High-five for Gibson by end of April or it’s Tah Tah

Will Knight Columnist

By Will Knight, Will Knight is a Roar Expert

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    As the cricket season winds down, Daryl Gibson will need to have picked up a Michelle Pfeiffer to have any chance of staying on as the Waratahs’ coach.

    Five-fa; five wins from their first eight games – that’s the strike rate the genial Kiwi requires to have any hope of opening his bosses’ doors for a chat about a contract extension.

    It will take a substantial turnaround.

    The Tahs have been underwhelming at best and dismal at times under Gibson. They’ve been mauled. They’ve been mocked. They’ve been made to look ordinary. The Horrotahs label returned.

    With Gibson in charge for the last two seasons, the Tahs have finished 16th and 10th to miss the finals – an emphatic slump after winning the title in 2014 and making the semis a year later.

    In the final year of his contract, Gibson has only the first couple of months of the competition to prove he’s worth sticking with. The Tahs’ big cheeses will want to get his future sorted by mid-season. Every organisation seeks certainty so planning can proceed.

    So by week ten – when the Tahs have their second bye in the last week of April – we will get a very clear picture of whether Gibson is a chance of staying in Sydney.

    That’s eight games of the new 16-match season. Five wins would be par. More than that, he’s naturally got bargaining power in the boardroom. Less than five, and he’s as good as gone. In fact, less than five and he might not even see out the season.

    Much is expected from the Sydneysiders. Their fans are fickle and their rivals love nothing more than laying the boot into the underperforming city slickers.

    But it’s got its rewards; get on a winning streak and the Tahs can create a buzz fairly quickly.

    Mindful that his job is on the line, Gibson has already talked about hitting the ground running. The Waratahs copped it publicly from Wallabies coach Michael Cheika for not being fit enough when they got into camp for last year’s June Tests.

    Gibson has subsequently admitted they got it wrong and conditioning would be addressed leading into 2018. You could assume the Tahs have been flogged over the last six weeks.

    Waratahs Super Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

    The upside for Gibson is that the Waratahs don’t face any New Zealand teams over that opening eight-game block (they have a run of four games against Kiwi teams – the Blues, Crusaders, Highlanders and Chiefs – from week 11).

    They are at home to the Stormers first-up on February 24 – only five weeks away. Then there’s a tricky road trip to take on the Sharks in Durban and the long haul to battle the Jaguares in Buenos Aires. The Melbourne Rebels are next back in Sydney. Gibson would be eyeing a three-from-four start – the South African leg being the toughest clash.

    Following a week five bye, there’s the Brumbies in Canberra, followed by another sizeable trek – this time to meet the Sunwolves in Tokyo. The eight-game package finishes with home games against Queensland and the Lions.

    There shouldn’t be a slip-up against the Sunwolves and the Reds’ backline looks flimsy. Snaring one win out of the other two seems difficult but not insurmountable.

    It’s naturally speculative in January, but the Tahs have a pretty nice early draw in which six early wins looks very achievable. That seems pretty optimistic given the woes of the past two seasons and the moderate changes to the squad.

    Much will depend on the return of Kurtley Beale in the midfield. Rob Simmons, Curtis Rona, Tom Staniforth and Alex Newsome are among the new faces. Rob Horne, Dean Mumm, Will Skelton and David Horwitz are the big losses.

    But the Tahs still have the strongest roster among the Australian teams.

    The biggest concern is in the front five. Sekope Kepu is top-notch, Tolu Latu a weapon when fit and Tom Robertson is solid. Reds outcast Simmons comes in – essentially to replace the retired Mumm – and his second-row partner is likely to be a battle between the inexperienced duo of Staniforth and Ryan McCauley.

    Ned Hanigan might be used as a lock, but Gibson noted at the end of last season that he believes his best position is at No.8.

    Hanigan should start in the second-row – if at all – as Jed Holloway at No.8 gives more punch as a ball-runner. This season is a big one for Jack Dempsey, who was a beast for the Wallabies in their Bledisloe win over the All Blacks.

    Can he maintain that aggro consistently over a full Super Rugby season? Michael Hooper – a class act in so many facets – completes a formidable back-row.

    Will Nick Phipps hold onto his halfback starting spot? Jake Gordon is putting a heap of pressure on him after taking the No.9 jersey from him a few times last year.

    Bernard Foley seems to have lost a bit of spark in his running game but he’s still a top-shelf all-around package at five-eighth. Beale is Gibson’s main man to get the backline humming.

    His combination with Israel Folau is critical, as those two love linking up all over the park. He will also take heat off Foley with his slick kicking and passing game.

    Israel Folau Waratahs Super Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    The Tahs only snared their outside centre a few months ago when Western Force utility Rona signed. He’ll offer a powerful presence and will be itching to be fed by Foley and Beale. More Wallabies caps await for Rona if he lights it up for the Waratahs.

    The reliable Cam Clark is a favourite of Gibson’s on the wing. Who gets the gig on the other side is an intriguing question. Is Taqele Naiyaravoro in shape and ready to rip in? Or as he did at the end of last season, will Gibson go for Bryce Hegarty as a backfield winger who hangs who helps out Folau at fullback?

    Folau is a freak. He’s well rested after missing the Wallabies’ end-of-season Japan and European tour. Some still want to see him at No.13, but that ship has sailed – at least at the Tahs.

    That’s a fifteen with a plenty to like. Perhaps there’s not a heap of squad depth putting pressure on starting spots which is usually a hallmark among top-level teams in all sports. But the core is strong.

    So it’s all about a fast start for Gibson, although even if the Waratahs are flying, his bosses might want to see how they are matched against the benchmark New Zealand teams. Nonetheless, the first eight games shape his future.

    He will hope to have the Tahs humming for their last trial on February 15 against the Rebels at Brookvale Oval as building momentum is crucial. Get in a hole – especially on the big trip away to Durban and Buenos Aires – and it will get gloomy quickly.

    A fellow Kiwi – Simon Cron – has come on as an assistant coach and has been tasked with firing up a forward pack that looks like it could do with a bit more grunt up front.

    Perhaps Gibson doesn’t even want to stay in Sydney. But if he wants to stay in coaching he’ll still need to get his side rolling, and early. After all, he’s had a top-notch squad to work with. Improving his record is vital.

    Will Knight
    Will Knight

    An AAP writer for more than a decade, Will Knight does his best to make sense of all things cricket, rugby union and rugby league, all while trying to have a laugh along the way. You can find him on Twitter @WKnightrider.

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    The Crowd Says (99)

    • January 19th 2018 @ 8:20am
      Fionn said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      The Tahs have the strongest roster among the Australian teams? Perhaps second strongest, maybe third strongest, but definitely not strongest – that would be the Rebels.

      • January 19th 2018 @ 8:50am
        jack said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        unusually I have to agree with you on this one. Saying the Tahs have the strongest roster among the Australian teams in the face of Brumbies clear superiority coming from last year first in the Aussie conference and the new and improved Rebels is laughable.

      • Roar Guru

        January 19th 2018 @ 8:55am
        PeterK said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report

        agree , only better than the reds since they have lost both Cooper and Hunt and maybe Smith

        They also have the worst coach in Gibson

        • January 19th 2018 @ 3:53pm
          AJ said | January 19th 2018 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

          How is it possible for Gibson to retain his position.
          Its just remarkable.
          If any other Rugby Team he would be long gone.
          Not only Rugby . Any major professional team.
          What is going to improve.They will lose 4 or 5 games and Gibson will say he is not concerned.
          Surely there is an Australian coach better than this 2nd rate New Zealander.
          But then it is a New Zealand owned and run team.

          • January 21st 2018 @ 5:46pm
            Redsfan1 said | January 21st 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

            That’s why I’ve given up on ‘Australian’ rugby. Kiwi coaches and nearly all the players are Kiwis or from the Pacific Islands. Any decent Australian player goes straight to Europe.

      • January 19th 2018 @ 9:37am
        Markus said | January 19th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Absolutely, Rebels strongest on paper, Brumbies second, and possibly considered strongest overall due to the cohesion of their starting XV, especially their forward pack.

        • Columnist

          January 19th 2018 @ 10:29am
          Will Knight said | January 19th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

          Agreed Brumbies pack quality, but like the Rebels they look light on for backline line-breakers and point-scorers.

          • Roar Guru

            January 19th 2018 @ 10:50am
            PeterK said | January 19th 2018 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            Brumbies backline has Banks, Speight and Kuridrani and yes is shaded in terms of attack of attack.

            Rebels have Genia, Hodge, Naivalu, Koroiebete, and Haylett-Petty and IMO have a better set of backline line breakers and point scorers. That is 5 of the 7 backline positions.

            Tahs have Beale, Rona and Folau in comparison.

            • January 19th 2018 @ 11:02am
              Fionn said | January 19th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              Beale and Folau are probably both better than any Brumbies in terms of offence, but Lealiifano is a better playmaker and I would rate Banks, Speight, Peni and Kuridrani over any of the rest of the Tahs in attack.

              • January 19th 2018 @ 5:09pm
                MitchO said | January 19th 2018 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                Agree with you Fionn and PK. The Brumbies have spent more time together and with CLL coming in to be a good 10 it will make Godwin at 12s life easier. He can defend well, kick okay and just need to be the link between 10 and TK at 13. Peni and Banks and at super level Speight have enough strike power. And they’ve got a good props to assist and Pocock to get out and about and support.

                The Rebels have Meakes liking I though Lance at 10 (unless he’s left?) with maybe Hodge at 13 and DHPs boot at 15. Ruru to back up Genia. Bolted onto a very strong pack. That Rebels pack is one of the best in the competition. Timani and RHP maybe the worst players in it and they are both good effective guys to have in a super rugby pack. The Force pack matched up very well against the Crusaders pack and Crusaders had pretty much an AB pack. The Rebels pack is better than last years’ Force.

                I appreciate that the Warratahs played halves of rugby last year where they were dominant so they just need to find another 40 minutes per game. The problem with the fitness argument is that from memory the better halves were the second half not the first. BUT the warratahs lack grunt in the forwards. Maybe Holloway and Dempsey on the paddock will give that to them. Simmons will improve that pack but he doesn’t give them the grunt they need and Dempsey is not heavy enough.

              • January 20th 2018 @ 10:40am
                scubasteve said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                Taquele on the wing is a weapon. Look at his stats from last year. Exposed for the chip yes but then everyone has their weakness. Get the ball in his hands and watch him run over two tacklers. Tahs just need to play in attack (not every play) to suit his skills. Rona creates a very interesting link between Taquele and Beale. I like this backline if Gordan can strenghten his passing game. Between Gordan and Foley there isn’t a long pass to get it out quick.

              • January 20th 2018 @ 10:55am
                Fionn said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

                Taquele is virtually unstoppable by a single tackler once he gets up speed, but he has literally no step to speak of and his acceleration is so slow.

                His try vs the Highlanders when he ran through Ben Smith is an example of when he is unstoppable, but he required about a 20m+ run up to do it. Too often he takes the ball and is running too slowly to be a real threat.

          • January 20th 2018 @ 2:05pm
            Train Without A Station said | January 20th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

            Three Australian backs were inthe Top 20 players for line breaks in the entire Super Rugby competition in 2017.

            Marika Koribete was one of them. The Rebels will also have Naivalu who is almost as potent available as well as Jack Maddocks who per minute played, was as effective at breaking the line as the competition leader.

            Have you developed your opinion based on any actual facts?

            • January 20th 2018 @ 3:23pm
              Fionn said | January 20th 2018 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

              Do you think Koroibete is better than Naivalu, TWAS? They seem pretty similarly devastating in my opinion.

              • January 20th 2018 @ 4:24pm
                Train Without A Station said | January 20th 2018 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                I personally think Naivalu is better but he seems to have a lot of injury issues unfortunately.

              • January 20th 2018 @ 5:07pm
                Fionn said | January 20th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

                I personally agree. I got a chewing off from a certain poster on this site for daring to suggest Naivalu was better, however.

                Both good wingers. It’s good we have two of them. Rebels look deadly, although I still think Hodge should play 13 as he will get the ball out to the wingers more than Meakes or English.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 9:21am
                John R said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

                Word is that Hodge is likely to start the season at 13, which I presume would put Meakes at 12.

                Not sure what the plans for Horwitz are.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 11:47am
                jeznez said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                With Lance injured and if as you say Hodge is down for 13 then Horwitz will likely be at 10 or at least the back up 10.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 2:29pm
                John R said | January 22nd 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                They should at least get a look at Horwitz at ten.

                He won the Ken Catchpole medal playing at ten, so he’s got experience.

                Jack Debreczini is back too, but he’s been a bit underwhelming at ten. Maybe Wessel’s can unlock his potential there though.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 2:47pm
                Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                John R, I really like the thought of Jack Maddocks at 10.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 3:05pm
                John R said | January 22nd 2018 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

                Yeah I was pretty impressed with him in the NRC as well (and his sweet mullet).

                It’s obviously a big step up to Super Rugby, but would be great to see him get some decent minutes.

      • Columnist

        January 19th 2018 @ 10:26am
        Will Knight said | January 19th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        A backline that includes Foley, Beale and Folau – there’s three top-drawer players. Hooper, Kepu, Dempsey in the pack. Simmons and Phipps have plenty of Wallabies caps. The Rebels and Brumbies don’t boast as many proven influential spine players.

        • January 19th 2018 @ 10:37am
          Fionn said | January 19th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

          Phipps isn’t proven at any level, Beale and Foley have proven they can’t defend and Folau was abysmal in 2017 for the Waratahs. Simmons ia good but not a power player and Dempsey is coming back from a serious injury and has a history of being injured often.

          Kepu, Hooper and Folau are the only all-round top players, while Beale is mercurial. Foley is Foley.

          I personally think the Brumbies are better and would joyfully take the group of Pocock, Lealiifano, Banks, Kurodrani, Powell, Naisarani and Sio and Alalalatoa over the corresponding group of Tahs.

          Regardless, even if the Brumbies are borderline the Rebels are unquestionably the best squad on paper.

          • Roar Guru

            January 19th 2018 @ 11:24am
            jeznez said | January 19th 2018 @ 11:24am | ! Report

            Yep – I rank the Tahs as number 3 out of the 4 Aussie squads.

            Many of the same issues from last season will continue to plague them this season – they are not physical enough in the pack and do not have a breakdown work ethic across the entire team.

            With Folau and Foley they have kicking issues in key areas and the whole team will need to tighten their defence enormously – a midfield of Foley, Beale and Rona doesn’t inspire in that space.

            They should show plenty on wider attack with Hooper, Foley, Beale, Folau, Rona and Naiyaravoro – what they do when the opposition have the ball is a different matter. And apart from Kepu and Latu – they are underpowered in tight where they will need to earn the right to go wide.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:29am
              Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:29am | ! Report

              I agree, jez, in attack they should be top notch.

              That said, I am concerned about their ball carrying in the forwards, their ability to compete at the breakdown, their kicking and their defence.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am
                jeznez said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

                Yeah, only four key issues! But at least they will apparently be much fitter this season!

                Despite them being very much a second half team last yea, so seemingly not as big an issue them.

                I guess we need to add another item to the list. Based on last year they need to start much more strongly in matches this season

        • January 19th 2018 @ 6:14pm
          MitchO said | January 19th 2018 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

          Will you are not quite correct and certainly not when you look at the entire 15.

          Foley is probably australia’s best 10 at the moment but CLL has played a few Wallabies games and is no worse a player. The Rebels have Lance is good enough to match up on Foley. Lance has done well for his whole career, just had an injury problem or two.

          Beale is probably Australia’s best 12 but both Godwin and Meakes have the D to shut him down and enough attack to link with other players.

          Folau is one of the best in the world and every one would love him – but Banks looks good at the Brumbies and DHP is test class (albeit only just) with a proper boot. In fact Lance, Hodge and DHP all have the boots to get the Rebels out of trouble.

          Hooper is one of the best 7s in world rugby but he plays a unique style and the Brumbies have a guy named David Pocock whom many (myself included) would prefer to have. The Rebels have to make do with Hardwick and Colby Fainga who are both good enough. Hardwick is good enough to get the job done at test level.

          Kepu is austraia’s best tighthead but the second best is AAA at the Brumbies and Ainslie at the Rebel’s maybe third best. Advantage Tahs but Rebels have it covered sufficiently with the Tahs in real trouble by having Robertson scrumming at loosehead.

          Simmons at lock vs Carter at the Brumbies is a draw. Same player different name. vs the Rebels who have Coleman, Geoff Parling (35 years old but didn’t he play for england and the Lions?) and even Matt Philip.

          Dempsey vs Nasarini at the Brumbies and vs Hardwick, RHP and Timani at the Rebels.

          Rona at 13 is a good centre but TK for the Brumbies and Hodge at the Rebels are both good enough.

          And in the Rebels back row is Amanaki Mafi who is one of the best 8s in world rugby.

          The Tahs lack a good scrum and lack lots of grunt in the forwards and their back will not be able to save them from that. The Rebels on the other have a very solid front row plus reserves with close to the best back five in the forwards going around. The Force were a good enough pack but add Amanaki Mafi, Jordan Uelese and Parling (if he’s still up for it) and the combination is stronger. That is not allowing for all the young Force forwards being one year older, stronger and smarter.

          • January 20th 2018 @ 11:14am
            scubasteve said | January 20th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

            I put the Tah’s forwards in the one year older and experience as well (as well as Ulelse).

            How will Dempsey, Holloway and Hanigan look in 2018? Another preseason of bulk? Robertson as much as I agree with the past is also still maturing. A lot of Chieka’s blooding has been for 2019.

            • January 20th 2018 @ 11:23am
              Fionn said | January 20th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

              Hanigan nor Robertson have demonstrated anything to suggest they will be a good Wallabies or even very good SR level players by 2019. Dempsey cannot stay uninjured.

              That being said, Cheika’s made his bed, now he needs to sleep in it.

      • January 19th 2018 @ 2:00pm
        MA said | January 19th 2018 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

        Surely this is a PR written piece from inside the Tah’s camp as it doesn’t resemble any reality based on actual form or past performance I know of.

    • January 19th 2018 @ 8:27am
      Jimmy james said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      I’m a Waratahs tragic and regularly start the season with tha same positivity. No doubt Reds fans will react to your claims their back line is flimsy. More serious however are your claims that a Hanigan should start in the second row. He just doesn’t have the stats to play there at this level. Outside of Hollaway and possibly McCalman, the Tahs have a lightweight backrow. Last thing they need is a lightweight second row. I imagine Gibson will begin the season with Hanigan, Hooper and Hollaway in th backrow with Dempsey and McCalman back in the mix by mid season.

      • January 19th 2018 @ 10:40am
        jameswm said | January 19th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        is McCalman injured? I know his signing by the Tahs was subject to a medical. I could handle McCalman at 6, Holloway at 8 and Hooper at 7, with Dempsey to come into the mix if he proves fitness. McCalman is a good signing if he can play 75% of the games.

        • January 19th 2018 @ 11:22am
          Boomeranga said | January 19th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

          I wonder if they will look at Nick Palmer at 6. He is pretty light for a super rugby lock (similar size to Fardy I think), and has history / connection with Cron being a Norths player from Cron’s time as coach there which may work for him. I think he also has lower level experience in the back row and at 26/27 is a more mature body.

        • Roar Guru

          January 19th 2018 @ 11:27am
          jeznez said | January 19th 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

          No announcement yet James – suspect the longer it goes on that it means McCalman won’t pass the medical.

          He’s broken the same shoulder blade at least three times, possibly four now. I really feel for the guy if this ends his career.

    • January 19th 2018 @ 8:40am
      Fionn said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      If anyone is interested Wayne Smith has written an article in the Australian indicating that Jack Maddocks may play flyhalf for the Rebels this year as Lance wants to return to Worcester. If so, it is a very intriguing thought, and if I’m honest, I am pretty excited by the idea.

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/rugby-union/rookie-jack-maddocks-in-line-at-rebels/news-story/44e5ef85f588820214eb7437fcc7c8ae

      • January 19th 2018 @ 8:52am
        jack said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

        thank you Fionn, the world is back in order – I’m sorry I don’t rate Jack Maddocks with the same enthusiasm you do, for me, he is an invisible player – so nothing to see (IMO)

        • January 19th 2018 @ 8:58am
          Fionn said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

          Given his age and experience it would make sense that the would be mostly invisible.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 19th 2018 @ 9:07am
          Paul D said | January 19th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

          I like Maddocks. He’s young and lacks experience but the ingredients are there. Though I see him as a 15 and would’ve expected him to be DHP’s understudy this year. I have not seen the playmaking from him so don’t know about him at 10. He couldn’t be much worse than Hodge though. I hope the Rebels are giving Horwitz a chance in training at 10.

        • January 19th 2018 @ 11:41am
          concerned supporter said | January 19th 2018 @ 11:41am | ! Report

          Jack,
          Are you a good judge?Have you seen him play No 10?
          He has a brilliant catch pass game, very good/good running & kicking game, good defence.
          Game management the only query.

          • January 19th 2018 @ 2:11pm
            jack said | January 19th 2018 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            no I am not a good judge – no doubt about it, just my opinion

    • Roar Guru

      January 19th 2018 @ 9:01am
      PeterK said | January 19th 2018 @ 9:01am | ! Report

      Until the Rona signing and maybe McCalman and with Cooper and Hunt in the reds squad I thought the tahs (with Gibson as coach) would be the worst performed of the oz super rugby teams, only beating Sunwolves and maybe jagueres in the year.

      Now I think they will beat the reds as well with these changes.

      They will lose to every NZ and SA team.

      So they will finish either 12th or 13th from 15 in the comp.

      If it pans out this way I really hope Gibson is booted mid season and good riddance.

      • Roar Guru

        January 19th 2018 @ 9:34am
        Machooka said | January 19th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        Whose a happy positive chappy there Pete!?!

        🙂

        • Roar Guru

          January 19th 2018 @ 10:59am
          PeterK said | January 19th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          on the bright side the season has more chance of turning out better than I expected so at least I won’t be disappointed.

          • January 19th 2018 @ 8:37pm
            riddler said | January 19th 2018 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

            sorry peter .. the reds will beat the tahs…

            we are going to be the surprise packet..

            everyone is writing off because of no cooper..

            i see silver linings!!

            • January 20th 2018 @ 8:11pm
              Train Without A Station said | January 20th 2018 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

              No.

              Everybody is writing the Reds off because we struggled in 2017, and have only got departures of proven players and no additions barring a big recruit – Ben Lucas…

    • Roar Guru

      January 19th 2018 @ 9:14am
      PeterK said | January 19th 2018 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      Merge brumbies / tahs

      01 Sio
      02 Latu
      03 Kepu
      04 Arnold
      05 Simmons
      06 Dempsey
      07 Pocock
      08 Naisarani

      09 Powell
      10 Leiliifano
      11 Speight
      12 Beale
      13 Kuridrani
      14 Folau
      15 Banks

      more brumbies

      Merge rebels / tahs

      01 any rebel LHP
      02 Uelese
      03 Kepu
      04 Coleman
      05 Philip
      06 Dempsey
      07 Hooper
      08 Mafi

      09 Genia or Ruru
      10 Foley
      11 Naivalu
      12 Beale
      13 Hodge
      14 Koroirbete
      15 Folau

      Rebels have more

      • January 19th 2018 @ 11:58am
        Jacko said | January 19th 2018 @ 11:58am | ! Report

        Merge them all…Call it Australia

        • January 19th 2018 @ 6:22pm
          Adsa said | January 19th 2018 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

          No the Australian side is the tahs with some token picks from other teams.

    • January 19th 2018 @ 9:17am
      Neil said | January 19th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Agree with you, Jimmy. Simply having Simmons in there makes the 2nd row “flimsy”. What was Gibson thinking?

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