Composite Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad 1987-2015

sheek Roar Guru

By sheek, sheek is a Roar Guru

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    With all the angst currently being generated over the 2015 Wallabies World Cup squad, I thought I would change tack and offer a composite 31-man Wallabies World Cup squad from 1987-2015.

    Unfortunately we would need a little magic to get these guys all back onto the park and in their top form, but what a side it would be.

    Tight-head props (3): Andy McIntyre (87), Ewen McKenzie (91,95), Dan Crowley (91,95,99).

    Loose-head props (2): Topo Rodriguez (87), Tony Daly (91,95).

    Crowley and Rodriguez could both play either side of the scrum competently.

    Hookers (3): Tom Lawton (87), Phil Kearns (91,95,99), Steve Moore (07,11,15).

    Locks (3): John Eales (91,95,99), David Giffin (99,03), Nathan Sharpe (03,07,11).

    Flankers (4): Simon Poidevin (87,91), David Wilson (95,99), George Smith (03,07), David Pocock (11,15).

    All four flankers can effectively play either side of the scrum, openside or blindside.

    Eightmen (2): Toutai Kefu (99), Troy Coker (87,91,95).

    Coker is the fourth lock if required.

    Scrumhalves (3): Nick Farr-Jones (87,91), Peter Slattery (91,95), George Gregan (95,99,03,07).

    Flyhalves (2): Michael Lynagh (87,91,95), Steve Larkham (99,03,07).

    Centres (4): Tim Horan (91,95,99), Jason Little (91,95,99), Dan Herbert (95,99), Stirling Mortlock (03,07).

    Wingers (3): David Campese (87,91,95), Joe Roff (95,99,03), Ben Tune (99).

    Fullbacks (2): Matt Burke (95,99,03), Chris Latham (99,03,07).

    There is plenty of utility value among the backs with everyone from 10-15 bar Tune, being able to play two or more positions.

    Captain is John Eales and vice-captain is Nick Farr-Jones. Only two current players, Steve Moore and David Pocock, have made this composite squad.

    Best 23-man main game squad:

    1-Topo Rodriguez, 2-Phil Kearns, 3-Ewen McKenzie, 4-Nathan Sharpe, 5-John Eales(c), 6-David Wilson, 7-George Smith, 8-Toutai Kefu, 9-Nick Farr-Jones(vc), 10-Steve Larkham, 11-David Campese, 12-Tim Horan, 13-Jason Little, 14-Ben Tune, 15-Matt Burke.

    Bench: 16-Dan Crowley, 17-Tom Lawton, 18-Andy McIntyre, 19-Troy Coker, 20-Simon Poidevin, 21-George Gregan, 22-Michael Lynagh, 23-Joe Roff.

    Finally, I’ve thrown Alan Jones in as team manager, Rod MacQueen as head coach and Bob Dwyer as assistant coach. Now if we could only get those three to work together.

    A former rugby lock, cricket no.11 bat and no.10 bowler, and surfboat rower. A fan of the major team sports in Australia.

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    The Crowd Says (127)

    • August 24th 2015 @ 3:40am
      scottyridge said | August 24th 2015 @ 3:40am | ! Report

      Great article! Yes let’s move on from the Wallabies selection and now just get behind and support our team. As for your squad very similar to mine. I had Willy O and Genia in my squad though. Thanks for a great idea.

    • Roar Guru

      August 24th 2015 @ 4:29am
      taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 4:29am | ! Report

      Only Moore from the 2015 squad Sheek, fair call.

      Some will prefer Folau over Burke and some may make your side post World Cup should the team go well, though not many I would suspect unless they win it.

      some great names in there, confidence not an issue for followers of those players.

      • August 24th 2015 @ 7:56am
        Jarijari said | August 24th 2015 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        Taylorman, as good as Izzy is, Burkey’s one of the fullback greats. Let’s see if he can really prove himself in the big games, week after week. But if they don’t give him decent ball, he won’t get the chance. There’s got to be a worry about the backline blokes in front of him and even at this stage we’re not even sure who, exactly, they’re going to be.
        Sorry mate, re-read and you weren’t suggesting Izzy over Burke.

        • August 24th 2015 @ 12:25pm
          really said | August 24th 2015 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

          Surely Izzy gets one of the Wing spots though. Campo, Burke and Izzy would be a decent back 3.

    • August 24th 2015 @ 4:37am
      riddler said | August 24th 2015 @ 4:37am | ! Report

      love it sheek..

      probably would have folau over latham as well.. but jeez what a wonderful choice that would be to have..

      like your match day squad.. stinky at blindside is interesting..

      • Roar Guru

        August 24th 2015 @ 4:43am
        taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 4:43am | ! Report

        We’ll have Latham then!

        • August 24th 2015 @ 4:51am
          riddler said | August 24th 2015 @ 4:51am | ! Report

          t-man surely you wouldn´t swap out kieran…


          • Roar Guru

            August 24th 2015 @ 5:21am
            taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:21am | ! Report

            In thinking about it, not sure how many of our current squad would make it. If on World Cup performances alone I wouldn’t have Carter ahead of Fox or mehrtens for instance. McCaw would be there, perhaps Nonu and Smith and maybe Aaron Smith. Not sure Read would be over ZinZan or Buck.

            But for sure I’d have Latham over Folau any day of the week…where do I sign?

            • August 24th 2015 @ 5:36am
              riddler said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:36am | ! Report

              mate don´t know ur vintage but why don´t you try and do one for the same parameters..

              would like to see it.. a lot more difficult to settle on 31 than ours would be i am sure though..

              ps.. dont forget to include mr kieran crowley.. 😉

              • Roar Guru

                August 24th 2015 @ 5:43am
                taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:43am | ! Report

                Wouldn’t mind doing a joint SANZAR side actually but I can tell This articles going to get some traction. Well timed, good idea Sheek…let the fun begin… 🙂

              • August 24th 2015 @ 5:46am
                riddler said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:46am | ! Report

                sorry i should have been clearer.. do one for the kiwis..

            • August 24th 2015 @ 6:59am
              sheek said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:59am | ! Report


              That’s interesting. I reckon Carter at his best is the best flyhalf I’ve seen in my time. Most complete no.10.

              I’ll even have a crack at the ABs myself. Much harder task though.

              • Roar Guru

                August 24th 2015 @ 6:17pm
                taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

                Foxy was far more central to the win in 87 and the rise of AB rugby, and lifted goalkicking standards to a new level. His role as a distributor resulted in dozens of tries during the AB era from 87 onwards. DC has never contributed significantly to a World Cup and has attended 3.

                So as a 10 definitely DC but in terms of the importance in a World Cup, foxy.

            • August 24th 2015 @ 6:22pm
              Jerry said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

              Aaron Smith hasn’t played in a RWC yet, so he’d be out.

          • Roar Guru

            August 24th 2015 @ 5:39am
            taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:39am | ! Report

            And now poopers an option I’d probably have MCaw at 6 and the 87-88 version of M jones at 7. Imagine the chaos those two would cause.

            Willie O I would have thought would be there too but I can’t recall his World Cup alone performances at the moment.

            Who could crack Sheeks side this tournament…Folaus the obvious…Pocock? Be good if Moore could bring Kearns down a peg but I doubt it. Kearns was fun to watch with Fitzy. Two big smiling teddy bears growling at one another.

            • Roar Guru

              August 24th 2015 @ 10:41am
              sheek said | August 24th 2015 @ 10:41am | ! Report

              I accept omitting Ofahengaue was a mistake. Willie O in,Pocock out.

              • August 24th 2015 @ 5:40pm
                Simon said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

                Can’t believe you took three Hookers. Old school..

            • Roar Guru

              August 25th 2015 @ 1:44pm
              Cadfael said | August 25th 2015 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

              I loved how Kearns behaved when the Haka was being performed. The odd wink at Fitzy, maybe the odd blown kiss. Always led to a good opening few minutes.

    • August 24th 2015 @ 5:05am
      Jarijari said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:05am | ! Report

      Sheek, can’t argue with your backline much, though I’d rather have Roff than Tune and Mortlock just ahead of Little. The rest are certainties.

      In the forwards I’ve got an issue. Certainly Topo, one of the finest rugby men I’ve seen on the paddock and met off it. I’d go for Crowley, the toughest prop on the weight-for-age scale ever, ahead of McKenzie. And OK, Kearnsy, I’ll have a whinge about it (ref, selectors, coach, TMO, ball boys, tea ladies, etc don’t know what they’re doing) but no-one else quite measures up.

      Eales no betting, but Sheek what are you thinking, Sharpe, a poor scrummager, ahead of Giffin, one of our all-time great underrated forwards, and what about Justin Harrison, the legendary mongrel and consummate lineout thief. Not to mention Bill Campbell, Steve Cutler and Rod McCall.

      Backrow’s good with Smith and Kefu, but Willie O just shading Wilson.

      Anyway, hope to see you at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday night when the mighty Stars take on Qld Country in the NRC, Australia’s biggest new sports comp. There’ll be plenty of room in the members stand. Be there or be square, but if you can’t get there brother, it’s live and exclusive on Fox Sports.

      • August 24th 2015 @ 7:04am
        sheek said | August 24th 2015 @ 7:04am | ! Report


        I wouldn’t have Campo & Roff in the same yteam, simply because they’re too similar. And since I will always pick Campo first, the other winger needs to be a different style. Hence Tune.

        Trying to decide between Little, Mortlock & Herbert is incredibly different.

        Ultimately, Little is a pure outside centre in terms of setting up his wingers, while the other two were power players.

        Yeah, Giffin for Sharpe, probably. McCall, Cutler & Campbell, all considered.

        I’m guilty of being a huge Wilson fan.

        McKenzie technically best prop. We must remember Kearns for his playing, not commentary!

        • August 24th 2015 @ 7:45am
          Jarijari said | August 24th 2015 @ 7:45am | ! Report

          Take all your points Sheek, you know a lot more about the game than I do, and I’d never bag David Wilson, guess I’m a huge Joe Roff fan, even leave out Campo to get him in. And Kearnsy, well I wish we could turn off his transmission. So you’re not a Stars fan, mate it’s a great night out and then back to our best Balmain pub. They’ve also got a couple of Saturday arvo games.

        • Roar Guru

          August 24th 2015 @ 9:39am
          PeterK said | August 24th 2015 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          Sheek – I would have a few changes.

          Willie O played 91 and 95 world cup. I would have him starting at 6.
          I would also have Pocock on the bench. So both Wilson and Poidivin are dropped from the 23.

          Wilson out of the squad.

          Willio added a lot of power and mongrel and would combine with Kefu really well. Smith and Pocock to dominate the breakdown.

          On centres I would start either Herbert or Mortlock , they are very close.

          I agree on Campese as 1 winger. The other winger I would play Folau. He is better than Tune. Roff can stay on the bench since he covers more spots.

          • Roar Guru

            August 24th 2015 @ 10:44am
            sheek said | August 24th 2015 @ 10:44am | ! Report


            Yes, have accepted omitting Willie was a mistake. he takes Wilson’s spot in match day 23.

            But Wilson keeps his spot ahead of Pocock in the squad. Maybe!

            Wilson’s won a world cup, Pocock yet to do so.

            Accept your arguments, while not necessarily willing to change some.

            • Roar Guru

              August 24th 2015 @ 10:24pm
              Mick Gold Coast QLD said | August 24th 2015 @ 10:24pm | ! Report

              Sheek, I say one could not send out a Wallaby best side without Poidevin and Wilson, for their skill and their continuous effective involvement throughout a match. They were simply indispensable, and better and more influential during their time than the current lot in their time.

              Simon Poidevin – they both – matched it with the very best of the All Blacks and kept out the most able loosies Australia has produced – I’ve long held him to be the best of the Wallabies I have seen (I’d have loved to seen more of Loane – earning a quid, playing, poor TV coverage of rugby prevented that).

              Wilson went on to compete in the Springbok’s golden period of seriously exceptional loosies – Pienaar, Krige, Johan Erasmus and Teichmann (an 8 I know, just wanted to include him ‘cos he was a particular favourite of mine 😉 )

              On Horan and Little – there is an inarguable case for installing successful combinations such as they were (see the argument which rages here about Waratah bias, which there is and for good reason) and these blokes are a case in point. They were the outstanding second five and centre duo for years, capitalising on Horan’s strength and sure hands and Little’s beautifully balanced, incisive running. As it happened Herbert developed into the perfect alternate for injury and there were two of him!

              I do not recall much angst or argument at all about their pre-eminence from my (NSW) home base during their splendid reign.

      • August 24th 2015 @ 10:37am
        bazza said | August 24th 2015 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        Sharpe is a poor selection Sheek Sorry mate ..Just because he has played 100 TESTS doesn`t meant mean he is any good. .I`d have Googie harrison or Giffen before him..Only Folau would make this team for the sole reason of that forward pack and inside backs in front of him..He would carve it up bigtime…

        1 TOPO
        2 Lawton
        3 Mckenzie
        4 Eales
        5 Giffen
        6 Finegan
        7 Wilson
        8 Kefu
        9 Farr-Jones
        10 Larkham
        11 Campo
        12 Horan
        13 Little
        14 Tuquri
        15 Folau

        16 Crowley
        17 Kearns
        18 Daly
        19 Coker
        20 Willy O
        21 Gregan
        22 Latham
        23 Burke

        • August 24th 2015 @ 12:29pm
          really said | August 24th 2015 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          Good Job picking a starting 15 without a kicker

          • August 24th 2015 @ 1:12pm
            grapeseed said | August 24th 2015 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

            Ealesy would sort it out.

            • August 24th 2015 @ 3:15pm
              bazza said | August 24th 2015 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

              NOBODY!!! ?? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS !!! ..Did you not see KING JOHN in 2000 kick to win the Bledisloe Cup?? And we wouldn`t need a sharpshooter with all the tries we`d pile on…Easley would suffice …

              • Roar Guru

                August 25th 2015 @ 3:11pm
                sheek said | August 25th 2015 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                You can have Eales as a part-time kicker, but not a regular kicker.


                Being a forward, he’s required to do all the hard yards, securing possession for the fancy dan backs.

                That’s why backs are mostly goal kickers. They’re fresh from standing around so often during a game.

                Horan was not a regular goal-kicker.

                Where do you guys get your advice from…..?

          • August 24th 2015 @ 1:19pm
            Greg said | August 24th 2015 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

            Horan is your kicker there mate.

        • Roar Guru

          August 24th 2015 @ 10:38pm
          Mick Gold Coast QLD said | August 24th 2015 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

          ”Sharpe is a poor selection Sheek Sorry mate”

          Lovely fella, pleasant, patient, happy – but Nathan Sharpe near brought me to tears week after week, year after year with his customary stand still, catch pass from scrum half, plod once, plod twice, plod three times and fall down. We have had many better locks than Nathan Sharpe.

    • Roar Guru

      August 24th 2015 @ 5:39am
      Harry Jones said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:39am | ! Report

      Fun! Thanks.

      I’d find a spot for Pocock.

      • August 24th 2015 @ 6:06am
        Jarijari said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:06am | ! Report

        Pocock’s got a little bit to prove yet, Harry, and it might be tough to do so, considering he wasn’t a starter in his last match. Got a feeling that might be rectified at the Cup. As good as he is, do you really think he’s ahead of George Smith and Willie O? In fact I think you could still play George in a small backrow with Pocock and Hooper. With Izzy Folau jumping at the back of the lineout, not sure you’re allowed to do that. Incidentally, some Aussie watchers — and they’re not all Queenslanders — reckon Liam Gill is the best of our No 7s. From what I’ve seen of him I’m nowhere near dismissive of that call.

      • Roar Guru

        August 24th 2015 @ 6:24am
        taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:24am | ! Report

        Cmon Harry, reel out a Springbok one. I might do an AB one but me picking props I may as well just go by most caps! 🙂

        • Roar Guru

          August 24th 2015 @ 6:28am
          Corne Van Vuuren said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:28am | ! Report

          our tight head is real easy Carl Heyman.

          • Roar Guru

            August 24th 2015 @ 6:28am
            Corne Van Vuuren said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:28am | ! Report


            • Roar Guru

              August 24th 2015 @ 6:34am
              Diggercane said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:34am | ! Report

              Hayman, Brown, Dowd, Woodcock. Squad Loe/O Franks.

              Sorted Tman. ?

              Thanks Sheek, fun idea.

              • Roar Guru

                August 24th 2015 @ 6:50am
                taylorman said | August 24th 2015 @ 6:50am | ! Report

                Yeah see I have a soft spot for John Drake (RIP) from 87 who I saw in a match between University and Grammar on Eden Park no. 2 which incidentally had Gavin Hastings at Fullback. All the guns were there, Fitzy, Foxy for uni and the Whettons for Grammar.

                In one movement, and if you know how close the stands were at Eden no. 2, the play came towards us and in the final movement Drake hurled the winger, ball and all, over the heads of those next to us into the crowd about five rows back. Full of apologies all round it caused a scream and I don’t know anything about propping but that was a huge, yet accidental show of strength.

                The kind of thing you don’t forget.

                But agree with Heymans, disloyal as he was…

    • August 24th 2015 @ 5:52am
      Aaron said | August 24th 2015 @ 5:52am | ! Report

      surely there should be a place for tough guy Owen of my favourite Wallaby growing up..gee, and I’m a PI..

      • August 24th 2015 @ 8:45am
        Squirrel said | August 24th 2015 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        Yeah melon and izzy are certainties for the squad

      • Roar Guru

        August 24th 2015 @ 9:45pm
        Mick Gold Coast QLD said | August 24th 2015 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

        Poidevin and Wilson played all game long, from the moment they first laced up a boot until their very last game.

        Finnegan was lazy too often – even the exceptional, fabulous Viliami Ofahengaue needed to be poked with a stick from time to time. He is now a Wesleyan minister to a Tongan community in outer Melbourne.

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