Wallabies team to play USA announced

Tristan Rayner Editor

By Tristan Rayner, Tristan Rayner is a Roar Editor

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    The Wallabies team to face the USA this Friday night (6:30pm AEST kickoff) has been announced, with James Horwill allowed to by-pass the match, making Will Genia captain for the first time while the forward line has had a reshuffle following the disastrous loss to Ireland.

    David Pocock and James O’Connor are missing through injury, while Horwill was available for selection but Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said the lock’s work-load is the primary reason behind the decision to allow him to by-pass the match.

    “James played every match of the Super Rugby season this year and has missed just one Test [of the seven] played by the Wallabies,” said Deans.

    “That schedule has taken its toll. He’s had a recurring niggle with his shoulder over the last month. While an MRI earlier in the week cleared him of any major damage, it’s obvious that a break wouldn’t hurt so we have taken that option.”

    Genia said he was honoured to lead the Wallabies:

    “It’s a huge honour, a big responsibility and an occasion that I’m really looking forward to.

    “We’ve got a big job ahead of us. The United States showed against Ireland that they are a totally committed opponent, and our own performance against Ireland, which was not up to the high standards we set for ourselves, will only have offered the Americans further encouragement.”

    In the absence of James O’Connor, resting a hamstring niggle, Quade Cooper will be the primary goal kicker

    “James had a scan yesterday which revealed a strain at the lowest end of the scale. By missing this week to recuperate, we expect him to be available for the match against Russia,” said Deans

    “It’s more of an annoyance than anything but hamstrings are not something that you mess around with.”

    In the absence of O’Connor, flyhalf Quade Cooper returns as Australia’s lead-off goal-kicker.

    Drew Mitchell will start on the wing in the place of O’Connor, while Rob Horne makes his return to Test rugby at inside centre for Pat McCabe.

    Locks Nathan Sharpe and Rob Simmons gain their third Test starts of the season, while James Slipper starts for the first time this year, being named at loosehead prop.

    Deans says the changes represent the best selection options for this assignment.

    “It’s our second six day turnaround in a row so we’re looking to freshen things up a bit,” he says.

    “We are according the USA full respect by opting for the changes we have made,” Deans says, “in order to have a totally fresh and focused team.”

    “The responsibility at the Rugby World Cup was always going to fall on the whole group, both in preparation and on match day, and that’s what is happening here. We trust all of our players which is why we are prepared to make the changes that we have for such an important match.”

    Hooker Saia Fainga’a, originally included on the bench, was ruled out this morning due to a bout of flu while blindside flanker Scott Higginbotham, who was originally scheduled to play, was withdrawn after jarring his back at today’s training session.

    The Wallabies side:

    15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Anthony Fainga’a, 12. Rob Horne, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Ben McCalman, 6. Rocky Elsom, 5. Nathan Sharpe , 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Tatafu Polota Nau, 1. James Slipper

    Run on Reserves:
    16. Stephen Moore, 17. Sekope Kepu, 18. Dan Vickerman, 19. Radike Samo, 20. Luke Burgess, 21. Berrick Barnes, 22. Pat McCabe

    Tristan Rayner
    Tristan Rayner

    Tristan is a writer, consultant, racing enthusiast and former Editor of The Roar who has turned the Melbourne Cup into a year-round study via racingtalk.com.au.

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    The Crowd Says (63)

    • September 21st 2011 @ 12:15pm
      Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

      You have to love Robbie’s optimism.

      Seems to me he’s picking the same team that he would have fielded IF we had actually managed to beat Ireland.

      I’d prefer to see Anthony F at 12 and Rob Horne at 13.

      Finally seeing Sharpie. Our pack had better be up for a good scrap as I reckon the USA will fancy their chances there.

      • Roar Guru

        September 21st 2011 @ 12:56pm
        Who Needs Melon said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        I’d have preferred to see Barnes at 12 and Horne at 13.

        • September 21st 2011 @ 1:25pm
          Mals said | September 21st 2011 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

          Couldn’t agree more, I cannot understand why Barnes is not in the run on team…

          • September 21st 2011 @ 2:10pm
            sheek said | September 21st 2011 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            Double agree!

          • September 21st 2011 @ 2:15pm
            Capital said | September 21st 2011 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            Seconded from the floor

            • September 21st 2011 @ 2:30pm
              cookee said | September 21st 2011 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

              AND,with horwill being rested why has previous capt elsom been overlooked for genia ;not suggesting genia nit up to it but consider elsom could handle b game comfortably?

              • September 21st 2011 @ 2:35pm
                Brett McKay said | September 21st 2011 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

                Cookee, the explanation for that would be that Elsom wasn’t in the team as orignally named. Higginbotham and Saia Fainga’a (on the bench) were both originally in, but then ruled out…

              • September 22nd 2011 @ 7:28am
                Capital said | September 22nd 2011 @ 7:28am | ! Report

                Even if Elsom was named in teh squad – you can’t go back to the future.
                The guys was replaced, not seen as the right man for the job, so you must move forward. And Genia is the obvious replacement IMO – long standing future in the side, close to the action – but not in the trenches, and a smart rugby head.

            • September 21st 2011 @ 3:39pm
              Albo said | September 21st 2011 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

          • September 21st 2011 @ 3:40pm
            Albo said | September 21st 2011 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

            Because he’ll get injured by an overzealous American player looking to make an impact on the international stage… Then what use is he to us when we really need him?

          • September 21st 2011 @ 6:15pm
            jokerman said | September 21st 2011 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

            Barnes, and Mortlock would have been brilliant. the magic with the steel. I have not seen Mortlock play this year, but I was suprised he was not there….I may have missed something…

            Deans does have a habit of closing the door on aging players a little too soon. Chritian Cullen, Anton Oliver, and not picking a fit Tana Umanga in the ’03 RWC semi.

            It is nearly like he is scared to mix the old with the new. The All Blacks have this blend of youth and old.

          • September 21st 2011 @ 6:31pm
            niwdEyaJ said | September 21st 2011 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

            not in the team cos he can’t tackle… did you watch the canada game? fell off a load of tackles but did look good in attack… he’s a 2nd half player when the game opens up a little, wouldn’t put him in the firing line when the opposition is fresh… Nonu would target and run all over him.

      • September 21st 2011 @ 2:52pm
        WQ said | September 21st 2011 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

        C’Mon Blinky, you can’t be serious, the USA overpowering the Wallaby pack?

      • September 21st 2011 @ 6:04pm
        jokerman said | September 21st 2011 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

        A few backward steps here for Australia. The team looks a little light, a few injuries creeping in. I had some slight trepidation with the All Blacks meeting Australia in the final, and Australia having a chance in that match….somehow the thread in the team has unwoven…time will tell, though it’s difficult to see Australia getting past the quarters…if they did, then the All blacks in Semi.

        I feel the All blacks are really going to do it this time. Wow.
        One step at a time though…

    • September 21st 2011 @ 12:15pm
      formeropenside said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

      Great, McCabe has been ditched as a 12. The problem is Horne is the replacement!

      Shame about Higgy missing out on a start at 6, and I’d have been tempted to start S. Finger at 7 to see how it went. Maybe thats the plan for the Russia game.

      • September 21st 2011 @ 12:33pm
        Capital said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        Agree FOS – centre options are unusual?
        Disappointed that Horne is 12, though he probably has more need for 80 minutes than Barnes, but I would have loved to see Barnes start this weekend.
        In a way also glad that AF got another run, but I only hope he can find a rhythm and get involved without the issue that he tries too damn hard.

        Sharpe and Simmons as starters – again interesting, I would not have rested the skipper, though in this regard Sharpe is also an excellent leader.
        And Palu, good to see him get a run and hopefully he can last 60-70 minutes.

        Obviously Deans lasty chance for match fitness with low risk encounter.
        Should be a good test for the fringe rankings 20-25 to make their play. The forwards will certainly get a good workout from what USA have done to date.

        Sudden death – game on.

    • September 21st 2011 @ 12:26pm
      mattamkII said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      FOS – Whats the problem with Horne. Sure the guy has hardly strung 5 games together but he’s 20 times better than McCabe.

      Mind you, I would have put Barnes in over him.

      I said from day one that McCabe runs into contact too upright and takes the ball too deep. Looks awesome at club level or against poor tacklers but once you get up to the big boys you’re going to get smashed, turned over or both. He proved my case for me on Saturday.

      I cringe every time he gets the ball 10 meters away from the line, almost pauses, eye balls the person (not the gap) he’s going to run at then puts on that new born foal running style.

      Kerns and co love him and compare him to Mortlock which is an insult to Sterlo.

      Mortlock never was hard running not stupid running.

    • September 21st 2011 @ 12:26pm
      Johnno said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      robbie Deans very confusing selections.
      Rob Hrone is a nature specialistl outside centre , now playing I/C. Did he ever play I/C for warpaths, i don’t think he did.
      A.Fainanga played lots of I/C with Genia and QC now stays at O/C. Funny tactics.
      Ryan cross or tom carter would of been handy in this squad.

      • September 21st 2011 @ 12:45pm
        Brett McKay said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        Johnno, Anthony Fainga’a played a good chunk of the SR season at 13 though, he had Mike Harris or Ben Tapuai between him and Cooper. It would probably be more of a change to play him at 12, based on where he’s played this year..

        • September 21st 2011 @ 12:49pm
          Johnno said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

          But Horne Brett is a rookie. And he has been asked out out the fires at no 12. Tough call. horn on Nonu or SBW. Have the fires cleared up down in canberra way heard the fire was toxic smoke sounded bad on the news.

          • September 21st 2011 @ 12:55pm
            Brett McKay said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

            I know what you mean, and to an extent I’m still surprised Horne’s even in NZ, considering how little he’s played this season, but he’s played just as much 12 as 13.

            And I’ll politely disagree with you on Cross and Carter, too..

            (All good on the fire front mate, it was all well under control by mid-arvo Friday…)

            • September 21st 2011 @ 12:57pm
              Johnno said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

              All good Brett lol, happy canberra fires have not burnt down the nationa’s capatial. i watched on the news here about floriade the flower show , it will still continue then that is good as it is spring.

            • September 21st 2011 @ 1:01pm
              Justin said | September 21st 2011 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              Nup, Deans has them the wrong way around. It is logical to play AF next to Cooper, he has vast experience there. Horne has played few matches at 12 adn how many with Cooper full stop?

              Either way I dont really know what it means for the future matches.

    • September 21st 2011 @ 12:27pm
      mattamkII said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:27pm | ! Report


      Mortlock was hard running —-should say

    • Roar Guru

      September 21st 2011 @ 12:41pm
      all7days said | September 21st 2011 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

      Why place someone inbetween two players who play all of their Super games together? (Quade/Anthony)
      I don’t get it… Why build new combos when you have proven ones built already. Cooper needs the support.

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