Robbie Deans gets his selections right, again
Wallaby Kurtley Beale speaks with teammate James O'Connor and coach Robbie Deans.
Shortly after selecting the Wallabies team on Tuesday, it is alleged that the immediate backlash on online sports forums has forced coach Robbie Deans to reconsider his selections.
Revised team for Saturday versus Wales:
Forwards: 1. Ma’afu, 2. Polota-Nau, 3. Kepu, 4. L Timani, 5. S Timani, 6. Auelua, 7. Vaea, 8. Palu,
Backs: 9. Kingi, 10. Cooper, 11. Ioane, 12. Kuridrani, 13. Tomane, 14. Vuna, 15. Rapana.
In characteristic Deans style, he has opted to blood a large number of unproven, yet promising young players in the one game on Saturday. Five rookies including two bolters who have not started in a single game of Super Rugby this year come into the Wallaby squad.
Towering 400-pound bench-pressing bull, Sitaleki Timani, has impressed the Deans so much in his two games for Australia, both losses to Scotland and Samoa, that he has decided to pull his brother, Lopeti, straight from the reserves bench at the strongly-performing NSW Waratahs to pair him in the starting Wallaby second row.
Joining the Timani brothers in the pack are newcomers Ita Vaea and Fotu Auelua. Rugby experts agree that these wrecking balls could be a turning point in the entire destiny of this Wallabies side as it might be the moment the pack can finally match it with the New Zealand and South African outfits.
“I was trying to maximise the power axis of the forward pack, and when I got started with my selections, I couldn’t stop at just the forwards,” Deans squeezed out of the side of his mouth at the press conference this morning.
“So I decided to ramp up the player power across the entire team.”
When pushed about the centre three-quarter selections, Deans stated: “In games past, picking two good centres was a major problem, but not so with these guys.”
Deans added: “Established midfield toilers Pat McCabe and Anthony Fainga’a were considered a few yards short of pure talent.”
Although it has been suggested that bringing both newly-capped centres straight onto the international stage might be premature, both Kuridrani and Tomane weigh over 100kg each, so it’s not a stretch to think they will be able to smash through any defence.
The press conference was also told that the more-limited Andrew Smith has been holding back Kuridrani at the Brumbies this season, which is why the rugby public may not have heard much of Kuridrani at all.
Joel Rapana, who earlier in the year was out of contention with an injury – much to the great anguish of everyone concerned with Australian rugby – comes into fullback after impressing all and sundry carrying the Queensland Reds’ team bags between bus and hotel in South Africa and Perth.
Despite limited time back from a knee injury, Quade Cooper retains his Wallaby number 10 jersey. Had it not been for a season-ending knee injury of his own, Christian Lealifano would have walked into the position. The only other Reds player to join Cooper is winger Digby Ioane who was lucky to edge out Chris F’Sautia.
It is hard to imagine that the touring Welsh team, with its perfect forward pack, will get anywhere near touching this revamped Australian side on Saturday.
Prediction: Wallabies to beat Wales by 50.
Looking to join The Roar team? We're searching for an experienced Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. Yes, this does mean you get to work with the site all day long! If you're a digital media sales star, we want to hear from you. Apply now.
Passionate about your union? Then sign up to The Roar's brand new daily union email, delivering Roaring articles directly to you day-in, day-out. You'll love it!
Click here to join now!