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Beale is back as Michael Cheika reveals his Wallabies team for Bledisloe 1

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    Michael Cheika has named his team for the Wallabies’ opening Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship game of 2017, bringing back Kurtley Beale for his first Australian appearance since the Rugby World Cup.

    Rugby league convert Curtis Rona is a surprise inclusion, being named on the wing for his international debut in place of Dane Haylett-Petty, who has been ruled out with a bicep injury.

    While Rona spent this past Super Rugby season playing in the centres for the Western Force, he does have some experience playing out wide from his days in the NRL.

    Outside of the debutant on the wing, there are few selections that will shock Wallabies fans. Skipper Michael Hooper will be partnered with Ned Hanigan and Sean McMahon in the back row, while regular fullback Israel Folau and Brumbies winger Henry Speight will join Rona as the side’s back three.

    Beale, who will be wearing the number 12 jersey for the first time in his international career, will be joined in the centres by Queensland’s Samu Kerevi, while squad vice-captains Bernard Foley and Will Genia line up in the halves.

    As expected, Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman have been selected as the side’s locks, and while former skipper Stephen Moore is perhaps a slightly surprising pick in the starting hooker’s role, his front-row partners, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa, will raise few eyebrows.

    There is no shortage of experience on the bench, with Tatafu Polota-Nau (71 caps), Sekope Kepu (80), Rob Simmons (71), Nick Phipps (52) and Tevita Kuridrani (47) all regular members of Cheika’s Wallabies set-up.

    They’re joined on the reserves list by Waratahs prop Tom Robertson and Melbourne Rebels pair Lopeti Timani and Reece Hodge.

    The match will be Michael Hooper’s first game as full-time Wallabies captain, although he has an unenviable task ahead of him with the All Blacks unveiling a few surprise picks in a typically strong side earlier this morning.

    Chiefs star Damian McKenzie was picked at fullback on the back of an outstanding Super Rugby season for the Waikato-based franchise, while there was no place for stalwart forward Jerome Kaino, who was overlooked in favour of Liam Squire.

    The Wallabies will face the All Blacks in their first clash of 2017 at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday night, with kick-off scheduled for 8pm (AEST).

    Wallabies team to play New Zealand in Bledisloe 1

    1. Scott Sio (32 Tests)
    2. Stephen Moore (120 Tests)
    3. Allan Alaalatoa (11 Tests)
    4. Rory Arnold (12 Tests)
    5. Adam Coleman (12 Tests)
    6. Ned Hanigan (3 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (68 Tests)
    8. Sean McMahon (15 Tests)
    9. Will Genia (78 Tests)
    10. Bernard Foley (45 Tests)
    11. Curtis Rona (Debut)
    12. Kurtley Beale (60 Tests)
    13. Samu Kerevi (8 Tests)
    14. Henry Speight (12 Tests)
    15. Israel Folau (55 Tests)

    Reserves
    16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (71 Tests)
    17. Tom Robertson (9 Tests)
    18. Sekope Kepu (80 Tests)
    19. Rob Simmons (71 Tests)
    20. Lopeti Timani (7 Tests)
    21. Nick Phipps (52 Tests)
    22. Reece Hodge (13 Tests)
    23. Tevita Kuridrani (47 Tests)

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.

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    The Crowd Says (327)

    • August 17th 2017 @ 1:36pm
      Fionn said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

      Ugh.

      I’m getting bored of being Captain Negativity, but this was even worse than I had feared.

      Moore, Hanigan, McMahon starting, while Robertson and Phipps are on the bench? Why isn’t Timani starting? Why isn’t TPN? Does our back-row not matter?

      Is defence optional? Ugh.

      Good to see Rona getting a go, however, good luck to him.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 1:49pm
        Link said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

        I know why Rona is getting a go.Him and Speight will be doing the tackling for Beale Foley and Folau.When in reality those two should be our attacking threats.

        How does Tom Robertson keep getting a go, when every super rugby prop dominated him?

        • August 17th 2017 @ 1:59pm
          Bakkies said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

          ‘How does Tom Robertson keep getting a go, when every super rugby prop dominated him?’

          The answer to that is obvious.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 2:29pm
            Wolman said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

            because that didn’t happen

            • August 17th 2017 @ 3:03pm
              Cleveland said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

              Not just Super Rugby…Robertson was dominated by a part-time prop/carpenter in last year’s Shute Shield final.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 3:51pm
                Sir Alfie said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                Is Wolman Michael Cheika?

        • August 17th 2017 @ 4:23pm
          Charlie Turner said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

          My recollection of Speight is he is an average defender in his own position without adding the pressure of midfield defence. How much Union has Rona played to fully grasp the defensive lines?

          • August 17th 2017 @ 4:56pm
            MitchO said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

            Hard to actually say but he played union and then union and league until signing up on the NRL path when he as 18 or so. He was in the Force Academy back in 2009. Really, he wanted to play seniors and the NRL gave him a chance. He went to Sydney and did an NRL apprenticeship for two years and gets into first grade at about 20 years of age. Plays 3 to 4 seasons across two clubs then comes home to Perth to play for the Force. He is still only 25 or thereabouts. Scored a bucketload of tries. Plenty of union experience in the juniors. Big unit. Very fast.

            From our friends at Wikipedia
            Born in Waitara in the Taranaki Region of New Zealand, Rona is of Māori descent.[2] Rona moved to Perth, Western Australia when he was eight. In Perth, Rona attended Aranmore Catholic College, where he played for their rugby union side and represented Western Australia at the Under 15, Under 16 and Schoolboy level. Rona played junior rugby league for the Joondalup Giants in the Western Australia Rugby League competition.[3] He also played rugby union for the Wanneroo Districts juniors and was a member of the Western Force academy.[4] In 2009, Rona made the full-time switch to rugby league and was a member of the Western Reds SG Ball side and represented the Western Australia Under 18 side.[5][6] Later that year, Rona signed a three-year deal with the Sydney Roosters. From 2010 to 2012, Rona played for the Roosters Holden Cup side playing 39 matches and scoring 23 tries. On 21 July 2012, Rona signed a two-year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys.[7] Later that year, Rona represented the Junior Kiwis.[8] In 2013, Rona joined the Cowboys first grade squad spending the 2013 season playing for the Cowboys feeder team, the Mackay Cutters, in the Queensland Cup. On 17 July 2013, Rona represented the Queensland Residents side.[9][10]

            • August 17th 2017 @ 6:15pm
              cuw said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

              games 14
              minutes 1053
              trys 1
              runs 79
              run meters 554
              line breaks 8
              defenders beaten 17
              offloads 14
              turnovers conceded 11
              handling errors 11
              penalties conceded 5
              yellow cards 1
              kick meters 148
              tackles 91
              missed tackles 33
              pilfers 1

              i honestly cant remember him as a player . but i wonder of the scoring and missed tackles stats. (from fox sports)

              • August 18th 2017 @ 11:45am
                Markus said | August 18th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

                75% tackle success isn’t the best, but this was playing primarily outside centre which is far more difficult.
                1 try is a bit low but not horrible for the position, but 14 offloads and 4 try assists is quite good.

                As others have said he was a dangerous finisher in the NRL, and that is probably how he should be playing in rugby too.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 1:51pm
        Jimbo81 said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

        agree 100%

        who not select a centre combo of Hodge, Kurindrani (ie – defensively safe), Beale at FB, Folau on the wing?

        How has Hanigan gained selection? The answer is not form. McMahon at 6 with Timani at 8 would have made sense.

        Moore starting? FFS! I suppose we are supposed to believe that the two weeks of fitness drills make him viable again?

        Only two jumpers + Moore throwing = bad night for the lineout = 50% of why we will lose – the other 50% is because the centres can’t tackle. Kerevi may be a decent super level attacker but his defence at the reds is woeful – and Beale is a non-defender. If we had got the selections right, we could have lost with a respectable margin. This will be a massacre!

        • August 17th 2017 @ 2:29pm
          Wolman said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

          hanigan has played the house down all year

          • August 17th 2017 @ 2:36pm
            Fionn said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

            Give it a rest.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 2:49pm
              Timbo said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

              Fionn, It’d be nice if you took your own advice.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 4:32pm
                Wozza said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                I’m pretty sure Fionn is in the majority here. Does anyone actually rate Hanigan?????

              • August 17th 2017 @ 5:31pm
                Bakkies said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

                Cheika and Gibson

              • August 17th 2017 @ 5:34pm
                cuw said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                @ Bakkies

                a little unfair on Gibson – becoz Hanigan is a good super rugger class player.

                just like Dave Dennis or Dean Mumm.

                also dont forget Gibson does not have the luxury of JACKPOT πŸ™‚

              • August 17th 2017 @ 6:06pm
                jameswm said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

                Yes he is good at certain aspects of the game. He is mobile and skilled, and a very good jumper.

                He needs to improve his strength in contact, but is young and hopefully will.

              • Roar Guru

                August 17th 2017 @ 8:57pm
                jeznez said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

                I’m with you James – Hanigan has some good attributes but not strong enough in collisions and makes some poor defensive reads. Could develop but isn’t there yet and should not be in the team ahead of Higginbotham or Fardy.

                Timani should be starting along with one of the two above. Put an old hand (preferably Fardy) in with the inexperienced group of Arnold, Coleman and Timani. McMahon on the bench to up the impact/tempo late in the game.

                It is very frustrating supporting this team when there are some very obvious changes that would strengthen the side

              • Roar Guru

                August 17th 2017 @ 8:59pm
                Timbo (L) said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

                I have rated him since mid-season, covering all aspects of his job. I think he is being judged harshly. A young player with a lot of potential.

                Do I think he is our best wallaby 6? – No, Not yet, With Fardy gone, Dempsey is Chiek’s next favorite. RHP gets named in the team of the year and doesn’t even get an invite to the BoBo’s squad. Nobody has ever accused him of not being hard enough.

                Naisarani usually plays 8 but can be a complete Hardar$e at 6 too. I think he will be eligible for the spring tour – assuming he doesn’t go overseas.

                I am still baffled that Roarers are tearing strips off Ned for not being hard enough at the ruck and their best buddy avoids all of that work over at #7 and nobody raises an eye..

              • August 17th 2017 @ 9:13pm
                Fionn said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

                The number 6 has traditionally been a sort of enforcer at the ruck providing physicality and power while the 7 plays looser – look at G Smith and Finegan or Elsom. Fardy at the World Cup, Kaino for the Kiwis, O’Mahony for Ireland.

                Hooper, additionally, whether you think he is what you want in a 7 or not, is extremely skilful, fast and makes a heap of line breaks, tackles and carries well. Ned carries averagely at SR is good at line-out taking, provides no physicality at the breakdown and has a low work rate.

                It isn’t his fault, he is too young and was thrust into SR to cover injuries. He wasn’t really ready. He definitely wasn’t ready for Test rugby, Cheika made a terrible call in bringing him into the squad and team. He might well be there in a couple of years, but you don’t thrust someone in prematurely.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 9:09pm
                ScottD said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

                I think they are just tired of saying it

          • August 17th 2017 @ 2:42pm
            Allister said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

            In a team that chronically under performed. Easy to stand out when your comrades are barely going through the motions

          • Roar Guru

            August 17th 2017 @ 3:03pm
            ThugbyFan said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

            Wolman, I’m a rabid Tahs fan who attended nearly every match this year at SFS and that comment even made me laugh. πŸ™‚

            • August 17th 2017 @ 3:21pm
              cuw said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

              Hanigan is Mumm in a different avatar πŸ™‚

              • August 17th 2017 @ 6:59pm
                Dr katz said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

                But with much better hair

          • August 17th 2017 @ 4:11pm
            30mm tags said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

            Hannigan is slow to the breakdown,ineffective when he eventually arrives, only wins lineouts when the opposition decide not to contest and gets repelled easily when he occasionally takes the ball up. Basically he is a reserve grade player. Haylett -Petty covering 6 and lock is a better choice than either Simmons or Hannigan.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 4:37pm
            Derek Murray said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

            You’re wrong, he hasn’t played the house down all year but he is a real lineout option so Jimbo is also wrong – we have 3 real lineout options plus McMahon.

            • Roar Guru

              August 17th 2017 @ 5:27pm
              Timbo (L) said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

              The AB’s have 4 + Cane

            • August 17th 2017 @ 9:10pm
              ScottD said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

              well maybe 2 and a half

        • August 17th 2017 @ 9:31pm
          HiKa said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

          Kerevi started out in SR at inside centre and his defence at 12 is good. He is still learning the job at 13 – it’s quite a bit more difficult on defence. I’d rather see him developed at 12, which would have him matching up against SBW, which is a fiar contest, instead of KB or one of our wingers being given that job.

        • August 18th 2017 @ 9:01am
          Bakkies said | August 18th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          Hannigan is 110 kg he can’t carry much more weight.

          • August 18th 2017 @ 2:16pm
            ThugbyFan said | August 18th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

            I think he had bricks in his pockets at weigh-in. I have seen him up quite close and I can assure you that he is a very skinny 110kg. Jack Dempsey looks huge when standing besides Ned Hannigan, and they are both listed at 110kg, sure and Donald Trump is a feminist!

            What I cannot understand with the Ned Hannigan Love-In is you are picking the bloke for two reasons; his prowess at the line-out (good there as 3rd jumper) and for the heavy ruck work that M.Hooper cannot do. His running with the ball and maul work is below average even at SR level. It’s the rucks where Hannigan is just NOWHERE near the level of a decent international #6. If he is early, then like Hooper (or any decent forward) he can steal the ball or win a penalty, but usually he is in later and is easily swatted away by the big boys. Towards the end of SR, to cover for his deficiencies, he started to flop over rucks and trying to roll a ruck merchant from the opposition. Your #6 must be a beast; look at Jerome Kaino, when he comes into a ruck the opposition certainly know he has arrived.

            I can understand why L.Timani isn’t at #6, he rarely if ever plays there and for mine he is a little bit too slow around the park for a flanker. I could certainly live with any of S.Fardy, RHP or S.Higgenbothem. I will offer a left of centre suggestion and push for Matt Philip of the Force, a lock who from what I have seen could certainly play at #6.

            It really is getting to be almost “Anyone but Ned Flannigan”. LoL

            • August 19th 2017 @ 7:27am
              Fionn said | August 19th 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

              Maybe we can parachute Ned Flanders in to play 6 instead.

      • Roar Pro

        August 17th 2017 @ 1:58pm
        Matt Davis said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

        Moore is not an impact player imo, so by rights he either needs to start or not be there at all.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 5:59pm
          double agent said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

          Not be there at all seems the obvious choice.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 2:26pm
        jameswm said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

        Folau is a so so kicker, and he’s the only one in the back 3 who can kick. I guess we’ve got a kicking 12.

        Not happy with Moore, Robertson, Hanigan, the Speight/Rona combo…

        I don’t really see this ending well for us. Name one good defender in our backline. Foley, Beale, Kerevi, Speight, Folau – all have question marks over their defence.

        The only thing he got right was at lock.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 2:33pm
          Fionn said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          Well as Rhys said a few days ago of someone else’s list: we are going to have to hope that we score a lot of tries, because we won’t be stopping many.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 2:58pm
            Lewis said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

            Will we be employing the BIL’s patented rush defence?
            I would have thought a turnstile was a more imposing object when it was thrown at you…

            • August 17th 2017 @ 6:07pm
              jameswm said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

              It certainly is. I used to tell the kids I coached that line speed is more important than actual tackling. If you rush up quick and they manage to get past, the next guy will usually get them, still behind the ad line.

              • August 18th 2017 @ 9:02am
                Bakkies said | August 18th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

                Line speed and defensive systems are useless if you don’t make the tackles. Half the Wallabies backline can’t tackle or refuse to improve that area of their game.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 9:11pm
          Lano said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:11pm | ! Report

          Folau is worse than “so so” – his kicking is sub sub standard.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 2:57pm
        PirayesRugby said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

        I just watched the RWC15 final again. Probably the high point of Cheika’s Wallabies.
        By comparison, the team selected for Saturday loses nothing in the tight five. Except that Robertson on the bench is a massive liability. Indeed, The second row is an improvement. The back row is a poor imitation of the Hooper, Pocock, Fardy combo. Whatever Hanigan has is lost on me. McMahon is not a Test 8. Hooper is not in the best three open sides in Australia.
        Having banished Cooper, Cheika is stuck with Foley. He’s had a poor season and wasn’t great to begin with. I suppose Beale will play his usual game. Cheika taught him how to defend but had no such luck with Foley. And he’s sticking with Folau at 15.
        Good luck to Rona.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 3:04pm
          Fionn said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

          The tight 5 is good. Maybe not equal to the All Blacks but, in my opinion, definitely not outclassed. If we played TPN or had Latu available then we would perhaps even be nearing parity. Good luck to Moore, hopefully he roles back the years. We have two wingers that can defend and they can also attack – although, has Rona played one match on the wing in rugby?

          The issue is with the back-row and centres. Our centres can attack but are super fragile defensively, especially with Foley at 10 and our back-row is just awful both around the park and outclassed in the line-out. We will probably be able to score some good tries, but how many are we going to concede?

          • August 17th 2017 @ 3:10pm
            PirayesRugby said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

            We’re not scoring any tries.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 3:53pm
              Fionn said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

              Haha, I hope you’re wrong, Pirates.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 3:35pm
            cuw said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

            Sio is good .
            AA is better – i think he is the livewire of the pack after Hooper.
            Moore is past sell by date – shud play off the bench like mealamu did
            both arnold and Coleman are good. one problem i foresee is Coleman’s discipline. it seems he has taken this enforcer thingy from the view of a gangster. there is 95% probability he will get a yellow for silly play.
            Hooper is the best 7 in oz atm.
            Mcmohan is also 7. any international 8 will eat him alive ( like Vunipolla did)
            Hanigan is more or less Mumm
            Genia is still bette than most
            Foley is good in patches. also he will kick at posts well , if they are in his zone.
            Rona i have no idea.
            Beale is good but he played well at 15 for Wasps – so how he adapts to 12 is the question.
            Kerevi is good in attack but defensively not. so begs the question who will organize the defence ( the Crotty role)
            Speight is good in defence and attack but he cant kick . i think one of these days he will kick one over his head back towards his own goal πŸ™‚
            Folau is good at catching high balls and running at defence but his positioning is poor. also begs the question who will kick the ball out as there are no good kickers.

            i suspect Beale and / or foley will drop back in defence to give the 2nd kicker option.

            also given there is no fly half on bench , does it mean beale will play 10 if foley is hurt ?

            • August 17th 2017 @ 6:09pm
              jameswm said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

              95% chance Coleman will get a yellow?

              • August 17th 2017 @ 6:24pm
                cuw said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

                yep – nz team will get under his skin and he has shown even in recent past that he has a short fuse.

                i remember Moore had a big fight with him , even after the ref separated the two sides.

                a lot of people thought Coleman showed he is not willing to back down , even against a senior . but what they shud have asked is what made Moore so angry?

                Moore maybe past his ell by date but he is a guy who plays rugger decently. i have rarely seen him so angry.

                and i remember Coleman got carded against nz in one match for off the ball shoulder charge.

                the problem with him is – he does “enforcement” by foul play.

                guys like Kaino just hit hard – watch how Pape stays down in the semi final 2015. nothing illegal or no theatrics ….

                Arnold and Rodda go about it in the right kind of way. Coleman atm is a lose cannon….

              • August 17th 2017 @ 7:03pm
                MitchO said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

                You don’t get carded for push and shove. Surely he doesn’t do the enter from the wrong or the late hit more than anyone else. Coleman will be fine. Hooper was luck he didn’t get in trouble for a late hit on Finn Russell in the Scotland game when he was kicking. It was a good beat or two late and Hooper gave him a smile and a wink which is great stuff but not clever if the citing commissioner chooses to look at it.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 9:02pm
              PirayesRugby said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:02pm | ! Report

              Coleman and Arnold will be our second row to n RWC19. They should have been in RWC15 but Cheika bet on Skelton and Mumm instead. Coach of the year apparently.
              To be fair, he brought back Douglas post back surgery which I thought was madness. He ended up playing out of his skin and our goose was cooked when he went off (and Mumm came on).

          • August 17th 2017 @ 3:44pm
            Dan in Devon said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

            Neither Foley nor Beale will defend at 12 which is why Hooper is indispensable to this team. Beale will drop to full back or second full back in defence which hopefully will provide us with a better exit kicking strategy. While I would have liked to have seen Timani at 8, McMahon will make a good fist of it. Like Hooper he has a big tank and he will be vital to the Grey barn dance. However, I cannot understand what Cheika sees in Hannigan.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 4:07pm
              markie362 said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

              If the abs see two fbs they will run u side to side and mckenzie will have a fid day

              • August 18th 2017 @ 3:03am
                Dan in Devon said | August 18th 2017 @ 3:03am | ! Report

                Will be sweeper defence so one will push up and the other drop back i imagine. The ABs will make a slot of line breaks so they will need their scrambling defence to be on form.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 4:17pm
              marto said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

              So we base our game around Beale and Foleys defensive deficiencies to accommodate Hooper ..Got it ..

              • August 18th 2017 @ 3:05am
                Dan in Devon said | August 18th 2017 @ 3:05am | ! Report

                The other way around. We will use Hooper to accommodate Foley’s and Beale’s defensive flaws.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 4:23pm
              MitchO said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

              Dan. Cheika liked Dean Mumm. He really did. Hanigan is a Dean Mumm. Actually nice and fast like Mumm was and is a busy guy. So old Mumm out, never really wanted Fardy so new Mumm in.

              You are probably one of those rugby fans who didn’t want Dean Mumm in the test team. You may have been right then and you are probably right now.

              I think Hanigan runs fast and keeps himself busy. He tries to have a go but he’s not and may never be physical enough.

              The guy we need to say good luck to is McMahon. Lets hope he can do the job as a lightweight 6 or 8. Lets also hope that one day when get Pocock, McMahon and Hooper all in the same backrow that our lineout works. Maybe it will. Pocock must surely be an awesome lifter. He could basketball a hundred kilo guy like Hooper or McMahon a long way up into the air.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 8:57pm
                PirayesRugby said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

                Our back row should be:
                6: Fardy/Higgers
                7: Pocock
                8: Timani/Higgers.
                Hooper/Gill can come off the bench or cover for injury. Hanigan should go back to grade. McMahon has to bide his time. Sometimes it sucks to be in a deep squad.
                Beale can go to FB, Folau to wing and Hodge to 12. Hodge to kick with Beale and Foley as back ups. We’re stuck with Foley – sometimes it sucks when you’re squad isn’t deep enough. He’s easily the least able 10 is test rugby right now.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 9:13pm
          ScottD said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

          Rona will be hung out to dry as he’ll need to be out of position to cover the twits inside of him and then the AB’s will pounce.

          I predict that there will then be howls for his head but the protected duo inside will still be untouchable.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 9:39pm
            HiKa said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

            You’ve noticed how this game is played!

            • August 18th 2017 @ 9:58am
              ScottD said | August 18th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

              No, I’m just visionary

      • August 17th 2017 @ 4:25pm
        Charlie Turner said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

        How much would it cost to buy out Cheikas contract? Is crowd funding a possibility?

        • August 17th 2017 @ 5:23pm
          Reverse Wheel said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

          Because he had so much quality beef to choose from.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 5:58pm
            Charlie Turner said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

            Try looking back over some of the articles posted on this site and the comments attached regarding players available to Cheika

        • August 17th 2017 @ 6:19pm
          Jigbon said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

          Love it Charlie ??? best idea all year.

        • Roar Guru

          August 17th 2017 @ 9:10pm
          Timbo (L) said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

          Do you think he might get “exited”?

          • August 17th 2017 @ 9:42pm
            Charlie Turner said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:42pm | ! Report

            I think with Pulver leaving the sword of demacles is right over Cheika.

        • August 18th 2017 @ 9:04am
          Bakkies said | August 18th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

          How many players have left due to Cheika’s ‘selections?’

          Unless there is a clause in the contract or a payout from the Vic Government I can’t see Cheika going.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 5:52pm
        MitchO said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

        Think positive Fionn. Those ABs will read the team sheet but still won’t be expecting the Pooper again. Take that!

        KB is a good player, Kerevi is a really good attacker and will be better than last year. A few of the other guys won’t be worse than they were. Rona may prove very good. Be great to see what he can do with some test players around him. Speight is in form. If Kerevi creates a hole then Rona and Speight can finish it. All three are both fast and big. Rona is about 6 4 and can get his arms through and throw that round the corner offload – and Hanigan or Hooper maybe out there when throws it. Hanigan is fast and Hooper is both fast and very good.
        Folau is scoring tries. He will not be worse than last year and his best is good.

        TK has had a good year. He’s back doing what he did a couple of seasons ago. Genia will be okay. Phipps is actually good except for a few diabolical passes. If he doesn’t throw a diabolical pass then he’s good. So go Phipps. We all want to like him.

        If the AB reserve tight head is not that good in a scrum then maybe it matches up okay on Robertson + TPN. Alan A can burn himself out and Kepu can come on and keep things steady at tighthead.
        Simmons will be fired up. Timani did what we wanted him to do in June. Adds some weight and every team needs a tough Tongan.
        McMahon is a bit small for 6 and 8 but he is really tough and what we really want him to do is inspire Hooper, Hanigan and Simmons. Hooper will be so chuffed that he has some support from a tough guy. Hanigan will see how it is supposed to be done and Simmnons will be reminded.

        ABs by 15-17 but not by 50. But I’ll go for a Wallaby upset. Magically the defense holds, the ABs only score 3 tries and KB and Kerevi and Folau create 3 for us. Maybe TK scores that try at the death that he likes but I’ll take it.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 6:10pm
          The Slow Eater said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

          Love it. Especially the bit about Phipps. We all do want to like him but he can’t pass – kinda important for a 9. But go Phipps.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 6:10pm
          GeeCee said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

          Like these comments.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 7:16pm
          Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

          I would like to believe those outcomes Mitch’s, but can’t Quite see them .

          I pray that you are correct.

          The potential is in the players. The question is how much they have developed professionally (ie doing simple things extremely dependably) in the last 6 weeks of training and not playing.

          This Bledisloe will tell us more about the coaches, and our coaching systems, than it will tell us about our players.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 7:38pm
            MitchO said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

            I’m just trying to be positive Ken but is a fine line been first and last so you never know. We can knock them off, it is just not likely. The sun would need to shine on the butt of the wallaby and a few stars would need to align but what the heck.

            KB does make a difference to NSW and the Wallabies and it is a winning difference. So guys like me just need to harden up and be supportive.

            • August 18th 2017 @ 10:07am
              Harry said | August 18th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

              Great comments Mitch. Go the Wallabies.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 8:48pm
          Charlie Turner said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

          I hope that happens Mitch, good positive contribution.

          • August 18th 2017 @ 11:19am
            MitchO said | August 18th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

            Cheers Charlie. We are the underdogs but doesn’t make it any less fun. Gonna be great to see the Saffas in action too.

        • August 18th 2017 @ 5:11am
          Buk said | August 18th 2017 @ 5:11am | ! Report

          Very positive outlook Mitch. Possibly one or two of those might fly, but I have no confidence they all will ; the musical chairs / defence issues, I think will come to haunt us.
          Feel sorry already for Rona, as someone posted above, he may become the scapegoat for the defensive issues, which would be counter-productive, as he looks a tremendous talent.

          • August 18th 2017 @ 11:35am
            MitchO said | August 18th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

            Cheers Buk.

            One day someone is going to explain to me the reasons why KB would interchange between 12 and 15 rather than just stay at 15 full time. Must be some reason you want him in 12 on attacking ball. I don’t understand the positional play of a 12 so I really don’t know. Is it coz the 10 and 12 are mostly on either side of the breakdown so you want your second play maker up level rather than sitting back at fullback.

            It looks like Rona got a gig that could have gone to Hodge with KB being relied on as the kicker. So if KB kicks badly or if KB, Genia and Foley don’t kick well enough as a unit then Rona (or Speight) loses because they need to get Hodge or DHP back in.

            • Roar Guru

              August 18th 2017 @ 11:45am
              PeterK said | August 18th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

              main reason is foley lacks creativity, he is a runner of the ball but lacks vision, he does not create linebreakes or tries so he needs someone next to him to do that

      • Roar Pro

        August 17th 2017 @ 6:41pm
        Crazy Horse said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

        Yet another product of the Rugby WA Academy makes the Wallabies.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 6:47pm
        Selector said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

        Don’t worry Fionn… hanigan will just take over the backrow hard man role… Which was previously performed by Dean Mumm. We are rock solid.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 7:42pm
        Rebellion said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

        Thank Christ Chieka has selected Hannigan, Phipps and Robertson.
        Those guys definitely deserve to be in the team…we will definitely beat the All Blacks now
        Apparently Hansen and his players have MIT Pschologists working with them to combat the fear of Beale’s X-Factor

        • August 18th 2017 @ 11:12am
          Hello said | August 18th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

          to be honest Robertson is my biggest concern of those 3

    • August 17th 2017 @ 1:37pm
      Fin said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

      Well deserved Curtis go hard. Bit surprised to see Moore start otherwise no real shocks.

      • Roar Guru

        August 17th 2017 @ 2:06pm
        Machooka said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        Ditto Fin.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 17th 2017 @ 2:13pm
        Toulouse Lautrec said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

        No real shocks is half the problem. The same team or tactics that have failed over and over again.

        Add some starch to the defense.

        Put some big aggressive bodies to the back row.

        Get some guys who know how to kick a football.

        Put some guys on the bench with energy and brute force so they can come on with 20-30 to go and hurt the opposition.

        Drop players who have tried and failed. There is no harm in admitting mistakes.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 3:53pm
          Dan in Devon said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

          You have the right idea but Cheika is always slow to use the bench. One of the improvements in Eddie Jones’s coaching has been his willingness to to make subs when the game requires it.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 2:55pm
        Perthstayer said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

        Rona is very exciting prospect.

        I hope he can follow the hokey kokey dance the backs have to do to cover each others weaknesses.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 7:36pm
        Gepetto said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

        Winning our line-out is important; TPN is too unreliable.

    • August 17th 2017 @ 1:37pm
      Cynical Play said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

      Midfield. Turnstile.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 1:43pm
        ethan said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

        More musical chairs to occur in defence.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 1:55pm
        Wook said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

        Amen, Cynical…

        TK’s defence will be missed.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 17th 2017 @ 1:37pm
      Joe said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

      Congrats to Curtis Rona. Looks about the right team. Hope they do well.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 4:10pm
        markie362 said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

        Did rona get the gig to stop him goin o/s if the force fold

        • August 17th 2017 @ 4:47pm
          MitchO said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

          No. Cheika said publicly at the start of the season that he would be looking at Rona. Cheika likes his league and would have seen Rona play. I reckon Rona is more talented than Rob Horne so maybe it is like for like. I don’t know if Rona knows what the world looks like if he has to defend at incentre though.

          • Roar Guru

            August 17th 2017 @ 9:15pm
            Timbo (L) said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

            Not surprising, Chika’s Attack Plan comes from the 1992 S.Sydney Rabbitoh’s playbook.

        • Roar Pro

          August 17th 2017 @ 6:42pm
          Crazy Horse said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

          More likely to stop him going to New Zealand as he was born there.

          • Roar Pro

            August 17th 2017 @ 9:43pm
            ols said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

            Or perhaps back to league

    • Roar Guru

      August 17th 2017 @ 1:39pm
      Hoy said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

      I wasn’t too far off… I picked Kepu, Timani and DHP… Happy for Rona.

      I think our backrow is going to get manhandled badly. Why won’t Cheika pick a big body in the backrow?

      • August 17th 2017 @ 2:30pm
        Wolman said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

        Hanigan is a lock

        • Roar Pro

          August 17th 2017 @ 6:44pm
          Crazy Horse said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

          Hannigan is a lightweight. He might be good when he grows up but not Wallabies material yet. Totally dominated by Ross Haylett-Petty and Hardwick when they played head to head.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 9:16pm
            ScottD said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

            That is true but he did have a red hot go. He just wasn’t good enough.

    • August 17th 2017 @ 1:41pm
      Sportstragic said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

      Good luck to the Wallabies!! We will need it.

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