Good article. So true, there is a list of questions and we’re on the clock to answer them.
* Are the ‘reserve’ props a stronger starting option than Slipper/Kepu?
* Our best lock combo. Start or use Skelton off the bench? Can we carry Simmons on lineout ability alone? Is the old James Horwill back and does that command a start? Is there a spot for Arnold or Douglas?
* Is Higginbotham up to test standard (hasn’t proven to be so far but his SR form warrants a good look)?
* Is McCalman up to test standard or is an injury-free Palu in enough form to grab the No. 8 jersey?
* To start Genia or Phipps?
* Who is the man to direct the ship at 10? Can Toomua work as a test 10 (Cooper and Foley haven’t really proven to recently or throughout their career) and is it worth considering employing the Brumbies 10/12/13 combo with the first choice 12 now playing at 10 and to draw on Lealiifano’s radar (I think they might be)?
* Does Lealiifano solve our goal kicking woes?
* Is Mitchell still up to test standard and with Speight back, does he beat all others out for the vacant spot in the back 3 (I suspect he holds out Tomane and AAC)?
This is the team I’d be rolling out for the first Bledisloe accordingly:
20 Hooper (McMahon if not available)
From there for Bledisloe 2:
* Hopefully the prop situation becomes a little clearer and I’d start our two favourites to this point.
* Start Horwill and Arnold with Douglas on the bench. Attempt to get a clear picture of our best combination and best 4 to take to England.
* If Higginbotham fails to impress again. Try Mumm at 6.
* Hopefully Cliffy will be ready and we can see where he’s at. Drop McCalman to the loosie spot on the bench for a run in the second half if so.
* Unless it’s an absolute disaster, don’t touch the 10/12/13 combo and give them time to click at this level.
* Hopefully Speight’s back and ready to be tested. I’d sub out Tomane and keep Mitchell to give us a boot in the back 3.
I agree, except the other way around as per their usual Brumbies positions (10- MT, 12- CL).
- 2 play makers
- great defenders (best 2 of those listed in the article)
- direct in attack
- a proven and well-oiled 10/12 combination
- CL is the sharpest shooter in front of the the sticks (a BIG plus)- both career and SR 2015 wise
- composed, consistent, no-frills rugby players whose games are suited to test rugby down to the ground
Give them a shot! CL was the best Wallaby on ground last time we played the AB's.
I seriously doubt that holds any weight 'promotion-wise'.
It's rugby and the Wallaby brand being forwarded to the American public. Nobody there knows who the Wallaby captain is, let alone who Stephen Moore is.
If it's in the best interests of the Wallabies in the lead up to the RWC, Stephen Moore will be rested.
Richie did all the 'promo' work but didn't play at Soldier Field last year. He has a much larger profile in the rugby world than SM does.