As the deadline looms for places in the much anticipated Rugby World Cup 2011, I am perplexed as to why Robbie Deans appears to be even considering selecting Benn Robinson or even Salesi Ma’afu for the tournament.
Clearly Robinson is injured, and Ma’afu even when fit is a questionable selection.
Deans, who has often espoused the ‘reward for effort’ policy, has clearly overlooked Red’s journeyman Greg Holmes as a possible World Cup bolter.
Holmes posesses what is needed to bolster the Australian scrum. Just ask Red’s messiah Ewen McKenzie who pulled Holmes aside prior to the Super Rugby Final and told him “This will be your finest hour.”
As history shows Holmes scrummaged with nous and the mettle of a player who already has 13 Test caps and has played Super Rugby since 2005.
The much-vaunted Crusaders scrum, who oddly enough make up most of the All Black scrum, were not the weapon they were previously allowed to be. Coincidence?
What more impresses me about Holmes is the fact he goes about his business as a team man. He stuck by the Red’s when all else jumped ship, and gave praise to Reds past such as Sean Hardman, John Roe and Chris Latham when the title was won.
Reconising the role of others in the victory shows Holmes has not forgotten he is part of a team; that he is willing to stick by his mates through thick and thin.
This is the strength of charachter our pack needs is it not? Perhaps Greg Holmes’ finest hour is actually yet to come?
However that would depend on the Wallaby brains trust actually rewarding players for their efforts.
It defies logic that the tight head prop of the Super Rugby champions can’t get into the Wallaby squad, yet a bloke with a bung knee and another with questionable fitness and scrummaging technique can.
Reward for effort? Not in my book.