Wallabies selection: who are the Lion tamers?

Worlds Biggest Roar Pro

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    In less than three months’ time the British and Irish Lions will arrive on Australian soil along with 30,000 fanatical supporters.

    This is a tour unlike any other in sport. I have been fortunate enough to attend five Lions Test games, all incredible occasions.

    This Lions squad will be very strong across the board, it will take a herculean effort by the Wallabies to win the series.

    With that I am going to pick my Wallabies team for the first Test at Suncorp Stadium.

    I am taking into account players that should be returning and selecting a few out of their current Super Rugby positions.

    Wallabies First XV vs British and Irish Lions

    1. Benn Robinson
    2. Stephen Moore
    3. Sekope Kepu
    4. James Horwill
    5. Kane Douglas
    6. Ben Mowen
    7. David Pocock (c)
    8. Wycliff Palu
    9. Will Genia
    10. Quade Cooper
    11. James O’Connor
    12. Ben Tapuai
    13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
    14. Digby Ioane
    15. Kurtley Beale

    I think our backs (if the right players are selected) can match it with the Lions however it’s the forwards that concern me, which is no surprise.

    James Horwill will be underdone however we need his grunt and experience. Ben Mowen is a smokey, however we are still searching for a number six so why not give him a run.

    His card is probably stamped however I would pick him. Sekope Kepu needs to lift his game.

    I don’t know if this team is good enough to win the series however it’s one I would like to see selected in the first International.

    No more selecting plodders such as Dave Dennis, Pat McCabe and Ryan Harris. Pick the best possible players in the right positions, please Robbie Deans.

    Roarers, what’s your team?

    Have Your Say

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    The Crowd Says (145)

    • March 5th 2013 @ 3:27am
      Johnno said | March 5th 2013 @ 3:27am | ! Report

      Good team but mine’s a bit different

      15)Jesse Mogg
      14)Digby Ioane
      13)Mitch Inman
      12)Ben Tapuai
      11)Clyde Rathbone
      10)Quade Cooper
      9)Will Genia
      8)Wycliff Palu
      7)Dave Pocock
      5) Timani Senior
      4)James Horwill (c)
      3)Dan Palmer
      1)Ben Robinson

      Kurtley Beale,Pat Mcabe,Brett Sheehan,Steve Moore,Kane Douglas, Timani Junior,Ben Alexander,Laurie Weekes

      -Jesse Mogg for all the doubters has a massive boot, which is crucial for a full back (think Dagg,Steyn,Halfpenny,Andy Goode,ROb Kearney,Matt Burke), you need a fullback who can gain territory via kicking game, Mogg has that. And he is so fast as well, will link up well with other teammates.

      -Rathbone is big , strong, explosive just ask JOC, who he flattened . He just shades Joe Tomane for the other wing spot.

      -Mitch Inman big storng, 6’3 105kg and fast will be a big guy who can negate Tuilagi to a degree he is 2 inches taller, he is more physical than AAC who for mine has looked flat in attack, still good in defence but lacking in any attacking thrust.

      -Dan Palmer is a better scrummager than Ben Alexander. We will need it in the 1st half, remember Phil Vickery getting popped in the Lions series game 1, set the tone of the series. 1st half scrums really count, bring Ben Alexander on in the 2nd half at half time, his running game will be an asset 2nd half. Laurie Weekes has been impressive physical, and into everything, offers more than Kepu, who isn;t in good form right now.

      Beale, and Pat Mcabe both have good utility value , and good under pressure, both will be used in the 2nd half.

      TImani junior is so explosive and has looked good, has far more impact andpower than Ben Mowen, in matches that will get very physical. Fotu Auelua is very physical too would be a very handy bench player come on last 30, as would Samo. All 3 of these guys can rough the other team up, and high impact in last 30 minutes, Ben Mowen won’t have the same impact .

      And Steve Moore can bring it home in the 2nd half or last 35 minutes, cool under pressure, let TPN off the leash to go hard and rough up the Lion’s, and bruise them with some runs, and big tackles.

      Same with Timani senior let him go hard, for 45 minutes rough up the Lion’s then Kane DOuglas can bring it home with Horwill.

      All in all our best 25-30 players can match the Lion’s, only player’s I truly fear are Jamie Roberts, Manu Tuilagi and Richard Gray. But fingers crossed we have a near full strength squad. And we can win , going to be enthralling series.

      • March 5th 2013 @ 4:09am
        Hightackle said | March 5th 2013 @ 4:09am | ! Report

        It will be something like.


      • March 5th 2013 @ 4:29am
        ScrumJunkie said | March 5th 2013 @ 4:29am | ! Report

        Hard to argue with much of that team Johnno, except you left JOC out of the whole squad. I’m also a Mogg fan, but don’t you think it’s a tough ask to throw in him in the deep end for a debut at 15 in the first Lions test?

        I’d have him on the bench, maybe, depending on the fitness of the other fullback options.

        Agree that you want you’re tighthead to be someone who’s been playing a lot in that position in the build up to a Lions series. I think Deans will still pick Alexander at 3 however.

        Even harder to argue with HT’s, especially if I was picking what I think Dean’s will do.

        • March 5th 2013 @ 4:39am
          Johnno said | March 5th 2013 @ 4:39am | ! Report

          JOC was my back up back, the 24th man. For me Mcabe offers a little more not by much though. If an injury happens early on Mcabe’s defence is so good, and he is a hard runner, and good under pressure, and he will be physical at I/C or wing, and can play full back verl well too.

          JOC lacks a bit of size, is strong but lacks size, his defence is medium. The Lion’s backline will be pretty big , and it will be a physical series, I only see JOC as a fullback and nothing else , can fill in the wing but for me is a fullback now or a fill in five eigth. Long term he probably will be a five eigth.

          Mogg may not have played test footy but , you have to debut some time, his massive boot, and speed will be crucial if he gets a gap , or support play he will have a lot of pace.

          And Mogg will be 24 by the time the Lion’s series starts, he is 1 year old than JOC, so he has been around long enough 24 is no spring chicken.

          • March 5th 2013 @ 5:17am
            ScrumJunkie said | March 5th 2013 @ 5:17am | ! Report

            You’ve just about got me convinced.

            One thing I will say about McCabe, I’m really quite fearfull of the injuries he could suffer if played at 12 at test level, especially with the likes of Tuilagi and Roberts trying to run through him. The bloke has no concern for his own well being.

            • March 5th 2013 @ 5:24am
              Johnno said | March 5th 2013 @ 5:24am | ! Report

              True but even if he only lasts 1 match he will do his job, defend as if his life depends on it. You have to be born with that courage it can’t be coached, you either have that or you don’t, most player’s don’t Mcabe has that.

              -Mcabe has handled big centres JDevilliers, Ma Nonu comfortably before, so is fine. That I/C defensive channel is crucial.

              Mcabe is 6’1 so he is not short either.

              • March 5th 2013 @ 9:05am
                nickoldschool said | March 5th 2013 @ 9:05am | ! Report

                You’re right Johnno. Always thought McCabe was smaller! Not sure he is a world class twelve but he is definitely one of the few wallabies who put his body on the line at every test match.

          • March 5th 2013 @ 9:15am
            Boomeranga said | March 5th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

            I think JOC is a must. He’s a gun, plus if we pick him we don’t need to then squeeze a Barnes or Harris in. You can still pick them obviously but it would be a legitimate choice not predominately driven by goal kicking.

          • March 5th 2013 @ 10:40am
            WOLF said | March 5th 2013 @ 10:40am | ! Report

            Johnno. Are you serious in saying Mccabe is a better fit than JOC.
            As iv’e said before Mogg, Inman, Rathbone and Quade will not make the squad.

            Are you convinced that QC is the best 10 in the country?

            You are delusional!

      • Roar Guru

        March 5th 2013 @ 8:46am
        B-Rock said | March 5th 2013 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        I think we have had this conversation before Johnno

        Selecting on size is not a realistic strategy to beat the Lions (or anyone for that matter). Our only chance is to try to compete on our terms – not theirs. Sacrificing skills for size without gaining a comparative size advantage (Lions will still be bigger than your team above) is just silly. Johnno – do you seriously think that Inman, Rath, Timani Jr and Palmer are up to it?

        While coaching tactics are crucial, we need the likes of KB and JOC out there to open them up. We will be undersized no matter who we select, lets try to beat them to the breakdown and go round them not through them

        I personally would lean very close to Worlds Biggest’s team above

        • March 5th 2013 @ 8:58am
          mania said | March 5th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

          totally agree B-Rock – picking solely on size is slowly killing aus rugby. brains and skills is so much more important than size. waste of time having a big fast strong player if he’s stupid and stands around doing nothing. the saying “a good big man will always beat a good small man” doesnt point out tho that “a small smart man will always beat a big dumb man”

          • Roar Guru

            March 5th 2013 @ 4:49pm
            jeznez said | March 5th 2013 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

            B-Rock – I agree and am also similar in the pack to WB’s team. At the moment Kepu has done nothing to warrant selection though and think that Alexander, Palmer and Slipper are all in front with Ryan possibly edging him as well.

            6 is wide open as well and I like to think that the two rangas are in the frame Kimlin and Quirk.

            Final comment is on 8 – Palu is a default selection but rolled an ankle on the weekend and may be out for a while. Will have to see who puts their hand up in the coming weeks. Given he is a Deans favourite McCalman could come back into frame.

            • March 6th 2013 @ 3:25pm
              Bananas said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

              The attrician rate will probably see about 20 forwards required
              Run on eight Robinson Moore Alexander Horwill Douglas Higgs Pocock Mowen
              Bench from TPN Faiinga Palmer Ryan Slipper Simmonds Fardy Mcmeniman Pyle Jones Gill Hooper
              It might seem a little harsh on the incumbent backs but Ioane is the only likely survivor from the last run on Wallaby backline of Phipps Beale Cummins Tapuai AAC Ioane Barnes. My fantasy backline is – Genia Lealiifano Mogg O’Connor Ioane Volavola Beale with backup from White Cooper Cummins and the door is ajar should Folau fulfill.

        • March 7th 2013 @ 2:29am
          Malo said | March 7th 2013 @ 2:29am | ! Report

          KB, qc and JOC are the past, they are myths premadonnas who have no respect for the jersey lets look for the future and people playing in good S15 form. KBs defence was pathetic before his shoulder and hand injury, qc hasnt played well since 2011, and JOC is worried about his looks and is arrogant as. Campaign AXE THE THREE AMIGOS.

      • March 5th 2013 @ 8:49am
        adsa said | March 5th 2013 @ 8:49am | ! Report

        Inman was shown up for a lack of pace on friday against the tahs.

      • March 5th 2013 @ 10:32am
        WOLF said | March 5th 2013 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Nice try Johnno

      • March 5th 2013 @ 12:06pm
        Simon_Sez said | March 5th 2013 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        Johnno, where in the starting line of the Wallaby backs is AAC, JOC, Berrick Barnes, Volavola, Folau, F’Sautia, Lealiifano, Speight, KB?…you don’t have to answer! It is much more competitive to win a spot in the Wallaby backs and the value of the jersey is appreciating. We can thank the quality of the coaching of the Super 15 teams bringing through more talent. With regard to Quade Cooper, he is going to find it very hard to make the Wallabies this year, he is really missing Will Genia making him look good.

        • March 5th 2013 @ 1:40pm
          RebelRanger said | March 5th 2013 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          If you’re considering Volavola, Folau, F’Sautia and Speight for Wallabies there may be competition but at a very low level.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 1:04pm
        BetterRedThanDead said | March 15th 2013 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

        Agree with most less comments re McCabe, who is too small to have the impact needed, Rathbone (seriously?) and Dan Palmer / Ben Alexander. The focus has been too long on the front three of the tight 5 as the source of our scrummaging problems which, in my view, has been a mistake. Timani demonstarted where the problem has really been – soft locks not giving enough weight in the scrums. BA is an adequate tighthead, however his placation of Phil Vickery (a far better technical prop) was acheived largely as a result of the huge weight given to him by Sitaleki Timani. And I bet he would confess to that himself.

        Our locks have been pillows in the scrums for too long and we will get owned if the pair we pick cannot or will not support the front three adequately.

        Also reckon Dom Shipperley has been given a raw deal and needs to be seriously considered

    • March 5th 2013 @ 3:43am
      Billy Bob said | March 5th 2013 @ 3:43am | ! Report

      Great positivity there Johnno.

    • March 5th 2013 @ 3:47am
      bluerose said | March 5th 2013 @ 3:47am | ! Report

      we need size, speed, strength and skills so my team would be

      1-Ben Robinson.
      2-Stephen Moore.
      3-Dan Palmer.
      4-James Horwill.
      5-Kane Douglass.
      6-Scott Fardy.
      7-David Pocock.
      8-Wyclef Palu.
      9-Will Genia.
      10-Quade Cooper.
      11-Digby Ioane.
      12-Christian Leali’ifano.
      13-Joseph Tomane.
      14-James O’Connor.
      15-Jessie Mogg.

      • March 5th 2013 @ 6:31pm
        Terry Kidd said | March 5th 2013 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

        Bluerose, I think you gave it a good shot and in the pack its only THP that I have doubt over. I don’t really like Palmer’s work around the field. I think Kepu and Alexander will get the nod there but another I like is Paddy Ryan, now there is a bloke on the rise.

        I do have issues with your backline. I think 10 is quite open at the moment and Beale will probably get first shot but I would like to see Lealiafano get a shot. I think his skills are being wasted at the Brumbies at the moment simply to get Toomua into the run on team. I don’t think that Digby has earnt a spot but will probably get selected.

        My backline would be Genia, Beale, Lealiafano, ACC, JOC, Honey Badger, Mogg ….. pace and skill and no defensive speed bumps.

      • March 9th 2013 @ 10:17am
        Crazy Horse said | March 9th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        You wa t “size, speed and strength” yet you’ve left out Cummins and play the undersized JOC at 14 instead?

    • Roar Guru

      March 5th 2013 @ 3:55am
      biltongbek said | March 5th 2013 @ 3:55am | ! Report

      The concerning aspect here should be the suggestion that Beale play 15 and O’Connor 11 against the Lions.

      That is not the positions they play in Super Rugby, now I do realise they are both talented plauers, but they are honing their skills in different positions.

      Perhaps one of th reasons why the Wallaby attack struggle at times.

      • March 5th 2013 @ 6:58am
        nickoldschool said | March 5th 2013 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        Same here. I think JOC would (re)adapt ok on the wing but to play KB at FB if he stays at ten with the Rebels is a big call. If Mogg, or any other full back, has a great SR season they should get the starting spot with the wallabies.

        Looking at everyone’s team, it looks like the midfield is still very much up for grabs, which is a bit of a worry.

        • March 5th 2013 @ 7:04am
          mania said | March 5th 2013 @ 7:04am | ! Report

          joc is definately one of the most adaptive players in aus rugby, right up there with AAC. but as good as joc has been mogg is playing awesome so far and deserves a call up.
          beale had a great 2010 season but he hasnt shown any as #15 form since. beale cannot be handed the #15 jersey, way too big a risk and hs last game there wasnt impressive. has he improved considering he’s been playing #10 all this time? i doubt it.
          i’m worried that some how folau will get the nod ahead of mogg. moggs in the wrong team if past seasons are anything to go by.

          • March 5th 2013 @ 7:32am
            nickoldschool said | March 5th 2013 @ 7:32am | ! Report

            agree re Mogg mania. I still want to believe that Folau wouldnt get a jersey if the wallabies were named today. But we have seen some strangest selections in the past.

            • March 5th 2013 @ 7:37am
              mania said | March 5th 2013 @ 7:37am | ! Report

              yeah nos, i’m a probably being a bit paranoid. no way should folau get a test jersey when u have mogg and joc on offer.
              but then again i was surprised how easily all the other league converts were given test jerseys. as good as mattRogers was (and he was awesome imo), there is no way he was a better fullback than chrisLatham (who was on par with cullen imo) but still it happened.

    • March 5th 2013 @ 4:22am
      Hightackle said | March 5th 2013 @ 4:22am | ! Report

      Imo the Wallabies will really struggle to win against the Lions. Australias weakest points are lineouts, tactical kicking, scrums and under the high ball.
      The Lions will pick a team (should) that has good tactical and place kicking, strong set piece and good under the high ball and force Aust to kick or run out of its own half.
      I think the Lions coach will pick

      1) Sheridan
      2) Best
      3) Cole/Jones
      4) Gray
      5) Hamilton
      6) Ferris/R.Jones/Croft
      7) Robshaw
      8) Morgan/Felatau
      9) Youngs/Phillips
      10) Farrell/Wilkinson
      11) Zebo
      12) BOD
      13) Tuilagi
      14) Halfpenny
      15) Kearney

      And imo Aust will really struggle against a side like this

      • March 5th 2013 @ 4:28am
        Johnno said | March 5th 2013 @ 4:28am | ! Report

        Either way I just can’t leave Manu Tuilagi out of the starting line-up he is too good now, ripped through the AB’S too.

        Tuilagi played I/C on the STH Africa tour he did well I would put him there, and put BOD at 13 . Jamie Roberts will be tough call to leave out though, but if BOD still has the fitness for a Lion’s tour he must start. Tuilagi could play wing too.

      • March 5th 2013 @ 6:40am
        Red Menace said | March 5th 2013 @ 6:40am | ! Report

        No George North? You wll find Ashton will be the other winger and Halfpenny to fullback….which makes it a stronger side. I have doubts about Robshaw at 7, I would have had O’Brien but his form has fallen away. Robshaw plays like a 6/8 but I won’t be surprised if he is named Captain.
        As for the Wallabies, can we wait a couple of months, so we can truely gauge form.

        • March 6th 2013 @ 12:41am
          Hightackle said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:41am | ! Report

          No George North.
          Imo he is not the best option and Im a big fan of wings that can or do play FB like Jane,Brown, Zebo, B.Smith, Halfpenny, JOC etc.
          Secure under the highball, good kickers etc.
          North, Visser, Cuthbert and co are overrated imo.
          Ashton def should not be the other winger imo. Not on form or reputation.
          I want versatile well rounded players that offer security. Not one dimensional players that can and do implode or play poorly quite often. Ashtons defence is one of the worst of any top ten international winger imo and although he may tour, imo he should not be the test winger. North maybe but even then Im not gonna pick him over guys like Bowe or Zebo.

    • March 5th 2013 @ 6:10am
      mania said | March 5th 2013 @ 6:10am | ! Report

      wow no quirk or mogg

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