Five Wallabies in former Guscott’s World XV
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An interesting question was put to Jeremy Guscott this week. The former test match rugby great and current BBC expert rugby commentator was asked to name a current World XV having seen this month’s test rugby.
One thing about Guscott is that he is not one to mince his words. His insistence on being as critical as he is positive on player performance does set high standards for other commentators.
He is as insightful as he is confident and this self assurance exudes his authority as being one of the more reliable thinkers of the game.
Indeed we should take note of what he says.
The former centre named five Australians, five South Africans, four New Zealnders and one Englishman in what he considers the most ‘in form players’ in the world and there were some initial surprises.
Possibly the biggest surprise was Berrick Barnes getting the nod at fly half considering his poor form for the Waratahs which would have seen him realistically being the fifth choice as the Wallaby no 10. It does give a great deal of credence to the notion that some players are more suited to Test rugby than provincial rugby. No one that follows the game intently can deny that Barnes’ performances have led to the Wallaby series win as much as the other four Australians’ named.
His selection of Pat McCabe at his beloved outside centre could be called a complete vindication of something Robbie Deans saw in a fledgling full back twelve months ago.
Shame on those that were so quick to write this young talent off when Deans first put him into the centres! He has now done something many Aussies before him have never done. He has earned the respect of an English rugby great.
Another one of the Australians selected was Scott Higginbotham who just last month was as un-heard of in the UK as our dear Prime Minister, what-ever-her-name-is or as my wife calls her ‘that special-needs lady’. Well done to a much improved backrower indeed.
Of course Poock and Genia were the other two Wallabies named. You’d have to be Richie McCaw or Kahn Fotuali’I to argue against that.
So here is Guscott’s current world XV on form;
Israel Dagg; Julian Savea, Pat McCabe, Sonny Bill Williams, Bryan Habana; Berrick Barnes, Will Genia; Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Dan Cole, Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, Scott Higginbotham, David Pocock, Kieran Read
Roarers, do you think this should silence some of the critics of the Wallaby team and its selectors? What changes would you make if you were to sit at a world XV selection table with the great Guscott?
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