Wallaby wings may be our weakness

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    Australia's Digby Ioane runs with the ball - will we see more like him go to the north in search of cash? AP Photo/Mark Baker

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    The talking point of the last few weeks has been about the inside backs but these aren’t where the holes will be in the Wallaby back line. Just look a little bit wider to the wings.

    The predicted wingers for the British and Irish Lions are the two Welshmen, Alex Cuthbert and George North. Both quick, agile and very big men to tackle. Sorry Rod Davies, but you are off the list.

    Digby Ioane may seem like a definite for one of the spots but his previous form hasn’t been very sharp. Last year on the European tour we were even calling for him to be dropped.

    I don’t think Robbie Deans will look past him though, because of his electric pace of the mark and his ability to commit three defenders to him every time he touches the ball.

    With James O’Connor looking more and more likely to play within the inside backs, a new spot has opened up on the wing. The contenders for this spot are Alfi Mafi, Joe Tomane, Nick Cummins and possibly Israel Folau.

    Alfie Mafi has been the best winger in Australia this season, topping the competition try count. In a losing side he has been a standout but a lack of international experience may cost him this position.

    Joe Tomane debuted for the Wallabies last year but got injured, ending his 2012 season. He is league convert but has picked up the game within a few seasons and looks like someone who could be a definite Wallaby. His sheer strength can’t be unnoticed.

    Tomane is often over-shadowed by Henry Speight, his opposite winger for the Brumbies, who would make Wallabies if he was available for selection. Joe Tomane’s kicking may be a problem if Ioane is selected as he also doesn’t have a strong boot.

    Nick Cummins still hasn’t played in 2013 but his end of year season for the Wallabies European tour was a standout. You can’t dismiss his effort and how hard he runs at the opposition. He needs to get back from injury quickly, otherwise he may just have run out of time to make the squad.

    You may be thinking why Israel Folau could enter the equation for the Wallaby wing spot. The answer is in the statistics.

    He tops the Australian conference for metres run, carries and defenders beaten. At the moment he hasn’t fully adapted to union, often being out of position in defence or trying too much in each tackle, but his x factor can not be looked past.

    As a wing for the Wallabies he is less likely to be targeted with kicking like he is at the Waratahs playing fullback, but his lack of kicking ability might stop of him from obtaining a Wallaby starting position.

    Maybe a bench position would better suit him.

    At the moment, and my team has differed over the last few weeks, here is my Wallaby back line:

    9. Will Genia
    10. Christian Lealiifano
    11. Digby Ioane
    12. James O’Connor
    13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
    14. Joe Tomane
    15. Jesse Mogg

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    The Crowd Says (101)

    • April 19th 2013 @ 4:35am
      Billy Bob said | April 19th 2013 @ 4:35am | ! Report

      Form is on the side of this group but two are out of current position and three have little or no test experience. Total of four (CL fits into both categories).
      Probably wont happen.

    • April 19th 2013 @ 5:13am
      kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 5:13am | ! Report

      I’m afraid I profoundly disagree with this article: wing is the strongest position for the Wallabies.

      There are numerous high quality possibilities. Ioane and JOC, Tomane and Folau.

      It will certainly be possible to choose two outstanding talents, while in the midfield, unless one of these wings moves to centre, the 12 and 13 are looking as unthreatening as they have in years. There are problems at 6, in the front row and some previously secure positions elsewhere are suspect, while others depend on one player.

      Centre is the really weak position in the backline.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 5:31am
        maxxlord said | April 19th 2013 @ 5:31am | ! Report

        Spot on. At centre a player is either a linebreaker, a ball player, or a waste of time. AAC? McCabe? how many breaks do they make? How about their distribution? Not sure what the solution is but i do know what doesn’t work!

        • April 19th 2013 @ 6:16am
          kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:16am | ! Report

          maxxlord later in the season I think two of those wing candidates will move to the centres, and Tomane/Folau are probably natural centres anyway. But that won’t be in time for the Lions and would have to be done slowly in any case.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 12:43pm
        Freddy of Bondi said | April 19th 2013 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        I agree KPM…it sucks that our best players aren’t playing these positions in S15…but they are too good not to be in the strongest possible wallabies team.

        Is it possible that Ioane could be a centre? He is a good defender (he was previously used to do Cooper’s tacking in that 10 channel) has explosve speed and decent hands. If he could get some game time there, what about Ioane at 12/13 for the Rugby Championship??

        However, I also really like O’Connor at 13. It gives him a little bit more room especially in counter-attacking opportunities. I think Folau is a must. He’s the only safe option we have under the high ball and is a constant attacking threat, but could be a little bit too exposed at FB for the Lions….give him time.

        I also think Quade Cooper is not reliable enough at 10 and because of his defensive deficiciencies and ability to counter-attack, I think he could be used on the wing for the Wallabies looking forward.

        My backline for Lions:

        9. Genia
        10. Toomua
        11. Ioane
        12. Lealiifano
        13. O’Connor
        14. Folau
        15. Beale (AAC / Mogg)

        My backline for RC:

        9. Genia
        10. Lealiifano
        11. Speight
        12. Ioane
        13. O’Connor
        14. Cooper
        15. Folau

        • April 21st 2013 @ 4:04pm
          dmac said | April 21st 2013 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

          Gotta be honest, anyone not picking AAC at 13 at the moment has pretty much lost me from the start. Guy’s in incredible form.

          • April 21st 2013 @ 11:21pm
            Mike said | April 21st 2013 @ 11:21pm | ! Report

            Yes, plus he is settled into the test position. He has been the incumbent 13 for several matches. Leave him there, and pick for the spots that aren’t settled.

    • April 19th 2013 @ 5:47am
      Demers said | April 19th 2013 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      Not sure Gatland will play both wingers. Scotland has to have at least two guys in the test 15. One could be Euan Murray. Doubtful
      Brown would make it at flanker. Laidlaw also doubtful over Philipps, so that leaves Visser. A North, Visser combo would be okay with Gatland, I think, and either would rule out JOC marking him.

      Best we can hope for is Cummins getting match-ready. Then somebody has to tell Deans to stop using Digby as a three-metre ground gainer and allow him to fly out wide.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 6:09am
        Ben.S said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:09am | ! Report

        What do you mean Scotland ‘has to have’?

    • April 19th 2013 @ 6:03am
      Kippa said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:03am | ! Report

      With mcabe in the side do not expect the ball to reach the wings. The only time the wings are going to touch leather is when they are going for a quick line out.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 6:25am
        maxxlord said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:25am | ! Report

        Cannot do things halfway. If they go with McCabe then attack is out the window. That means the
        entire line should be conservative/defensive i.e Barnes at 10 for the kicking battle and another defensive centre at 13. If they go with taps then Cooper is the natural option. Combinations count!

    • April 19th 2013 @ 6:24am
      mania said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:24am | ! Report

      i have to disagree here. wing stocks are strong
      in digby’s defence he’s been misused in the last couple of seasons due to the lack of strikepower in the midfield. instead of using him as a finisher, he’s been used to cart the ball up as first reciever past the adv line.digby’s the best wing in aus at the mo. despite having no kicking game and everyone knowin that he’s going to run it he still makes the adv line and almost always breaks the first tackle.
      getting sick of people saying that player X doesnt have international experience. how are u going to find out new stuff? established players should always be kept honest by being measured against up n comers.
      shame speights not eligible.JOC tho is a good prospect. whilst probably not the best winger out there he is a better all round rugby player than all of them.
      folaus argument of not having a kick doesnt make sense as digby doesnt either.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 6:32am
        maxxlord said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:32am | ! Report

        “Lack of strikepower in midfield” has killed the wallabies. When the forwards are struggling there is noone to take pressure off by making metres in the centres.Folau should be groomed as a 13. Two “dependable” centres doesn’t work, you need a Ranger, SBW, Nonu, Steyn or Tuilagi in there.

        • April 19th 2013 @ 6:38am
          kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:38am | ! Report

          Too true, and oppositions can concentrate all their resources and concentration on the back three, knowing the centres pose no threat. Even the hint of a threat in the midfield would open up vast space out wide.

          • April 19th 2013 @ 7:07am
            Short-Blind said | April 19th 2013 @ 7:07am | ! Report

            Taps & CL are a threat (both with ball playing & line breaking ability) at 12 (oh and they can Both defend big centres – see CL vs Nonu last week) If you can’t see this you haven’t been watching S15, or you just don’t rate them….unlike many. AAC now settled at 13 has been making a lot of breaks this year (and in the past with the Wallabies) using the big fend and swerve. He also can defend and has vast experience. His passing is weak for an international 13 but has gotten a little better under Chieka’s tutelage. Cummins is another solid strong running option. In the longer term Folau, Kudriani and Tomane are good options but only Kuds is playing 13 regularly and you don’t put inexperienced 13’s up against international teams as they get carved up in defence (see Tahu vs Boks a few years ago). Australia has a lot of centre talent but most are young and not playing regularly in the 12/13 jumpers. That will change but for the Lions I’d be happy with either Taps/CL and AAC. Not perfect but not ‘weak” either running off QC’s long passing game (or Toomua’s).

            • April 19th 2013 @ 8:08am
              kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:08am | ! Report

              I don’t rate Tapuai that highly: he’s good but the other prospects are better. He may play at the moment though.

              I do rate CL, but he would be yet another playmaker along with Cooper, Beale, JOC and a debutant too which is risky in what is a finals series. I certainly think he’s a player for the 22 this season but not necessarily a starter against the Lions.

              I think Tomane/Folau is the obvious long term solution, but would take time.

              Basically I think the 22 should include: Cooper, JOC, Beale, Ioane, Tomane, Folau, Speight, CL, maybe Kuridrani not sure yet. That lot are unlikely all to be fit at once anyway.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 8:30am
                Red Kev said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:30am | ! Report

                But that’s because you’re narrow-minded and don’t believe backline players should tip the scales at less than 100kg.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 9:14am
                kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

                Not after watching the ‘honey I shrunk the back line’ the past few years. In any case those players are there for quality.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 9:39am
                Chivas said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

                KPM a serious question. Have you played in a backline and do you understand the skills and differences between second five and centre? If so can you explain to me why you think these guys will transition and what you think is required and what style they would play, what their strengths and relatively short comings would be. To push this you must know. I’m not convinced and even less convinced I’d have them both. But I’d like a real explanation because right now I am in real doubt that some have any idea what is required from different positions.

                That is why I am pushing Brett to do more interviews. An educated rugby public would be interesting.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 9:46am
                Rob9 said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:46am | ! Report

                Our backline woes of the last few years have been a result of persisting with a 12 who can’t pass and link up with his outside men. We’ve seen what our backline is capable of when PMC hasn’t been there, see: vs England in last year EOYT and whenever Barnes replaced PMC at the 2011 RWC. Taps and Barnes aren’t exactly gorillas and managed to do a far more effective job than the crash (and burn) McCabe. Get over this idea that size matters (on the rugby field anyway). These people are professional rugby players who train and play to get over the gain line and make tackles. It’s just that they aren’t getting over the gain line by going over the top of defenders and their tackles aren’t (for the most part) bone jarring hits. But they’re still bloody good at what they do. You play to your strengths and we don’t have any effective hulks that can pass/offload while putting defenders (and in defence, attackers) on their bums. What we do have is some smaller men who are more than up to the task of playing international rugby at insider center.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 10:15am
                brendon said | April 19th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

                I agree with everything Rob9 just said. The other thing people forget is australian players are used to playing NZ and SA opponents all year. This means these lads who play at centres, verse some of the biggest and most skilled opposition in the world game. More often than not, the northern teams are just the same mould with a slightly less developed game ( this is due to the nature of northern hemisphere rugby). Its not a push that our guys can easily stand up to the test. I would worry way more about a nonu smith combination than a roberts tualagi one. We have one of the best depths of 7’s in the world, so chop them down, pilfer the ball and use our skilled players to throw it around

              • April 19th 2013 @ 11:51am
                Short-Blind said | April 19th 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

                What Rob9 said – totally agree. Anyone who has played 10 or 12 knows that McCabe killed the Wallaby backline when he played – in so many ways. Chivas – I’d been meaning to ask KPM the same thing…..where did you play KPM?

              • April 20th 2013 @ 12:00pm
                A Different Cat. said | April 20th 2013 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                I dont agree with Rob9 at all because Barnes, Tapuai and Harris were used in 2012 as much as McCabe at 12 and it was not a year with sweeping backline moves was it?
                In 2011 the backline was fine and McCabe was there for most of it.
                Only recently has there been a few genuine options at 12.
                Lealiifano, Tapuai, Barnes, McCabe and Harris. Great depth.

              • April 20th 2013 @ 2:30pm
                Rob9 said | April 20th 2013 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                I’m not saying PMC is the beginning and end of our problems but he’s definitely an issue and I’m still at a loss to understand how he has a Wallaby cap to his name.

                Did you watch rugby in 2011?? Firstly we lost to Samoa with none other than the predictable PMC crashing it up into a wall of blue for 80 minutes. We won a shortened and almost experimental Tri Nations. Then at the RWC we were beaten in the pool stages by Ireland. Following that game it became bleeding obvious to most just how little PMC offers in the midfield and general attack. Deans still persisted with his pet and we all know how we finished that tournament. Seriously, our attack in 2011 was a blunt, spluttering mess with a 12 that couldn’t pass and link up with our men out wide. The one highlight was finishing off the year with 2 W’s against a red hot and a widely fancied Welsh side, games that McCabe wasn’t involved in. Furthermore, we scored 5 tries over these 2 games against an opposition that had only leaked 5 tries all world cup (prior to meeting us in the bronze medal match).

                In 2012, you only need to see how we performed on the EOYT to see how much better we are with an effective 12 in the midfield. We had our behinds handed to us by the French and then started to get our act together and actually see some backline play when Taps came in to replace PMC.

                You’re right about one thing, that being that we do have some depth at 12 now (I also don’t know how Harris makes your list when he’s not even in the Reds 22). I’d chuck JOC on a list with Taps and Lealiifano of genuine international 12’s that can have our backline humming. I just hope and pray that in the year of the Lions and as we build towards 2015, we’ve finally seen the end of Pat McCabe in a gold jersey.

              • April 21st 2013 @ 4:09pm
                dmac said | April 21st 2013 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

                Rob9, you are so painfully right.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 6:45am
        nickoldschool said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:45am | ! Report

        agree mania, wing is probably not the position where the wallabies are struggling the most.

        I really think Speight will be the first winger a la Savea/Gear/Masaga, a guy capable of bursting 203 tackles and scoring. Was always into smaller, elusive guys but have to admit that all these guys have impressed me in the last few months.

        Until he is eligible, Ioane, Tomane and JOC can do the job.

        As an aisde, i keep hearing on the radio that Folau will go back to nrl sooner rather than later.

        • April 19th 2013 @ 6:51am
          mania said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:51am | ! Report

          nos – yeah i reckon folau will go back
          as an aside tho do the french players feel left out that they arent part of the lions?

          • April 19th 2013 @ 7:08am
            nickoldschool said | April 19th 2013 @ 7:08am | ! Report

            no not at all. For us the Lions thing is an ‘anglo’ affair so nothing to do with us. have never read players saying that they would love to play etc, just because we have no connection with the series, but i guess as a pro they probably would love to play at this level, if we had it. but its just not a french thing to team up with other and face another nation.

            tbh, in the 27y i spent there i never really got into the series. we saw the highlights but a far as i recall no lions test were shown live on tv. i think it might have chnaged in the last decade though but its still something vbery foreign to us as we dont have an equivalent really.

            obviously things have changed since i have been here and i personally love it. The NZ vs Lions series 8 years ago was a turning point for me ( was going for the kiwis btw).

            kpm, agree re Folau and dunno what to think but just keep hearing this rumour mostly in some triple m news buletins in the morning (hosted by former nrl guys, so maybe just some pr stuff dunno).

            • April 19th 2013 @ 7:12am
              mania said | April 19th 2013 @ 7:12am | ! Report

              thought as much nos. the few french guys i know absolutely love paying against anglo’s. it gets rel personal and the poms i know feel the same. i doubt they could be together for too long without a fight breaking out.

              yeah folau has an awesome manager and is doing really well for folau. folau if offered the right money will imo go back to league.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 7:26am
                formeropenside said | April 19th 2013 @ 7:26am | ! Report

                I’d love to see a “Latin” side of France, Italy and Argentina (and maybe the odd Spaniel, perhaps as a mascot) chosen to undertake a SH tour. I have no idea what you’d call them – the “Lovers” perhaps – but I think that could be worth a shake.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 8:59am
                jameswm said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

                fos I’d love to see either an ANZAC side or a SANZAR side.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 9:01am
                mania said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

                jameswm – hell no. i like the rivalry sanzar nations have. the last thing i want is the animosity to lessen because they become team mates

              • April 19th 2013 @ 9:06am
                formeropenside said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                ANZAC would largely be the AB’s plus Moore, Horwill, Genia and perhaps Diggers.

                SANZAR would be a little more interesting.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 9:08am
                mania said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

                fos – your opening a whole can of worms here.

            • April 20th 2013 @ 12:02pm
              A Different Cat. said | April 20th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

              The Irish, Welsh and Scots are not anglo are they?

              • April 20th 2013 @ 1:50pm
                nickoldschool said | April 20th 2013 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

                In French, we often call ‘Anglos’ anyone who comes from an english speaking country. Anglos or Anglo-sax, that’s what we call them/you.

                I know it’s not correct as such but in my mind the Lions vs Oz/NZ or SA is an Anglo affair.

              • April 20th 2013 @ 1:59pm
                nickoldschool said | April 20th 2013 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                PS: if I want to single the English out would probably call them the ‘rosbifs’ 🙂

              • April 21st 2013 @ 7:57am
                Ra said | April 21st 2013 @ 7:57am | ! Report

                No they are adamant they are not and neither are Kiwis,nor do most Australians feel Anglo. We were all invaded by the Anglos, and they like so many conquering armies, treated their own underclasses as brutually as their enemy.
                However, there are only four countries outside the UK that are recognised internationally as English first language speakers and they are Canada, US, Australia & NZ. And even in saying that, just at a glance, we can see disparity in the US, Canada and Australia because many families speak languages other than English in their homes.
                Only NZ stands head and shoulders above the next language (Maori) as having English as the dominant language spoken in the home.
                Anyway just a piece of trivia from a previous stop over in time

              • April 21st 2013 @ 1:27pm
                nickoldschool said | April 21st 2013 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

                No prob Ra. See my explanation below.

                Reading your comment makes me realise that I would never use the term Anglo towards a Maori or indigenous Aussie, american etc. I think it’s just something we use to talk about ‘white Anglo’ then. Anyway, believe me it’s not a big deal. It’s just an expression we use to express our difference and it’s again, very colloquial. And probably not all French know it or use it like this ( maybe I use it more because am into rugby and that for a long time it was France vs the English speaking world. Glad the Italians, argentines, Japanese etc have joined us).

            • April 21st 2013 @ 11:33am
              Chivas said | April 21st 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

              Interesting, I know the term Anglo Saxon, but as a fourth generation New Zealander of mixed Irish and Danish blood.. where does that leave me. I don’t associate with anything European, have never lived there…. Do the French have their own view of who everyone is in the world whether it’s relevant in those countries being generalised across or not? It’s an interesting point. Many Americans don’t get off their porch and make sweeping generalisations about other parts of the world. Is it fairly similar in Europe. I don’t think anyone down under Aus,NZ would relate to being Anglo. It almost sounds like white anglican…. I’m not religious either… But as interesting as it may be, if enough pass the comment and nobody there disagrees…. It must be right.

              Sorry NOS, not shooting down your comment, just observations and thoughts.

              • April 21st 2013 @ 1:14pm
                nickoldschool said | April 21st 2013 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

                No worries chivas. Maybe I didn’t explain clearly.

                I think the use of the term ‘anglos’ in french language is colloquial, almost slangish if it makes sense. That’s a term I would use only with french mates if we are talking about english speaking ppl. For example, when Tony Blair and Howard joined Bush we were saying, ‘look, Only Anglos believe there are WOMD’, in French obviously. In rugby, I remember often using this term to say that the IRB is ran by ‘Anglos’, I.e. English and their former colonies or English speaking ppl.

                Once again, I know it is not correct but it’s just what we call in French ‘un abus de language’, or an expression / term knowingly misused or used with a different meaning. I would never use this term in a proper conversation. Would be interesting to hear what other French think, maybe Parisien who I think is an aussie-French living there.

                Basically, it’s just short for ‘anglo-Saxons’ or Anglo sax as we now say. It isn’t derogatory when I sue it but it can definitely be. In a way, it’s a bit like when you wanna group Latin ppl into the same category. It is just a generalisation.

              • April 21st 2013 @ 2:45pm
                Chivas said | April 21st 2013 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

                On the polls, you used to get lumped as Caucasian which is not Anglo, but probably a derivation. On those polls I select other, because I am a New Zealander; but never seen Anglo Saxon. Are Japanese Asians, Jews middle eastern, French Europeans. Australia is quite multi-cultural but are Lebanese anglo’s if they are Australian citizens and there first language is English too. I’m just curious…. I know what wog means now, although I had to ask what that meant when I first moved to Australia. I still get a bit mixed up :-). I think India is part of Asia, but you seldom here them called Asians.

                I understand the context you are using it in and rugby is tribal, so it also maintains the tribalness (is that a word) by referring to people like that. It tends to suggest an alliance between these grouos of people, butI would imagine French people have more to do with England than we do down here.

                Anyway I was just curious, and thanks for the insight NOS and for the time to post :-).

        • April 19th 2013 @ 6:54am
          kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:54am | ! Report

          nos for Folau to go back now, just when he’s getting into the Wallabies squad, would be crazy and bizarre.

          • April 19th 2013 @ 7:48am
            Kane said | April 19th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report


            • April 19th 2013 @ 8:09am
              kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:09am | ! Report

              Kane I doubt he’d get more in league once Wallaby match payments are included.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 8:14am
                mania said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:14am | ! Report

                KPM – arent u always going on about the billions of dollars the NRL has at its disposal?

              • April 19th 2013 @ 8:17am
                kingplaymaker said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:17am | ! Report

                They do mania, but they choose not to spend them on the big players, who don’t really earn very much. They only pay them just as much as they can get away with. If more started to leave they might pay more. Who knows the reason. But they don’t pay that much.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 8:22am
                mania said | April 19th 2013 @ 8:22am | ! Report

                i agree KPM – this is the whole reason that SBW walked out on the doggies in the first place. restriction of trade and not getting paid what he was worth.
                but if NRL want folau and they offer him the right amount i reckon he’ll be outta here. as ARU did underhanded dealings to secure folau, NRL will do the same.

              • April 19th 2013 @ 9:39am
                Kane said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

                He has to be first picked to make the Wallabies then not be found out so he keeps getting picked before that happens.

                What about his Kangeroo and State of Origin payments?

              • April 21st 2013 @ 4:13pm
                dmac said | April 21st 2013 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

                It wouldn’t surprise me to see the NRL overpay for Folau just so they can trumpet his return to the fold, like they did with SBW this year. It’s not at all about the quality of the game with the NRL, it’s all, and I mean ALL, about the hype. Just watch the steaming pile of crap that the Origin has been the last few years. Without the hype, would anyone seriously choose to watch?

          • April 19th 2013 @ 10:33am
            The Battered Slav said | April 19th 2013 @ 10:33am | ! Report

            Why the hell would you want somebody wearning gold who themselves doesn’t want to be wearing gold KPM?

            • April 21st 2013 @ 11:26pm
              Mike said | April 21st 2013 @ 11:26pm | ! Report

              Meaning who?

    • April 19th 2013 @ 6:27am
      winston said | April 19th 2013 @ 6:27am | ! Report

      Diggers is one of the best wingers going round.

      • April 19th 2013 @ 9:54am
        Jerry said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report

        Congratulations on waking from your 2 year coma.

        Just to fill you in on the events since the 2011 Tri-Nations – AB’s won the RWC through either tenacity or Craig Joubert (depending on who you ask), Richie McCaw’s headbutt to Quade’s knee had a delayed but devastating effect causing Quade to need an operation which was accidentally scheduled as a frontal lobotomy leading to Quade saying all sorts of stupid things like “I want to be a boxer”, SBW having helped the Chiefs win the title and the AB’s win another TN then walked off down the road to the sounds of “The Littlest Hobo” theme song then destroyed an aging Saffa until he didn’t so they stopped the fight, England somehow managed to thrash the AB’s then get thrashed by Wales who had lulled them into a false sense of security by losing loads of matches prior to the 6N and…..Digby got a bit rubbish.

        • April 19th 2013 @ 10:06am
          Red Kev said | April 19th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

          Then 2013 hit and Digby got good agaain, a poor 2012 does not dimish his class as a winger.

          • April 19th 2013 @ 10:22am
            Jerry said | April 19th 2013 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            He’s still not playing up to his 2011 standards, IMO.

            He’s got, what – 1 try? He’s still decent, but not ‘one of the best wingers going around’ unless you only mean ‘going around the Reds training ground’.

            • April 19th 2013 @ 1:36pm
              rl said | April 19th 2013 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

              I take your point Jerry, but playing winger ain’t all about scoring tries (otherwise Rod Davies would be a certain wallaby starter).

              Diggers’ try stats aren’t great this year (or last year), but in every other respect his numbers are approacing his 2011 levels – he’s bending the defensive line, making line breaks or just drawing in defenders, which creates opportunities for others.

              Still a worry with his hands, and the lack of a kicking game does present issues in terms of the balance of your back 3, but he’s still the first picked in my view. BUT, another year like 2012 might see his place come into question.

              • April 21st 2013 @ 4:14pm
                dmac said | April 21st 2013 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

                His mistake rate is very high this year though. That’s my biggest concern.

        • April 19th 2013 @ 9:46pm
          winston said | April 19th 2013 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

          Against the Lions he will be the best winger on the park

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