George Smith will start for Wallabies: reports [with expected Wallabies lineup]

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    Former Brumby George Smith has signed with the Reds. (AAP/NZN Image, SNPA, Ross Setford)

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    News Limited is reporting George Smith is a bolter for the Wallabies openside flanker position, with Michael Hooper to be moved to the bench.

    Smith appearance would be his first since 2009; his 111th Test, and likely his last for Australia.

    A medial ligament knee injury had ruled Smith out of contention for the Lions series – which he also played in 2001.

    However, he has returned from injury in just five weeks, after being given a 12-week period to recover.

    Liam Gill is expected to miss selection, with Robbie Deans expected to make far less changes than his Lions counterpart in Warren Gatland, who has five changes to his starting Lions XV.

    As reported earlier, the Western Force’s Ben McCalman has been a shock addition to the Wallabies bench to cover the for No. 6 and No. 8 positions in a 6-2 bench split.

    The only other expected change to the line-up is Rob Horne making way on the bench for McCalman.

    Expected Wallabies team to play the British and Irish Lions on Saturday – to be announced at 3pm on Thursday – for the final Test against the British and Irish Lions.

    1. Benn Robinson
    2. Stephen Moore
    3. Ben Alexander
    4. James Horwill (capt.)
    5. Kane Douglas
    6. Ben Mowen
    7. George Smith
    8. Wycliff Palu
    9. Will Genia
    10. James O’Connor
    11. Joe Tomane
    12. Christian Lealiifano
    13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
    14. Israel Folau
    15. Kurtley Beale

    16. Saia Faingaa
    17. James Slippper
    18. Sekope Kepu
    19. Rob Simmons
    20. Ben McCalman
    21. Michael Hooper
    22. Nick Phipps
    23. Jesse Mogg

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    The Crowd Says (195)

    • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:13pm
      Brendon said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

      I agree with this. Now for Kimlin or MMM on the bench for simmons and we are golden

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 5:43pm
        Golden said | July 3rd 2013 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

        No. I’m Golden. Just kidding Brendon. Bringing Smith in to the starting side is the single best decision Deans has made all series. It might be wishful thinking on my part but I hope he replaces Simmons with Kimlin too!

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 5:46pm
        Anne said | July 3rd 2013 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

        Ben Mccalman….George Smith….JOC still at 5/8. Gill dropped.
        Deans has finally lost the plot! The kids education fund is going on the Lions this week. Apart from the last 10 minutes last week we looked lost, disjointed and aimless. Deans ignores form and goes with his favourites again! I’m seriously in shock?

        • Roar Guru

          July 3rd 2013 @ 6:20pm
          Simon Levingston said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

          if your kids education money is going on the Lions winning, then your kids are going to miss out on the education you were planning.

          • July 3rd 2013 @ 7:40pm
            Anne said | July 3rd 2013 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

            McCalman! He can’t get a start for the Force.
            Lions have made some bold selections which I think make them more potent in the backs.
            I’m not sure why everyone thinks the Wallabies are a shoe in as they have short memories of last weeks near catastrophe.

            • July 3rd 2013 @ 8:11pm
              Crash Ball2 said | July 3rd 2013 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

              A near catastrophe largely characterised by the Wallabies inaccuracy and ineffectiveness at the breakdowns. McCalman’s selection is ponderous. JOC’s positioning is disastrous. And Gill’s omission is unfortunate. George Smith’s name belongs in an entirely different category.

              Perhaps educate the kids on the dangers of gambling and avoid home schooling.

    • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:13pm
      jutsie said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

      Yes. I was initially against him being selected ahead of hooper and gill as I thought both had done well enough during super season to retain their spots however it was clear after the first two tests that we needed the experience of a Smith or Pocock

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 6:00pm
        Dexter William said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

        However, we will all need to cross our fingers that Smith survives at least 60 minutes coming back from a knee surgery.

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 10:16pm
          jutsie said | July 3rd 2013 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

          id rather we took the risk with smith that rest on our laurels with hooper/gill. they were outgunned by the lions at the breakdown in games one and 2.

    • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:14pm
      jameswm said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

      Smith starting

      Leali’ifano starting.

      If he moves JOC from 10, how will we be able to complain about Deans?

      Maybe putting McCalman on the bench?

      I do think however that McCabe would be starting if he’d played all year. And he has taken the bench spot from a more deserving and versatile Tapuai.

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:18pm
        jutsie said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

        Kimlin should be there instead of mcalman or simmons. I dont have an issue with him not picking mmm as it would be too many guys susceptible to injury in the team but yeah I would prefer kimlin to be there.

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 6:24pm
          Johnny J-Dog said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

          I like MMM too but he can be a bit of a penalty magnet. Hooper doubles a a back reserve. Smith desrves the start as I don’t recall Hooper winning any ruck turnover or ruck penalties in the 2nd test. Deans is cleary thinking of three pointers (for and against) in his selections.

          I wish he’d dump O’Connor and Beale for Cooper (or Toomua) and Mogg (or Folau at fullback which will happen once Speight becomes eligible).

          If O’Connor or Beal could kick and it was a dead rubber I’d have also brought in Scott Sio, Kyle Godwin and Wil Skelton with a view to the next World Cup.

          • July 3rd 2013 @ 8:22pm
            BillyK said | July 3rd 2013 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

            We have to win this test or wait another 12 years for another chance. Yeah let’s totally prime some out of form and inexperienced players against a well drilled lions side. Not accounting for the guaranteed injuries. We want to win not prime the players. What a stupid comment.

            • July 3rd 2013 @ 8:49pm
              cm said | July 3rd 2013 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

              “If … it was a dead rubber”, BillyK

    • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:15pm
      Kane said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

      Ben McCalman?!?

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 6:08pm
        Maxt said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

        Ben mccalman??!!!!?

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 8:24pm
          BillyK said | July 3rd 2013 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

          Ben. McCalman.

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 8:24pm
          Mike said | July 3rd 2013 @ 8:24pm | ! Report


          • July 4th 2013 @ 4:22am
            Blue Visa said | July 4th 2013 @ 4:22am | ! Report

            Ben Who?

            • July 4th 2013 @ 8:12am
              Kane said | July 4th 2013 @ 8:12am | ! Report


    • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:15pm
      mac said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

      As much as this is tough for Gill, who is a great player, this is the right move. The Wallabies got done at the breakdown last week. Smith brings experience, versatility (anywhere in the backrow as the subs come on), he’s much stronger over the ball, and he will hit the ground running – always has. This isn’t a risky move.

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:39pm
        Red Baron said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        +1. No, stuff it. Take +8!

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 10:29pm
        Warwick Todd said | July 3rd 2013 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

        So you drop the guy who came on for a cameo role in the last test and played exceptionally well in that limited time with one crucial line out steal. No problem with Smith he should have played last week but Ben McCalman FFS this must be a smoke screen. The word in the last two weeks with having Simmons on the bench is he’s there if the line out goes pear shaped. Mowen has proved he has this covered so why not MMM or Kimlin on the bench with Gill. Hooper has been industrious with being dominant and he’s has a pretty fair shot at the Lions.

        • July 4th 2013 @ 1:12am
          Warwick Todd said | July 4th 2013 @ 1:12am | ! Report

          without being dominant I should say.

    • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:17pm
      formeropenside said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

      No Gill in the squad, and useless Hooper retained. McCalman in the 23. Way to go Robbie. Even if you win here, bye bye with your chances of winning the Bledisloe or RC.

      If not for Gill, the series would already be lost.

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:21pm
        Brendon said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

        Without the reds bias, Gill has not done anything of note in wallaby colours yet (other than one catch). He has played two fantastic half seasons of super rugby in 2012 and 2013 but that is it. He will develop to be Australia’s best 7 in my opinion but not yet. He probably will wear the 7 in the 2015 world cup

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:35pm
          formeropenside said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

          Gill is better than Hooper – always has been. Its pretty hard to steal ball when in the time Gill has been on the Wallabies have had lots of possession, and the Lions have largely kicked it away for position.

          But lets give Hooper another chance…stupid.

          • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:43pm
            Brendon said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

            Hardly… Gill has played great for the reds but has had plenty of games now for the wallabies and has not given any major contribution. You cannot say that this makes him great or even better than Hooper who has played fantastically for the wallabies, with man of the match awards. Mcalman has played great for the force but never performed for the wallabies. Some players don’t step up. I think Gill will but hasn’t yet and doesn’t deserve the favouritism he gets yet. He will be good, but isn’t deserving of his spot because he hasn’t earned it in gold yet

            • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:06pm
              Nick Turnbull said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

              Yet Brendan he pulled out “The Harrison Moment” of this series and was lauded by Horwill for his work at the breakdown when he came on. Gill is superior to Hooper in the lineout and deck. Hooper is supierior to Gill running the ball. Smith is better than them both. Sean O’Brien is going to swat Hooper away. Gill is a bigger presence and gets better body height than Hooper. I would play Gill on the bench not Hooper.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:18pm
                Brendon said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

                The point is not that he isn’t a good player. He had one good moment recently and without a reds bias, what else has he done to deserve run on or bench over Hooper. What about last year? or the first test? I believe Smith is better than both at the moment. Gill provides work around the park but so does Hooper. As an impact player, Hooper offers more, especially with G Smith on the field. Gill will start to make his mark in tests like he does in super rugby, but not yet.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:41pm
                Nick Turnbull said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

                Given his limted opportunity Gill has done plenty. Given his ample opportunity Hooper has not done enough in this series.

                Gill is a better player and leader. It comes as no suprise to me that Deans has failed to select Gill over Hooper because Deans has proven himself a flawed selector.

                Hooper is gutsy, committed but has been found wantingat the breakdown. Gill leads super rugby for pilfers. Seems an obvious choice to back up the master smith.

                Hooper needs to work on his game.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:48pm
                stanley grella said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                australias obsession with breakdown pilfers is amazing. especially against northern hemisphere teams with great goal kickers.
                1.if your going to go for the pilfer it is always a 50/50 gamble so do so in the opponants half
                1b.northern hemisphere sides rarely go for running it from there own half so pilfering opportunities are low.
                2.if your going to go for it in your own half when they have a goal kicker with a percentage in the 90s then your a moron.

                smith offers brains, old wirey man short cuts and ability. once you have picked him your reserve shouldn’t offer the same skill set with less of the brains and cunning. he should offer a point of diference and impact and that’s why hooper is the right decision. if Smiths legs last then he will move to 6 and hooper will come on at 7, the two in tandem will produce more metres in 20 minutes than any wallaby back row could in 80. its great selectiong, warrented and its going to be a joy to watch.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 4:42pm
                eagleJack said | July 3rd 2013 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                So essentially Nick you are wanting to have a guy on the bench with no POD from the starting 7?

                With Smith starting Hooper is a better bench option due to his superior running game, speed and ability to break tackles.

                That’s not to say Gill is not an excellent 7 and will start many Tests over the years. But for this Test having Hooper on the bench makes sense.

                We are blessed in our 7 ranks and Gill/Hooper should enjoy a terrific battle throughout their careers similar to Smith/Waugh.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 5:20pm
                Nick Turnbull said | July 3rd 2013 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

                SG and all. Hooper has failed to impose himself in this series. Has worked hard but was schooled by Warburton. O’BRIEN is more direct and physical than Sam. This will be a power lions pack and you want to pick a fly weight against a heavy weight. That is moronic.

                Gill offers so much more. Considering the Wallabies had about 44% game time in the Lions half I personally would want to compete at the ruck there. Hooper has proved he cant.Do you honestly think Gill is that inexperienced to risk it in own?

                Gill is not exactly slow around the park and can pass to support well. I would play him.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 6:24pm
                eagleJack said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

                What is m*ronic is you not understanding that a bench player probably wont come on until the 65th minute. You speak as though Hooper will be on from the 1st minute against this monster Lions pack.

                Against a tiring pack Hooper will be immense. Even at the latter stages of last weeks game he was breaking tackles despite having played the entire game. With fresh legs at the same stage of the game he will be great to watch.

                He is a POD which will force the Lions to change their defensive structure to accommodate. That’s what you want at the back end of the game.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 6:51pm
                Nick Turnbull said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:51pm | ! Report


                What is m#r&nic is picking a bench that cant slot in in the first couple of minutes if there is an injury. You want immense look at Liam Gill last test. Horwill sung his praise for that line out and his work at the breakdown. But hey what would he know….

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 8:08pm
                handles said | July 3rd 2013 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

                Nick, you are trying to explain Led Zeppelin to a bunch of Taylor Swift fans.

                Hooper has not been effective at the breakdown this series because he is too small, and is not a natural breakdown 7 anyway. He is a great player, but so far out of his weight division that he has been dropped to the bench.

                But Dingo loyalty means that you can’t fall far if you heve done the right thing for him in the past. So out goes Gill. Which leave a weakness that necessitates McCalman, because although George Smith could play 8 or 6, if he does with Hooper at 7 you have just exacerbated the weakness that Hooper presented in the starting side. So we pay the price with a 5-2 split, because, well, we all know that lightning never strikes twice.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 8:12pm
                eagleJack said | July 3rd 2013 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

                Nick, I am a fan of Liam Gill’s. He was exceptional last week with the limited opportunity he was given. So many people on here feel the need to pick one player or the other. Usually based on province which I find so pathetic. Why not enjoy all of their talents?

                But I still believe that Hooper is a better option on the bench. As he offers a POD from Smith when he comes on. My preference before the series was for Gill to start and Hooper to ride the pine. I believe that is where he will be most effective.

                So seeing as they are going with Smith to start then naturally I’m inclined to judge my original feelings and want Hooper on the bench. Nothing against Gill who has proven he can come on and turn a game. But for me he is too like for like with Smith.

            • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:43pm
              Rob said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

              It’s pretty hard to argue with Brendon on this one. Unless of course you are wearing a red tinted eye patch. Calling hooper useless is a joke FOS. You clearly have no idea.
              I also agree with smith starting. And hoopers pace will offer far more when he comes in. Particularly if smith sees out the match.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:48pm
                formeropenside said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                please name one breakdown turnover achieved by Hooper in two tests? Thats a 7’s job, and Hooper is not doing it.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:54pm
                Rob said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

                Robbie deans can’t win. Unless he picked the reds 23.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:56pm
                Rob said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

                Get back to me when gill does anything like this

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 4:01pm
                Rob said | July 3rd 2013 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

                In fact ill allow you to show super or even club rugby to find gill having that impact.
                Here is a start

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 4:17pm
                stanley grella said | July 3rd 2013 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

                formeropenside – you cant be serious that you believe a 7s job is turnovers? that’s a small part in a truckload of defensive work, link play and hit ups.

                its merely arguing over symantics, gill is a good player, hooper is a good player. smith is a great player.

                gill has played 55 minutes of football against a tiring defence. in that time he has not secured one turnover either.

                the wallabies are getting beaten in contact and its leading to them not having opportunity for turnovers like the lions are. smith will take care of that, gill isn’t there yet & hooper offers more in terms of impact and difference that will assist in attack than gill does.

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:42pm
          warrior_poet said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          My concern is George Smith will go back to Japan and One of Hopper or Gill will crack it and take the money in europe or Japan as they see the opportunity to represent their country is limited. Then suprise suprise pocock gets injured and we are back to one quality seven again

          George Smith has not played international rugby for 4 years and this is an extreme risk. McCalman is not in the best back row options for the wallabies any day of the week and twice on Sunday. McMeniman is the right play here. not McCalman

          The decision to start Smith will ultimately define Deans legacy, he has given the opportunity to so many good young players such as Genia, Pocock, Beale, Cooper etc but going to this card in such a big game i believe is the wrong card

          • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:06pm
            dahl said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

            Colby Faingaa will push Gill and Hooper next season. Our 7 stocks are the best in the world.

            • July 3rd 2013 @ 4:05pm
              Defier Pariah said | July 3rd 2013 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

              I agree. I actually think Faingaa will be the best of the lot.

              • July 3rd 2013 @ 4:42pm
                warrior_poet said | July 3rd 2013 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                no chance. Gill and Hooper a whole different class

              • Roar Guru

                July 3rd 2013 @ 6:25pm
                Mark Richmond said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

                Agree, he was ahead of both of them until hr got injured and captained the under 20’s side in the junior World Cup.

            • July 4th 2013 @ 9:29am
              RebelRanger said | July 4th 2013 @ 9:29am | ! Report

              Did not Ardie Savea and Luke Braid take Gill and Hooper to school? Guys that aren’t even All Blacks?

            • July 4th 2013 @ 9:48am
              Funk said | July 4th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

              When did Pocock die?

              • July 4th 2013 @ 10:06am
                RebelRanger said | July 4th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                When he didn’t develop any dimensons other than pilfering.

              • July 4th 2013 @ 10:32am
                mania said | July 4th 2013 @ 10:32am | ! Report

                easy on rebel. pocock is still a great player even if he has over specialised in one aspect of the game. he tried to introduce a running game last season, but i reckon he should start working on his off loads.
                one thing of note, aus has had a btch of time replacing pocock.
                ardie def schooled gill but then next game he was pretty average before going to the JWC. be good to see how he goes next year. if he is anything like his bro julian i expect to see huge improvements over the summer.

              • July 4th 2013 @ 11:06am
                RebelRanger said | July 4th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

                I wouldn’t say great, he’s good. His ridiculous physique won’t allow him to be much of a runner until he slims down which he won’t do as it will affect his pilfering. I’m with the few people that think Pocock needs to make the move to hooker. Become a Bismark dP type player (I must confess I am a back and have no idea how difficult this would be).
                Ardie looked good in that game against Sth Africa til he got injured. Definitely one for the future if ABs persist with the expansive game, the guy runs like a back!

              • July 4th 2013 @ 11:20am
                mania said | July 4th 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

                rebel – agree about ardie. he’s gonna be a great player. hopefully he works in the off season like his bro julian does and comes back each season a little better.
                moving pocock to hooker is easy enough. hookers dont actually hook anymore and are just a middle prop nowadays. but he’ll need to work on his line out throws ro someone else should take them (someone with a basketball background)
                but pocock is the best 7 in aus, why would u want to move him? turnovers is such a crucial part of the game and when defence is most vulnerable. pocock has theat xFactor to change the entire game in a flash

              • July 4th 2013 @ 11:49am
                dahl said | July 4th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

                Pocock hasn’t died. He’s just injured.

                And he’s still ahead of Gill, Hooper, and Faingaa next year.

                It would be nice to retain GS as well. But he’ll be off again at the end of the year. 5 open sides like that running around in S15 for Aus would be a thing of beauty!

                GS versus Pocock? I’m still with GS myself, for combined ball running ability and strength at the breakdown/tackle. Pocock’s arguably stronger over the ball (marginal though), but still doesn’t match it for all round skillset.

              • July 4th 2013 @ 12:12pm
                RebelRanger said | July 4th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                Mania- can only imgaine what its gonna be like at their house this summer when Julian is off AB duties.
                Why hook when every scrum feed is crooked anyway? haha and yeah if someone else can throw all the more better, surely one of the props had hooker aspirations and can throw!

                If all Pocock offers is pilfering then moving him to hooker is perfect! He has the same positioning in defense allowing him to still pilfer, whilist having someone at 7 that both pilfers and plays the other roles of a 7. In the tight test matches, foward runners and link players will make all the difference.
                Get the best of both Worlds.

              • July 4th 2013 @ 12:19pm
                mania said | July 4th 2013 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

                nah rebel – pocock in hooker cant escape the scrum as quick to hassle the backs which is something he’s excellent at. pocock knows how to cover the field, read the game and run the fat mans track to get where he needs to. at hook that would b seriously be hampered.
                pocock hasnt lost his position. no one is a better 7 than he is. just like ppl calling for richie to move to 6, i say no one is a better 7 so he gets to stay there.
                agree about the crooked scrum feeds. i’m sure its getting worse. pointed it out on saturday when genia was doing it all game.
                the thrower in doesnt have to be a forward, just the best person at it.

              • July 4th 2013 @ 1:12pm
                RebelRanger said | July 4th 2013 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                Ah yes Mania I did not consider the scrum. Its evident in these tests that Hooper/ Gill do not have the nous that the experienced GSmith and Pocock possess. In the long run though, this is something that can be improved.
                In regards to fat mans track, Bismark du Plessis reads the game equally as good as the back rowers. He’s efficient and gets to the breakdowns effectively in general play. Pocock won’t be as influential at set pieces but the quicker players (Hooper/ Gill/ Faingaa) should develop in their breakdown game.
                Pocock might be the best option now, but in the long run and for the benefit of the team as a whole, its of my opinion he would be best at hooker.

          • Roar Guru

            July 3rd 2013 @ 3:14pm
            B-Rock said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

            So now Smith will define RDs legacy… I thought that was JOC, no, its QC, or was it BB?

            Like it or not, RD will be wallabies coach for at least the rest of this year. Selecting/omitting one player does not make or break a career.

            Smith is the smart choice. Gill/Hoops is line ball, with Hoops’ experience getting him over the line for the bench spot. McCalman on the other hand makes no sense whatsoever

            • July 3rd 2013 @ 4:41pm
              warrior_poet said | July 3rd 2013 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

              I think you’ll find that there will be calls for his head if we lose this saturday going into the Rugby Championship.

              • Roar Guru

                July 3rd 2013 @ 5:56pm
                B-Rock said | July 3rd 2013 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

                I have no doubt there will be calls for his head, this has been the case for years.

                Pulver is still new, he wont want to make a change unless he is forced, which the Wallabies would have had to lose 3-0 to the Lions in order to force his hand IMO.

                Win lose or draw, RD will be there for the RC

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 6:10pm
          Dexter William said | July 3rd 2013 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

          Sorry to interrupt, but Gill won the ball against the BIL lineout (line out that was poorly conceded by JOC kicking out on the full)

          Hopper was blown out of the way by the BIL pack all game.

          • July 3rd 2013 @ 10:02pm
            Glenn Condell said | July 3rd 2013 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

            Wasn’t Gill pretty quiet for the Reds v the Lions?

            • July 3rd 2013 @ 10:53pm
              Justin3 said | July 3rd 2013 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

              He was indeed, just what you’d expect from a guy on the sidelines in a suit….

              • July 4th 2013 @ 2:12am
                GWS said | July 4th 2013 @ 2:12am | ! Report


          • July 3rd 2013 @ 10:27pm
            Sandy B said | July 3rd 2013 @ 10:27pm | ! Report

            Gill also gave away the penalty at 80.02, that gave BIL their final gasp to force the penalty kick at the end

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:31pm
        Golden said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

        Looking at this side in the context of how each player will be utilised I think Hooper makes selection sense. He is an evasive runner with the ball in hand, often breaking the line (or going under it, probably describes his running style more appropriately).Hooper coming on with 20 minutes to go, running amongst tired Lions Forwards could just create the line break that is needed late in the game. Gill is a solid player but he doesn’t offer the same running game as Hooper, which I imagine is what Deans is most likely looking for at that stage in the match.

        I think Palu will be pulled at around the 55/60 minute mark and McCalman will be brought on to maintain the intensity at the breakdown because the moment the Wallabies let up at the breakdown the Lions’ backs will start getting quality ball and Deans won’t want that happening because the Lions only chance of scoring meat pies is through their backline. All their other points will be from the boot and based on the side Gatland has picked he is hoping to score more than just 3 pointers this week.

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:36pm
          jutsie said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

          if they are going to have mcalman on the bench ahead of MMM or kimlin then they have to go with hooper as the openside reserve for impact. So yeah agree with you ll

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 2:48pm
        Dirk said | July 3rd 2013 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

        Wow formeropenside. You’re such a positive bloke.

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 4:49pm
          formeropenside said | July 3rd 2013 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

          Realistic. Feel free to call me wrong when Deans wins the Bled or RC. Until then, your – and all the other Tah-lovers – carping does not make me wrong.

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:19pm
        zigzag said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

        is this the same Gill that conceded the penalty when we had possession that gave the lions the ball back in the final minute of the match and the chance to make their way back up field?

        • July 3rd 2013 @ 9:09pm
          Rob G said | July 3rd 2013 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

          Haha well played.

      • July 3rd 2013 @ 3:47pm
        colvin said | July 3rd 2013 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        Hooper will also be a last resort back reserve so he’s needed.

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