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By 2019, the Wallabies will have the best back three in the world

Simon Douch Roar Guru

98 Have your say

Popular article! 12,307 reads

    After the Wallabies’ performance at Yokohama on the weekend, I’ve hit a state of nervous optimism, mostly stemming from the form and depth of our back three.

    When Israel Folau announced that he was to take a break until the start of next season, it launched a barrage of opinions about how best to rearrange the backline.

    We couldn’t have the same setup that won so much favour after an outstanding performance against the All Blacks in Brisbane, so what was the answer? Kurtley Beale to 15? Or maybe Reece Hodge? Karmichael Hunt or Samu Kerevi at 12?

    While the answers to these questions still remain unclear, an outstanding performance against Japan without our first-choice, John Eales Medal-winning fullback has made it clear that serious weapons are developing out wide.

    Granted, the lessened impact of Folau’s absence is perhaps more attributed to the backline’s ability to adapt, as well as increasing individual skill sets, but it is an indicator that the Aussies are no longer solely reliant on Folau as the main attacking weapon. An exciting proposition considering the World Cup is looming.

    Take a look at the players who have played on the wing or fullback so far this year:

    Henry Speight
    Dane Haylett-Petty
    Curtis Rona
    Eto Nabuli
    Sefanaia Naivalu
    Marika Koroibete
    Reece Hodge
    Israel Folau
    Kurtley Beale

    It’s also worthwhile mentioning the younger players that Michael Cheika is introducing to the international scene, mainly Izaia Perese, Jack Maddocks and Tom Banks. Furthermore, Hunt should also be included in fullback considerations.

    That’s now 13, high-quality outside backs for Cheika to choose from to form Australia’s back three for the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

    Haylett-Petty and Naivalu have had their international season cut short due to injury, while Rona and Nabuli have had limited opportunity on the wing, purely because of outstanding depth.

    Although this is a luxury, one substantial problem arises from this golden crop of outside backs – who should take the positions for the World Cup?

    Despite popular opinion that Folau should move to the wing, he best serves his country at 15. Rock solid under the high ball, improving positional awareness, the ability to find open space, and his Super Rugby club ensures that Folau will have the custodian’s duties for as long as he chooses to stay in the Wallaby camp.

    Israel Folau Wallabies Australian Rugby Union 2017

    AAP Image/Joe Castro

    Moving Folau to the wing makes even less sense considering the world-class finishers that should be available, mostly Korobeite and Naivalu. With pure speed and strength, these two flying wingers will have another year to tone their game in gold before unleashing at the World Cup.

    A successful, injury-free 2018 international season will be the most critical aspect of the development and cohesion of this trio. In particular, during the June Test series against Ireland, Folau, Koroibete and Naivalu could build on their individual moments of brilliance and form the best back-three combination in world rugby.

    The opportunity is certainly there.

    Naivalu has had an unlucky run of injuries, but a glimpse of his speed in the June internationals showed what the Wallabies lacked so dearly.

    Koroibete continues his rapid rise, searching for more work on the field and improving his understanding of the international game. His defence is fantastic and constantly overlooked because of his devastating running game (not that it’s really a problem). Like Folau, sparing disaster, Koroibete should have done enough to secure his place on the team.

    Off the bench, Hodge or Haylett-Petty would be ideal, as they can perform exceptionally in all facets of the game.

    Not only will this be the most potent, dangerous back three in the world, but the competition spawned from the player depth will ensure the Wallabies hold that title for the foreseeable future.

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    The Crowd Says (98)

    • November 7th 2017 @ 4:26am
      Kane said | November 7th 2017 @ 4:26am | ! Report

      There’s been a reason why playing too large Pacific Islander wingers has not worked for the All Blacks. The back three needs to be balanced.

      Having Naivalu and Koroibete in the back three opens up some big flaws especially as Folau’s positional awareness hasn’t improved much since 2013 so I don’t see it improving much more. Not to mention his territorial kickings not improved as much as it should have.

      I believe that’s why hodge offers so much. He’s not going to win you a RWC at 10 but on the wing he offers you so much more.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 4:43am
        Connor33 said | November 7th 2017 @ 4:43am | ! Report

        Agreed.

        • November 7th 2017 @ 7:18am
          Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:18am | ! Report

          The back three by the RWC will be

          11. Naivalu/Koroibete, 14. Folau, 15. Beale, 23. Banks

          or

          11. Naivalu/Koroibete, 14. Banks, 15. Folau

          Despite what people are saying, Koroibete hasn’t proven himself better than Naivalu, both are fantastic and I look forward to see them competing for that spot.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 8:48am
            PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

            I am not sold that Banks will displace Hodge.

            Beale will be played at 12 or 15. Foley will be 10.
            TK or Kerevi will be 13.

            Folau will be 15 or 14.

            Kerevi will be 12 or 13 or bench.

            Hodge will be 12 or wing or bench.

            Hodge, DHP (Cheika favourite) and Banks are all vying for 1 fb/wing hybrid position. Banks has little time to convince Cheika to pick him over his favourites, and Hodge has proven himself.

            • November 7th 2017 @ 8:49am
              Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:49am | ! Report

              We have two years of Super Rugby. I suspect Hodge will be playing at 13 for the Rebels and could very easily move into the centres by next year.

              I am actually a big DHP fan, and I like the fact that he is a more distributing/playmaking 15 in the Ben Smith or Dagg mould than our other options, but he definitely shouldn’t be in the 15 anymore, and perhaps not even the 23 if everyone is fit. I guess we will see.

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 9:01am
                PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

                Super rugby form is not enough to convince Cheika normally if he is happy with the incumbent at intl level.

                Cheika is happy with both Hodge and DHP, and Koroiebte.

                Banks may jump ahead of Naivalu since he isn’t a Cheika favourite.

                It would take an injury to DHP and a positional change (or injury) to Hodge for Banks to get a genuine opportunity.

                Cheika is very slow to move off players he likes at intl level, look at Speight.

              • November 7th 2017 @ 9:04am
                Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

                Nah, I have faith he will play his way onto the bench at least in 2018.

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 9:07am
                PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

                I hope you are right

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 9:59am
                Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

                Let’s see how Cheika’s Wallabies go against England, Wales and Scotland and the senate inquiry findings on the 13th.
                Impressing Cheika may not be an issue if he isn’t the coach.

                Now, I know that The senate Inquiry has nothing to do with Cheika but if the board gets a clean sweep, he may lose his backers for his “job for life”,

                It would be nice to go back to a board of selectors and make the Coach accountable for performance.

              • November 7th 2017 @ 11:12am
                Charlie Turner said | November 7th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                Timbo, how would the outcome of senate inquiry influence the makeup of the board? I thought they only make recommendations to be actioned by administering bodies i.e government departments or in serious cases the police. Unless they uncover a likely criminal act I can’t see any overseeing agency sweeping through changes based on unpopular decisions or possible incompetence.

                I haven’t personally kept up to date with events but from the “vibe of it” I’d deep six the entire board in the Parrots sack. Wait…not Eales, he should be pardoned for past services and sentenced to 500 hrs community service reading childrens stories to orphaned preschoolers.

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 2:26pm
                Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                You have been kept in the dark by the ARU media, and to be Blunt, the Roar also, they bounced my article on the Inquiry, deciding it would not interest the readers.

                There were some very pointed questions regarding competence/legality of the contact made with Imperium an who is responsible for the losses. Also whether or not the Force Axing was premeditated. If the senate decide that one or both of these have merit, I predict heads will roll.
                As with Soccer Australia, The Senate have the power to recommend clearing the board and can pull government funding as a sanction if they don’t.

                Not sure about Eales, I want to think the best of him. The common corporate dynamic, epitimized by Trump, is that if you don’t agree with the boss, as Stooke found out, you get put in the cupboard under the stairs.
                This is not a good dynamic for an organisation that is funded to ans is responsible for the health or Ruby throughout Australia. Super Ruby is a sideline to their core roles,.

              • November 7th 2017 @ 8:48pm
                Redsfan1 said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

                Force are gone. Get over it.

              • November 7th 2017 @ 2:43pm
                Charlie Turner said | November 7th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

                Thanks Timbo, interesting they bounced your article considering some of the truely awful stuff published here. I would love to see a board of selectors and performance metrics for both players and coach. Maybe a binary multiplier applied to match payments?

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 7:07pm
                PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

                timbo – I wouldn’t accept that easily from the roar.

                1) it is not as if there are too many articles published so people can’t read them all
                2) Publish it on a slow day when no / few articles are to be published
                3) Plenty of boring articles get published with few responses
                4) Let the readers decide, I suspect many would be interested

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 7:13pm
                Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

                In the interest of unbiased reporting, my first attempt was a bit ranty, I just cobbled together a west coast biassed summary that probably should have been dumped, I just wanted to get something up here to spark a conversation.

                I did a re-write that was balanced and in my opinion pretty well written.

                Read this if you want to get closer to the truth.

                https://thewest.com.au/sport/rugby-union/senate-hearing-did-aru-investigate-axing-before-force-alliance-ng-b88631072z

                There is a lot more to learn, in particular, the sweetheart deal that Imperium got that none of the board members are prepared to own as being something they were involved in.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 7th 2017 @ 7:24pm
                piru said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

                The deafening silence from The Roar over this inquiry is concerning.

                I would have thought it very pertinent to the game of rugby in Australia.

              • Roar Guru

                November 7th 2017 @ 7:27pm
                Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

                Peter,
                I Submitted 2 separate articles, The Editors rejected them both.
                I had no choice in the matter.
                Given the selective Reporting from ARU outlets, silence from Roar staff writers and the rejection of my second article, I fear that there may be active censorship on the matter. I got the impression that there may have been related to legal advice, unsubstantiated opinion on this site has never been much of a problem.

                From the roar editor when I suggested a re-write from my original:
                “I’d put the chances of it getting published at around 50-60%”

              • Roar Guru

                November 8th 2017 @ 12:17pm
                Timbo (L) said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

                Reds Fan,

                I have made my piece with the termination of the Force, as much as it pains me I am now a closeted Rebels fan. Wessels and his Western mercenaries will win the conference and, unlike your team, will beat the Kiwis and Saffas a few times for good measure.

                It may be over for the Force, but the ARU has a good chance of being dragged down too, their own concrete block chained to their neck.

                Unless of course you think the Australian government is toothless and can’t or won’t do anything to your beloved ARU.
                They are in the cross hairs of the same large caliber sniper rifle that swept Soccer Australia clean.

                I will be sure to tell you to “Get Over it” when funding for your team is restricted and you have to release a number of prestige players.

                If you don’t think it will happen, look at the potential liability to the WA government and potential of a damages claim to be paid to Rugby WA.

                The Imperium Cash Grab was a shrewd business deal by Cox but there is a genuine chance that the board will be made accountable for the funds mismanagement. Taxpayers aren’t keen on their money being gifted to insolvent Kiwi companies.

          • November 8th 2017 @ 12:21am
            Rebellion said | November 8th 2017 @ 12:21am | ! Report

            Hard to go past a fit and in form back three of Savea, Ioane & Ben Smith

            Oz could be Naivalu, Koroibete & Folau.

            Would be a great contest until a tactical aerial assault is launched to test the players who don’t have the natural union instincts in this element of the game

            Not much between them in a running game that is for sure

            Centre I see as being the only ‘potential’ weakness in the AB’s since Nonu & Smith retired

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2017 @ 8:50am
        PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        Folau’s positional play at 15 was very good in 2015 , then in 2016 for some reason the coach’s changed and required Folau to play a wing/fb role , i.e he was found on the wing a lot of the time due to gameplan.

        Agree one wing needs to be a fb/wing hybrid.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 10:38am
        Nigel said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Agree Kane, Koroibete is a keeper but Hodge must be in the starting team for his kicking and everything else he brings to the team!! Folau for the great player he is is no kicker so we do not have that tactical kicking which is imperative gor field position!!! However we cannot leave him out as he offers so much to the team!!!

        • November 7th 2017 @ 12:53pm
          Phil said | November 7th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

          Also agree,Nigel.Hodge is fast becoming one of those first name on the team sheet players.Only problem I see is that his versatlity also makes him the perfect bench player,but I think his kicking ability trumps that.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 6:11pm
        AB said | November 7th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

        The Naivalu/Koroibete dilemma reminds me of the Steve Waugh/Mark Waugh dilemma in cricket in the 90’s. For some reason there was this mental block that they couldn’t be in the same team, but Australia was much better for it when they were eventually both picked.
        I agree with Folau’s positional weaknesses and slow defensive reads the back three would be lacking balance if it was this combination. I think the answer is a bit left field – develop Sefa as an outside centre. His defence is very willing and I love watching really fast 13’s, especially if there are wingers who can keep up with them. I know TK has been playing better but I think Sefa could bring a lot more speed and threat to the position. I would then go for a traditional fullback/wing but someone still very quick, like Tom Banks.
        On the basis that there is nothing more enjoyable than pure speed at 11,12,13,14 that would be my backline for 2019!

      • November 8th 2017 @ 1:03am
        Jp said | November 8th 2017 @ 1:03am | ! Report

        More aussie optimism i see..

    • November 7th 2017 @ 5:54am
      One problem said | November 7th 2017 @ 5:54am | ! Report

      Neither Folau, Naivalu or Koroibete can kick.

      Any smart opposition will simply tactically kick the ball to each corner of our goal line and force one of these three blokes to kick it back.

      A team cannot be expected to run it out deep within their own half every single time.

      Unless, of course, we hide Foley there in defence the entire game.

      Not sure how good Koroibete is under the high ball either.

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2017 @ 8:43am
        PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        Folau can and does kick, it has been shown many times he can kick long and deep.

        The game plan of cheika’s though is for him to run it more than kick it.

        • November 7th 2017 @ 9:54am
          tyrone said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

          Props can also kick a ball, but neither are of a standard that allows you to win world cups.

          When was his last kick where he took his time and kicked a well weighted tactical kick?

          I only recall him being under pressure and kicking the ball as hard as he can down the field and getting lucky.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 10:08am
            PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

            he isn’t good at short tactical kicking, he does kick a long ball well, it has distance, reasonable accuracy and reasonable placement (most often going for touch though).

        • Roar Guru

          November 7th 2017 @ 10:17am
          Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          This is a perception question.

          Cheika doesn’t get him to kick because he isn’t proficient.
          or
          He doesn’t kick because it isn’t in Cheikas Plan.

          Didn’t see much at the Tah’s and don’t know what you are talking about from the RWC, but I am going with option 1.

          One of Folau’s key skills is his ability to bust the line (core skills of a center). If he had a decent short game (like Niavalu) he would be able to get around that last line of defense as well, making him an effective weapon from deep as well as in the red zone, where there is no fullback.

          Actions speak louder than words.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 10:24am
            PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

            didn’t mention rwc when I was discussing 2015 it was the RC before he was injured in the RWC.

            He has often beaten the last line of defense, ran around Ben Smith easily from memory.

            • Roar Guru

              November 7th 2017 @ 2:35pm
              Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

              The World cup was in 2015 wasn’t it?

              Beating a stationary fullback 1 on 1 is common, it is one of the hardest defensive positions in the game. But when you have 2 or 3 backs in front of you,with nowhere to go, often isolated, that is when you pull out the grubber or the chip and chase or at least get some meters with a touch finder.

              Bread and butter for a Fullback or 14. Nice to have in an 11. Essential at 9 and 10.

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2017 @ 10:08am
        Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        I mostly disagree
        Niavalu has a great kick chase game, exactly what a 14 needs. Watch a few of his Rebs games.
        Folau doesn’t kick, whether he can or not is irreverent if he doesn’t use the skill.

        Kicking for an 11 isn’t really a key skill, The job description reads more like “Runaway truck” I would like to see Koribete’s defensive work improve some more. It was pretty average for the rebels and the first couple of wallaby games, but it looks like he is in the correct position more often, making the tackles and even doing some ruck work – an often forgotten skill.

        • Roar Guru

          November 7th 2017 @ 10:19am
          PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          It isn’t irrelevant since Folau has either Hodge, Beale or DHP back there who are better at kicking.

          When he has needed to kick with no one better to pass to he has and done well enough.

          If he didn’t have Hodge or DHP there then he would kick more.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 2:42pm
            Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

            If you have the ball in your hand, your options are Pass, Run, Go into contact or Kick.

            Hodge or Beale ability doesn’t change those options.
            If he as good as you say he is, he should be using that option too.

            When you eliminate options it makes it easier to defend.
            When England figured out that Phipps wasn’t kicking, they brought one of their backs up and blitzed the quarterback.

            The Scot’s neutralized some of the great parts of Izzy’s game this year, knowing that he wasn’t going to kick, bringing their defense up to tackle him before he got to ramming speed.
            They did not kick him any highballs either, he needed Foley to do that to unlock that skill and get some meat.

    • Roar Guru

      November 7th 2017 @ 6:05am
      taylorman said | November 7th 2017 @ 6:05am | ! Report

      Yes the Roko Sivi pairing worked to an extent due to Mils at the back but son the Daggs, Janes and Smiths had to come in for their aerial work and better kick options.
      Folau and the two Fijians would be defensively challenged in many areas.
      Attack wise Good Fijian wingers are usually very good options.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 6:57am
        Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 6:57am | ! Report

        Naivalu and Koroibete are both good defenders, but yeah, the lack of a kicking option and high ball awareness means that it probably won’t be a first choice option.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 3:19pm
        Cuw said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

        @ taylorman

        i think the change of thought about back 3 came into being when the Laws were changed not allowing to kick out from anywhere.

        this meant anyone who was kicking the ball outside the 25 yard line had to keep it in and also the other team needed guys who were good at taking high catches.

        there were some wings who could do this but most of the time it is fullbacks who are proficient.

        it is not just NZ who use a 15 on wing. look at guys like Liam Williams , Elliot Daly, Tucalet, Leyds …. etc.

        but now i think teams are looking at improving high catching ability of wings. Naholo is one good eg and so is Reiko.

    • November 7th 2017 @ 7:03am
      Daveski said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      A DHP, Naivalu, Korobeite back three for the Rebels looks pretty good too with no room for Maddocks, English or King Henry. ( and that’s assuming Hodge plays 12 or 13).

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2017 @ 9:05am
        PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        yes , a good opportunity to see how well it works as a combo.

        Mind you Naivalu (under mcgahan of course) has been playing 13 for the rebels.

        Wessels has discussed playing Hodge at 10 also, strange considering he has Lance and no decent 12.

        • Roar Guru

          November 7th 2017 @ 2:48pm
          Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

          Thought Big Tom had headed OS.
          Is Jono confirmed yet?
          Meakes is looking for a 12 slot, Horowitz has already signed up.

          Whatever happens, Rebs are going to be a powerhouse this year.

          Hodge at 10 for the Rebs sounds like it is a Wallabies Directive, I am neutral on the Decision,
          Hodge is a universal soldier and will likely succeed given the right prep.
          I am just waiting to see him do a Jordy Barrett jumping at #6 in the line out.

    • November 7th 2017 @ 7:40am
      Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      I don’t know if we will have a better back three than the All Blacks, they have the following to choose from…

      Fullbacks
      – Ben Smith
      – Beauden Barrett
      – David Havili
      – DMac

      Fullback/winger hybrids
      – Milner-Skudder
      – Dagg

      Out and out wingers:
      – Ioane
      – Naholo
      – Tamanivalu
      – Savea

      I think it is quite unlikely that we can put out such a balanced outside back trio as 11. Ioane, 14. Milner-Skudder, 15. Ben Smith. Smith is just so good he elevates any back trio in the world. That said, I think we are a decent shot at being pretty close to the All Blacks. I’d be happy to be proven wrong and for us to overtake them.

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2017 @ 8:51am
        PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        I doubt Skudder will be there, very injury prone.

        • November 7th 2017 @ 8:54am
          Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

          They rushed him back in this year’s RC despite injuries and he was incredible right up to being injured.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 8:57am
            PeterK said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

            every year he gets injured, it is taking a toll on his body. Already he has lost some zip.

            I see another major injury quite possible in 2018 or 2019.

            I think a better option for the ab’s will be around by then.

            • November 7th 2017 @ 9:07am
              Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

              He was amongst their best players before getting injured in the RC this year. We will see.

              • November 7th 2017 @ 5:36pm
                Cuw said | November 7th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

                @ FIONN

                I guess ur list is based as of now. becoz 2 years is a long time , especially in the concussion obsessed world of today.

                this year is seeing a lot of injuries. now are the numbers more than any other year in the past – i dont know.

                1st of all it maybe good news for auzzy that Rhys Webb and Justin Tipuric are doubtful for Wales – fitness questioned.

                then England have recalled Slade to the squad but have retained Rocoduguni .

                next Scotland have lost Ross Ford.

                the point i’m trying to make is that going forwards, these lists will have little meaning – it will be those who are standing on a particular week and passed fit on match day.

                therefore depth becomes very important for all at a world cup. like when NZ called in Donald at fly half.

                this is what Eddie Jones has publicly stated – 5 fold depth for all positions.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 9:01am
        Ben said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        Ioane and Tamanivalu arent “out and out wingers”.
        Both are converted midfielders who still play midfield albeit occassionally.

        • November 7th 2017 @ 9:06am
          Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

          Sure. Whether you call it an out and out winger or a dedicated finisher, they’re not the performing the fullback/winger hybrid role by the role of a pure finisher.

      • November 7th 2017 @ 9:03am
        robert said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        i think you will find jordie in there somewhere, i think the coaches prefer him over dmac, i think his injury is the only reason why dmac is there

        • November 7th 2017 @ 9:06am
          Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

          Good point, forgot about Jordie!

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2017 @ 2:51pm
        Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

        Quite an Imposing list, with great depth.

        Anyone know who the Chiefs are going to fill Aaron Cruden’s boot? D MacK?

        • Roar Guru

          November 7th 2017 @ 3:16pm
          taylorman said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

          Crudens the big loss for both Chiefs and the ABs. Its no councidence that the ABs were at their best when Cruden and DC were sharing the gig from 2011 on.
          Taken a long time for Barrett to be consistent at 10.
          I dont know why he doesnt prefer fullback with his style of game.
          Hes a case of getting too much ball when he should be picking and choosing more.
          It leaves the ABs flat when he has long periods if doing nothing.

          • November 7th 2017 @ 3:46pm
            Fionn said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

            Even though Ben Smith is, in my opinion, the best fullback in the world and perhaps the best player overall since 2013 I can see him moving back to 14 (which he also plays equally wel), Barrett to fullback and Mounga or Sopoaga to 10 by th RWC.

        • November 7th 2017 @ 3:23pm
          Cuw said | November 7th 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

          actually its 2 Macs

          brothers Damian and Marty McKenzie with U20 fly half Tiaan Falcon.

          interestingly all3 can play at 15 as well .

          but their 2 full backs Tim Nanai-Williams and Shaun Stevenson and allrounder Charlie Ngatai cannot play at 10.

          • November 7th 2017 @ 5:41pm
            Jacko said | November 7th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

            CUW Tim Nanai-Williams and Ngatai are midfielders as well. And Stevenson has played a fair bit of wing.. Versatility all round

            • November 7th 2017 @ 5:50pm
              Cuw said | November 7th 2017 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

              i know. TNW can play anywhere except 10. So can Ngatai but not SS.

              was just focusing on 10 and 15.

          • Roar Guru

            November 7th 2017 @ 7:04pm
            Timbo (L) said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

            I forgot about the other Skywalker. He is an emerging talent too.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 1:05am
        Jumbo said | November 8th 2017 @ 1:05am | ! Report

        Jordie barrett will be starting fullback i suspect.

    • November 7th 2017 @ 7:41am
      crocodile said | November 7th 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      Until the forwards reach their full potential, where it really matters, the back three are just fluff around the edges.

      • Roar Guru

        November 7th 2017 @ 8:37am
        Wal said | November 7th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        Outside backs have never been the Wallabies problem.

        • November 7th 2017 @ 9:02am
          Shaun said | November 7th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

          Spot on… its great promoting the wealth of depth in the outside backs, now do one for the lack of depth at 10 and the tight forwards.

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