the short term, and possibly for world cups you might be able to get people up... but I can't see it being a winning strategy for most rugby test matches.  PLayer conditionining is different, the season is back to front, I think it is not the recipe for success.
    That, and it dilutes the local comp very quickly.  Will be itneresting to see how it goes for Aus, but I'm all for the ABs not going that way. agree, bringing guys back a week out from a RC test is very different from a month or so lead in to the WC. Aus be heading down a real slippery slope if they start bringing back in numbers guys playing OS. Saying that I don't think they will. I'm expecting they'll pick exclusively from soup next year. TBH they don't need to anyway. Reckon they have enough talent in soup comp to pick from.



  • Douglas is gone for the year with his knee. 
     
    The Wallabies are basically in the hunt for a couple of hookers (Moore is getting on, and looking at options, he only missed out on a deal in Ireland because the IRU blocked it) and TPN is still just one knock from forced retirement. There is no guarantee Kepu will come back, so they need a new tight-head (their back-up is not a youngster). Couple of good looseheads though, and Moore should still be around next year at hooker. So for 2016 at least, the front row looks ok.
     
    In the 2nd row they are still fucked. Simmons is rubbish, and must surely be replaced. Douglas was their best lock by a mile, and he is gone. Skelton is the big fat hype. Mumm sort of got worse as the year went on. So i think they need to find 3 of these this year.
     
    In the loosies, while they probably think they are happy, i think their starting trio, while made up of good players, is completely unbalanced. Hooper isn't as good as he is hyped to be. Pocock is an excellent defensive player. Fardy is a great disrupter. They have nothing offensive their. Fardy isn't young either. I think they need to look at bringing someone in, and moving an openside to the bench.
     
    Halves. Foley is good, a new backup is required. They look really thin at halfback. 
     
    Midfield. Empty. Kuridrani is a shadow (a wider shadow) of the player he was 2 years ago. Will Giteau come back? Will he have the same impact even if he does? Toomua was their long-term replacement, and he's gone. They may have to start again here. From scratch.
     
    Back 3. Folau stays. AAC has said he wants to come back. Mitchell maybe? Beale is a good option off the bench, he impressed me in the WC. But they need more options. Horne is a defensive option, Speight and the other one with the top-knot have far too many holes in their game. Again, they need options, because if Folau is playing shit, they still have to pick him, because there is no one else.
     
     
    A month ago i thought they were a team on the rise, but when you break it down, i think they have as much rebuilding to do as we do. Ours just looks worse because of the names we are replacing for good this time, not just for a couple of weeks



  • I doubt that many guys on overseas contracts are going to give up the club money, to come back and play internationals. World Cup year? Sure. 4N, doubt it.



  • as an aside, did anyone see the "highlights" of Quade's "game" for Toulon on the weekend? It's hilariously bad. Like, old Super rugby form bad.



  • Not sure how the releases will work for TRC, but worth noting that AAC, Giteau, Mitchell, Palu, Kepu and Genia are all eligible to return,
     
    Of those, Kepu, Palu and Giteau seem unlikely to return, but the others are probably in if the schedule permits.

    Don't think Mitchell will be back. He spent most of the Wallaby camp leading up to Chicago and RWC getting fit enough to play rugby.



  • as an aside, did anyone see the "highlights" of Quade's "game" for Toulon on the weekend? It's hilariously bad. Like, old Super rugby form bad.

    Was that the game against Wasps?
     
    Halai has refound his mojo by the looks of that game.



  • Good post mariner. I think Tomane has what it takes to be a good international wing, but just needs to be selected and given time to develop into the role.
     
    Second row is a massive issue for them. Getting guys that have the workrate and the aerial skills has been a problem for a while. Horwill looked the goods a few years back and had all the makings of a world class lock, but his form slide was a pretty drastic one, plus injuries.  
     
    A couple of years ago I thought with Toomua and Kurindrani they had a real combination to build on for the next 5-6 years. Skills that complimented each other and the benefit of playing both provincial and international rugby together. Whilst Giteau played well at times, I thought the Aussies missed a trick by shuffling this important combination over the last little while.
     
    Foley's backup is not really apparent right now and they may have to settle with Beale for the short term unless some bolter comes out from nowhere (that young Rebels 1st 5 looks promising).



  • as an aside, did anyone see the "highlights" of Quade's "game" for Toulon on the weekend? It's hilariously bad. Like, old Super rugby form bad.

    Im curious to see how Ma'a goes with Quadey. By all reports Ma'a doesn't suffer fools lightly and playing outside that after what he is used to must be nauseating.



  • Was that the game against Wasps?
     
    Halai has refound his mojo by the looks of that game.

    yea, Wasps, they got flogged, and his "highlight reel" is not good.
     
    ACTC yea Tomane, that's him. Boy can can run, but i think he needs to work on his defensive side a fair amount. Agree he could be good given time. Will he be given it though?
     
    There are guys running around in Super Rugby who could be the answer, definitely the Rebels halves should get a look this year.



  • I think Christina Lealiifano is a guy that could really benefit from Toomua's departure. He's kind of been stuck in limbo with the Brumbies and the Wallabies over the last few seasons. I think he could really fit that Wallabies backup 10 role if he can nail down the 10 shirt for the Brumbies this year. Also provides cover for 12.



  • Lealiifano just needs a kicking coach and he'll be a very good option. And yeah, the Brumbies need to decide who their 10 is.

    A couple of years ago I thought with Toomua and Kurindrani they had a real combination to build on for the next 5-6 years. Skills that complimented each other and the benefit of playing both provincial and international rugby together. Whilst Giteau played well at times, I thought the Aussies missed a trick by shuffling this important combination over the last little while.

    Bang on - I thought Kuridrani's change in fortune was directly due to the removal of Toomua as his midfield partner.
     
     
     
    It seems kind of weird to be talking about Foley as our 10 and who is backup will be. Particularly in the face of all the opposition on this side of the ditch.
     
    Jack Debreczeni in partnership with Nick Stirzaker at the Rebels could be bolters for next year, particularly as Cheika's hands won't be tied in terms of selection going into a RWC year. 
     
    Looking at the available options in each position, and understanding that things can change radically in a season with Cheika, as well as the fact I've probably forgotten a few people:
     
    LHP: Probably not too much changing here in terms of Slipper and Sio's primacy, but the next in line are generally untested. Tetera Faulkner might be an interesting replacement given he plays both sides. 
     
    THP: Holmes will probably keep the starting jersey, with Smith looking likely to be trained up for the bench spot despite questions over his form at 3. Talakai from the Reds (former Sydney Uni) is rated as one of the stronger men in rugby and was a regular part of a solid Reds scrum last year. Question is whether he can keep improving. Laurie Weeks is another one who can do the job, but needs fitness work. Paddy Ryan? Jeez I dunno - first two scrums are always his fault... so, no.
     
    Hooker: Moore and TPN, but Moore's throwing was shaky at RWC and TPN is, as others have said, never far from another concussion. Backups here at Latu from the Tahs, Hanson from the Reds, and Nathan Charles from the Western Force who have all been part of the seutp in the last couple of years, and all present solid options. Bolter for this position is Siliva Siliva if he can stay injury-free at the Rebels after moving from Canberra, and at the Rebels you also have Pat Leafa who has been eligible since the start of the year.
     
    Loosehead Lock: Simmons needs to add more to his game or we're not going to be able to compete around the park. Dean Mumm is probably Mr Reliable in terms of being picked, depending on his Super season. Maybe even Sam Lousi if he can continue to get the technicalities right - great ball runner. Maybe Luke Jones from the Rebels, though a lot don't see him as big/hard enough for Test locking duties, and too slow for blindside (196cm, 115kg). Into that mix throw Caydern Neville who has moved to the Reds but needs to show more in terms of application and ticker than he did at the Rebels. 
     
    Tighthead Lock: I go straight to Skelton and Douglas here in terms of size and experience. Problem is, the latter is long-term injured, and the former is as well as not being fit enough for Test rugby. Bolters here are Adam Coleman from the Force and Rory Arnold, the gigantic kid at the Brumbies.
     
    Blindside flanker: Fardy is a keeper based on his awesome niggle and never-say-die attitude. Plus he bleeds a lot. But he's no spring chicken which is part of his appeal and his shortfall. There are some interesting prospects around after that: young Jack Dempsey who is a bit of a tearaway could play here. Angus Cottrell from the Force has shown some good form in a fairly ordinary side to make his claim, and then there is the aforementioned Luke Jones from the Rebels. Some have even suggested Lopeti Timani might fit here, and that is definitely true if you want ball carrying and aggression. What about Sam Lousi from the Tahs as a bolter? Great ball skills, makes yards in contact, good hands - 198cm, 121kg. Hmmm...
     
    Openside flanker: Pocock, Gill, Hoopah, Colby Faingaa, Matt Hodgson, Chris Alcock, Jordy Reid. That enough?
     
    8th man: Here is probably the biggest problem in the forwards, because we don't really have an answer until we decide that the Pooper is over with. If we're going pure 8, then McCalman leads the pack, but needs some competition to push him. Ita Vaea at the Brumbies needs to lose weight. Jed Holloway at the Tahs needs to work harder. Schatz at the Reds is too small. Curtis Browning at the Reds might have a shot at it IF he gets regular game time there, and the Reds aren't a complete clusterfuck this year. Throw Lopeti Timani in here as well.
     
    Scrumhalf: Phipps needs to improve his passing and stop hitting the red bull before he gets on. The loss of White and Genia opens the door for Frisby at the Reds, Stirzaker at the Rebels, and ... well not many others. There is no listed backup to Phipps on the Tahs site, the Brumbies (Cubelli) and Force (Mathewson) both have imports as their leading man, and the rest are pretty raw. Stirzaker to back up Phipps I think.
     
    Flyhalf: Foley in the mix if Japan doesn't ruin him. Backups will likely be Lilo (Brumbies) and Debreczeni (Rebels) as Toomua departs. Debreczeni in particular could be both the ugliest and biggest-kicking flyhalf Australian rugby has ever had.
     
    Inside centre: second-five to you lot. Cheika can take this one of two ways: play Kurtley there with the risk/reward scenarios that entails, or hope that some of our bash centres like Anthony Fainga'a or Mitch Inman put in some good shows and give us more of a bash pairing. Kyle Godwin might rise again as the skills man for more of a second five approach if required. But fuck not many caps there. Calling Aussie Mike Harris?
     
    Outside centre: Kuridrani needs something to get him back on track. After him, with AAC gone and unlikely to return (I believe Cheika will ignore the Giteau Rule except in emergencies) its down to maybe Rob Horne, uh... Tom English at the Rebels, or the possibility of Folau playing there at the Tahs and looking for higher honours in the 13 jersey.
     
    Wings: Horne might get a shot here, along with Tomane, Speight, Luke Morahan from the Force, and maybe Chris F-S at the Reds can stay injury-free long enough to prove himself. But the Brumbies pair look most likely. Bolter might be Andrew Kellaway from the Tahs, who scored a record number of tries at the U20 RWC last year or the year before maybe.
     
    Fullback: Folau, if his management isn't yet bored with the ARU playing him there and instruct them to put him somewhere else. I'm only half kidding. If he makes the transition to 13, perhaps Beale here, or ... uh... Morahan?
     
    Its not the personnel aren't there in the backs, its just that with guys like AAC around, and our noted issues up front, we didn't really have to think about who to pick.



  • Loosehead Lock: Caydern Neville who has moved to the Reds but needs to show more in terms of application and ticker than he did at the Rebels. Into that mix throw Caydern Neville who has moved to the Reds but needs to show more in terms of application and ticker than he did at the Rebels.

    Don't rule out Caydern Neville.



  • I am sure the sobs can pick a competitive side, but there do seem to be a lot to work work out over the super rugby season.
    With SA imploding by the looks of it, we really need a strong Aussie side



  • Don't rule out Caydern Neville.

    Fuck. Interrupted, came back, forgot.



  • One other name I was looking for at the Brumbies was Fotu Auelua but he wasn't on the roster.
     
    Lo and behold, there he is, training pre-season with the Tahs! His contract with Northampton fell through after injury issues. Might be a good signing, IF he can get fit and stay fit.



  • Fark looks like he needs preseason training to...what was his injury?



  • Fark looks like he needs preseason training to...what was his injury?
    Medial underbelly ligament torn?



  • Fark looks like he needs preseason training to...what was his injury?

    And this is the guy taking over from him at the Brumbies for #8:



  • Jeezus. My son is looking for a strength and conditioning job, he should talk to the Brumbies if that's the state of their players.



  • No. Just Ita would give him enough work by the looks...
     
    The rest of them look in pretty decent shape. Brumbies fans think he's just fine, and heir-apparent to the Wallaby 8 jumper.



  • I think Tomane has what it takes to be a good international wing, but just needs to be selected and given time to develop into the role.

    ACTC yea Tomane, that's him. Boy can can run, but i think he needs to work on his defensive side a fair amount. Agree he could be good given time. Will he be given it though?

    according to the exodus thread, that theory is now fucked



  • And this is the guy taking over from him at the Brumbies for #8:

    Pretty risky playing in the second trimester I would have thought.



  • Pretty risky playing in the second trimester I would have thought.

    Everything looks fine.





  • I saw Ita play at the Cake Tin a few years ago and he was a real handful for the Canes boys, before getting knocked out by a Motu'u special. A real shame for such a talented and bruising player.





  • ARU have announced a $10.8M loss including $6M to prop up the Rebels.
     
    Considering that the 5 franchises must be harming the ability to earn money from the spreading of talent you wonder why paying out for one of those teams makes sense.
     
    I'd be interested in an Oz view on this.



  • There are a few issues here.
     
    A loss in a RWC year is expected. Less gate revenue, less TV revenue, less sponsorship. Some of that is made up by IRB grants, but not enough - in 2011 we recorded a similar result (about $4m).
     
    The 5 vs 4 team thing is an old debate, and ultimately the ARU have decided to wear the cost of that in order to have a national footprint. It also gets us more TV cash.
     
    I think we should only have 4 teams, but the genie is out of the bottle there and we ain't going back.


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