The Roar
The Roar


Woeful Wallabies in dire need of refresh

Matt Giteau, it's time to say goodbye. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Roar Pro
20th August, 2016

The Wallabies are a national embarrassment.

To have a team of multi-millionaire footballers who don’t appear to have the basic skills under control, let alone pride and passion in the jersey, is not only damaging to results, it undermines the popularity of the game, and the financial future of an already struggling ARU.

More of the wash-up from Bledisloe 1
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» LORD: The Wallabies can’t pass, catch or tackle
» Five talking points
» What changes should the Wallabies make?
» DIY Player Ratings
» WATCH: All the highlights

The Wallabies need a major overhaul and not just with words or a ‘new way’. They need new players, playing in the right positions, who have the genuine ability to break games and beat the All Blacks.

The last few years’ selections haven’t been about setting up a dynasty, or beating the All Blacks consistently. Rather, it has been about picking players who have the experience to stick close enough to the All Blacks that they might win one occasionally.

The rugby public deserves better, and it’s time for a serious change.

The Bledisloe 1 debacle must surely end careers. That kind of performance is unacceptable and should be the catalyst for tapping a bunch of players on the shoulder.

I’d start by picking players in their rightful positions, and for the skills that they are picked in their provincial teams.

This ‘Pooper’ nonsense drives me insane and by continuing with it, we weaken our lineout, scrum and loose-forward play in possession.


Pick David Pocock at 7. He’s the best in the world, and if you want Michael Hooper to come on at the end of the game as a finisher, fine. But I’d pick Liam Gill as my backup, because he actually plays like an openside and doesn’t hide out on the wing.

But there are some who just don’t cut it at international level.

Bernard Foley is woeful. He takes forever to get the ball on his boot, and he couldn’t deceive an old bloke with a habit of falling for Nigerian email scams. He’s not a world-class 10, and he should be gone.

Matt Giteau is too small, and he won’t be at the next World Cup. Adam Ashley-Cooper is likewise going to be gone by the next World Cup and despite his versatility, he’s past his use-by date.

Rob Horne is again useful, but no international team is scared of him.

Dean Mumm made a run against a team that wasn’t the All Blacks once. Hasn’t done anything before or since to justify his continued selection.

The question is, what new blood exists that could, with less than four years of prep, give the All Blacks a good shake at the next World Cup?

Reece Hodge has great ball skills, kicking and decent pace to go with his versatility, he’s my first in.


Matt Toomua should start at 12. He’s a great straight runner and distributor, as well as being hardnosed in defence.

Samu Kerevi should play at 13. His defence needs some work, but his running and ball skills put him ahead of Tevita Kuridrani.

Luke Morahan’s actually got pace, skills and can kick! Our back three hasn’t had speed for far too long and this just can’t work for a team that wants to play running rugby.

I’d start Will Genia at 9 and bring Nick Frisby into the squad to learn. Nick Phipps’ passing isn’t up to scratch and Frisby has a much better running game.

Andrew Ready was a shining light for a rubbish Reds team this year. Both Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau are at the end of their careers and Ready is the next best hooker in the country; he could develop beautifully. Whether you bring him in for the last 20 minutes or get him starting now, he is the future, and a potential Wallabies captain.

Lopeti Timani has size and mongrel, making him the kind of 8 we need, with line-breaking skills and genuine power.

What do you reckon Roarers? What fresh blood is needed to build the Wallaby team of the next World Cup?