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Michael Cheika mixes things up with experimental Wallabies side to play Japan

Stirling Coates Roar Guru

By Stirling Coates, Stirling Coates is a Roar Guru

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    The Wallabies have announced the squad they’ve picked to play in Saturday’s Test against the Brave Blossoms on Saturday, November 4.

    With Bernard Foley, Karmichael Hunt and Will Genia all unavailable due to injury, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has had to make some changes to the line-up for the warm-up to the Spring Tests.

    Kurtley Beale has been shifted to fullback, while Matt Philip will make his international debut.

    The calf injury Genia suffered in the win against the All Blacks has kept the scrumhalf off the training track, preventing him from taking his place in the side.

    Nick Phipps – who skippered the side against the Barbarians last week – assumes Genia’s starting job in the halves and also receives the co-vice-captaincy in the absence of both Genia and Foley.

    Karmichael Hunt sustained a neck injury in training on Tuesday, leaving the fullback position open. Some expected youngster Joe Powell to be given a go at No. 15, but Cheika has surprisingly elected to put Kurtley Beale in the position.

    Even more surprisingly, Melbourne Rebels’ fly-half Reece Hodge has been given the No. 10 jersey for this Test, rather than assuming his normal position on the wings or in the centre.

    Henry Speight has slotted into Hodge’s spot on the wing, while Samu Kerevi will start on the field as inside centre.

    The squad’s inclusions include the twice-capped Powell and Curtis Rona, alongside debutant Matt Philip and Ben McCalman, who bring up his 50th Test more than a full calendar year after his last appearance in the green and gold.

    Lukhan Tui (hamstring), Jack Dempsey (hamstring) join Genia, Foley and Hunt on the sideline, while Israel Folau is currently on a sabbatical.

    Japan vs Australia
    Saturday, November 4, 4:40pm (AEDT)
    Nissan Stadium, Yokohoma

    Wallabies team
    1. Scott Sio
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau
    3. Sekope Kepu
    4. Rob Simmons
    5. Adam Coleman
    6. Ned Hanigan
    7. Michael Hooper (c)
    8. Sean McMahon
    9. Nick Phipps (vc)
    10. Reece Hodge
    11. Marika Koroibete
    12. Samu Kerevi
    13. Tevita Kuridrani
    14. Henry Speight
    15. Kurtley Beale (vc)

    16. Stephen Moore
    17. Tom Robertson
    18. Allan Alaalatoa
    19. Matt Philip
    20. Ben McCalman
    21. Lopeti Timani
    22. Joe Powell
    23. Curtis Rona


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    The Crowd Says (135)

    • Roar Guru

      November 2nd 2017 @ 2:38pm
      John R said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 8:01pm
        Cuw said | November 2nd 2017 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

        Barrett to captain All Blacks against Barbarians

        New Zealand:

        15 David Havili, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Beauden Barrett (c), 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames


        16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Matt Duffie

        Date: Saturday, November 4
        Venue: Twickenham
        Kick-off: 16:00 BST (15:00 GMT)

        Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
        Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
        TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

        Ngatai at 15 for Maori All Blacks

        Maori All Blacks:

        15 Charlie Ngatai, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Ambrose Curtis, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Tom Franklin, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Ash Dixon (c), 1 Chris Eves


        16 Liam Polwart, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Jordan Manihere, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23v Shaun Stevenson

        Date: Friday, November 3
        Venue: BC Place Stadium, Vancouver
        Kick-off: 19:00 local (02:00 GMT, Saturday, November 4)

        Referee: Kurt Weaver (USA)
        Assistant referees: tba (USA)

    • Roar Guru

      November 2nd 2017 @ 2:38pm
      John R said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

      Hodge at 10 aye…..

      Decent mix of young and new. Can’t take Japan lightly though.

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 3:25pm
        Noodles said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

        Let’s hope kerevi is settled at 12. Looking forward to seeing Hodge at 10. Very much liking the tendencies here, and perhaps hanigan will get a chance to build a bit of confidence after the belting he’s had from the cheap seats.

        • Roar Guru

          November 2nd 2017 @ 4:46pm
          John R said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

          You’d think that backline should at least be able to dominate the advantage line aye.

          Kurtley can help Hodge with the PM duties, just like he does with Foley.

        • November 2nd 2017 @ 8:41pm
          Fraenkel said | November 2nd 2017 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

          Please tell me what game has Hanigan played well in?

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 10:59pm
        Brian Auld said | November 2nd 2017 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

        Philip and Coleman you have a great 2nd Row. High workload and combative.
        Potentially the best 2nd Row in the World by the World Cup unfortunately Australia you have a coach who will pick for his own personal and ego reasons rather than what is best for the team.

    • November 2nd 2017 @ 2:39pm
      Fionn said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

      Pretty exciting team. Absolutely no idea why Uelese isn’t on the bench (if you need to give Moore some minutes then start him and put Uelese on the bench). But other than that and the fact that Flanders and Phipps are preferred to McCalman and Powell it is a pretty exciting looking team.

      Excited to see Philip, McCalman and Timani providing some ferocity and power off of the bench even if I would prefer that they had just started McCalman or Timani and dropped Hanigan.

      Hodge at 10 I am sceptical of, but very excited to whether it is a longterm prospect.

      Team has gotten me really excited to watch the match.

      What injuries have hit Foley, Hunt and Genia?

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 3:23pm
        Redsback said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

        Hodge at 10 is something I have wanted to see for a while. Like most half-decent footballers, his upside in that position is.conseravly higher than Foley’s. Also, for the first time in about 7 seasons, our 10 and 12 will defend in their actual positions. I hope he makes an absolute go of it and the Cheika is emboldened to give him more experience on the tour in that position.

        • Roar Guru

          November 2nd 2017 @ 6:12pm
          Cadfael said | November 2nd 2017 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

          Agree Reds. It will also be interesting to see who gets the kicking duties. I would give it to Hodge. A reasonable to good game and good kicking (goal and general play) will styart to put pressure on Foley.

          • November 3rd 2017 @ 11:04am
            JK said | November 3rd 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

            Their will never be pressure on Bernard Foley.He will walk back into the Wallaby team when he is ready.Same goes with Hooper Folau and Phipps.Hanigan and Robertson are getting to that untouchable status like the former.

        • November 2nd 2017 @ 8:59pm
          Redsfan1 said | November 2nd 2017 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

          Hodges key strengths are his support play, running lines and power in contact. Traits that are not really at forefront of a 10. His passing game is considerablely inferior to Foley’s.

          Great player but wasted at 10.

          • November 2nd 2017 @ 10:02pm
            PiratesRugby said | November 2nd 2017 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

            Obviously Cheika follows the Roar. I’ve been saying play Hodge at 10 for months now. Even with feetforhands Phipps at 9, Hodge will go well. He can run, pass, kick and tackle better than Foley. It would be great to see Hodge and Kerevi put in absolute blinders against Japan. Cheika probably won’t pick them again.
            I have absolutely no idea why Hanigan gets to start instead of Timani. It’s Skelton and Mumm all over again. Test after test until it became embarrassing. And then still kept on picking them. Meanwhile Timani is missing preseason at the Rebels. #GoRebels. This test would have been perfect for Uelese. Korobete and Speight on the wings looks great. Beale at fullback will turn the Japanese inside out. I feel confident about the Wallabies putting in a great performance and getting a big win.

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 3:26pm
        Nick said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

        Ill, neck and calf respectively

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 3:30pm
        Cuw said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 3:48pm
        Ed said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

        You must be pumped to see Hanigan destroy Mafi on Saturday…

        On a serious note, I will be interested to see Japan’s tactics. The last time Jamie Joseph went against Cheika, albeit with a better side, he outcoached Cheika in the 2015 SR semi-final. His plan that day was to kick long to pin the Waratahs deep in their half, knowing NSW’s kicking game was poor. With Hodge at 10, this means most of the kicking will be on Beale.

      • Roar Guru

        November 2nd 2017 @ 4:06pm
        Machooka said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

        Fionn… there’s a lot to like in this selection to play the Cherry Blossom.

        Reece at flyhalf will make things interesting, and also with a 6-2 bench I get the impression Cheika is gonna run it a the Blossom for the 80 mins.

        Likewise, the outside backs if given front foot ball are going to be a handful for anyone!

        ‘What injuries have hit Foley, Hunt and Genia?’… well they’re still stitching Foley back together again after he was cut in half against the ABs, Hunt’s got a score neck and Will a sore leg. 🙂

        • November 2nd 2017 @ 6:25pm
          Fionn said | November 2nd 2017 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

          I want to say that we will be utterly dominant in the backs (especially centres) but I am a bit concerned about, as Ed says below, what Amanaki Mafi is going to do to our forward pack… (that being said, i would be concerned about Mafi regardless of whom Cheik had selected…)

          You’re right though, if our 11-15 gets front foot ball then it could be a long day at the office for the Japanese.

          Ugh, that’s awful luck. Still, at least they’re injured vs the Japanese as opposed to the home nations. Hopefully it gets right for all of them by next week, eh?

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 4:18pm
        The Desert Nut said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

        Foley is ill. Genia has a calf issue. Hunt sustained a neck injury of some kind in training.

      • Roar Pro

        November 2nd 2017 @ 4:26pm
        Matt Davis said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

        Who’s Flanders?

        • November 2nd 2017 @ 4:31pm
          Dave_S said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

          “Flanders” is the Roar nickname for Ned Hanigan (after The Simpsons’ innocuous nice guy Ned Flanders)

          • Roar Pro

            November 2nd 2017 @ 4:42pm
            Matt Davis said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

            Fark, that seems incredibly childish.

            • November 2nd 2017 @ 5:03pm
              Kieron said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report


              • Roar Pro

                November 2nd 2017 @ 5:16pm
                Matt Davis said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

                Hi Kieron, happy to do so: Giving another person an insulting nickname drawn from a cartoon TV series, and then proliferating that so that the very act of writing their name in a comment is an act of insulting them (rather than critiquing/commenting on their play) is essentially what 8 y.o.’s do in the schoolyard. It’s childish.

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 5:38pm
                Reverse Wheel said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

                Hanigan is dead to the roar. Not only written off now but the Illuminati have decided he will never be any good. Because you can tell that after 1 year of full time super rugby

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 5:44pm
                Daveski said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

                Matt I’m sort of with you and there’s a couple of serial offenders on this site who also don’t understand joke use by dates or haven’t seen Mean Girls….”stop trying to make fetch happen,it’s not going to happen”….

                Nonetheless this one is kinda funny and not that offensive… they are both named Ned and Mr Hanigan appears to be a top bloke and in the scheme of international forwards looks pretty darn innocent. But totally get where you are coming from.

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 6:32pm
                RahRah said | November 2nd 2017 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

                Good grief ?

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 6:08pm
                Fionn said | November 2nd 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

                Reverse Wheel, no, not dead to me. I will be happy to praise him if he turns in a performance worthy of praise.

                Your example last week of him making a tackle and then trying hard to get to a ruck doesn’t change the fact that criticisms of him do not stem from lack of effort, but from a lack of impact. He was monstered by QC in a tackle, his running and cleaning out still ineffective, and he got 2 line outs stolen.

                Do you even expect him to start for the Waratahs next year? I am expecting to see Dempsey-Hooper-Holloway. He just isn’t good enough to be anywhere near the Wallaby squad at present, let alone the starting 15.

                That said the team overall looks very strong.

              • Roar Guru

                November 2nd 2017 @ 6:53pm
                Timbo (L) said | November 2nd 2017 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

                Ned will be playing Lock, assuming they don’t pick up Coleman or Phillip from the Force Carcass.

                There is a rumor that they want to train Dempsey up at Lock. Not great news for Jed Clampett

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 6:55pm
                Fionn said | November 2nd 2017 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

                Dempsey as a lock? Is this a joke?

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 7:10pm
                Reverse Wheel said | November 2nd 2017 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

                Fionn I’m not saying he’s the full package. But he’s young and he’s learning and he is going 100% all the time. He can bulk up. He can learn accuracy at the breakdown. He can become a very good player. It isn’t his fault he gets selected but when he does he gives it his all and that’s all I ask. I feel the constant belittling of him is unnecessary and unpleasant.

                Same goes for Robertson. Not there yet but pretty darn good for a prop at his age with his experience. He will be peaking at the 2023 World Cup. Given no one else is screaming out for his spot, he should be there getting experience. I don’t see much between him and Alaalatoa in terms of on field performance this year but it seems that only Robertson cops the abuse. Why is that?

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 8:56pm
                Fionn said | November 2nd 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

                Fair point on the belittling of him possibly coming across as mean and unnecessary. That said I don’t think anyone holds ill will towards him – I mean for ‘Flanders’ to be as endearing as critical. He seems a top bloke (as does Robertson incidentally). I just blame Cheika for continually selecting him. I hope he adds some strength and muscle and comes back stronger. He is very tenacious and tries hard, I’ll give him that, and that’s an important quality to have. But for god’s sake get Elsom to mentor him, not Dean Mumm like is currently happening!

                I actually think Ala’alatoa has performed well since being demoted to the bench. His confidence was shattered after Dunedin but he has picked himself up since then. He was also utterly dominant at SR level and by far the best front-rower in Aus SR. He’s got nothing on Kepu at international level yet, but he scrummages pretty well and is strong around the park. I’m not sure the same can be said of Robertson.

                I just think that the days of small props might be over. Ala’alatoa is a massive bloke, Robertson is very small. Slipper’s scrummaging last year was disgusting so hopefully he picks that up or Robertson or another of the young guys picks it up.

                Ben Alexander was the form LHP in Aus this year. He’s one marked to never get another go, however.

              • November 3rd 2017 @ 7:16am
                Worlds Biggest said | November 3rd 2017 @ 7:16am | ! Report

                Reverse, your points about Ned and Robertson are valid however given the season is so long when do these blokes get a chance to spend some time in the weight room ? I mentioned on the Roar a week or two back that these two guys along with Demo could do with a few months in the gym, if that means not touring then fine.

                Ned really needs another 7-10kg of muscle, that requires an off season in the gym. I would play him in the second row for Tahs.

              • Roar Guru

                November 3rd 2017 @ 11:56am
                Timbo (L) said | November 3rd 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                Fionn, My Bad, I meant #8,

                I was brought up calling the #8 a Lock. Must have slipped into old habits.
                Probably from my Rugby League Days in Brizvegas.

            • Roar Guru

              November 2nd 2017 @ 6:51pm
              Timbo (L) said | November 2nd 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report


              He will be playing with Squeak, Big Dog and Mad Dog on Saturday.

              Not sure it is that big an insult,

              Probably not that you want to be called if you are supposed to be an abrasive back rower.

              • Roar Pro

                November 2nd 2017 @ 7:05pm
                Matt Davis said | November 2nd 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                Sure Timbo, i get nicknames, although it must get confusing to have two different dog-types in there.

              • November 2nd 2017 @ 7:16pm
                Dave_S said | November 2nd 2017 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

                Careful Matt, someone is about to start calling Hanigan “Snoopy” … 😉

              • Roar Guru

                November 3rd 2017 @ 11:58am
                Timbo (L) said | November 3rd 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                Santa’s Little Helper?

                Old Yella?

    • November 2nd 2017 @ 2:41pm
      Jacky said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

      Cheika is beyond it he deserves to lose this test as a wake up call.No respect for the Japanese.Hunt needs game time as well as McCalman who won’t get it on the bench.Kerevi should be playing NRC not running on in a test match

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 2:51pm
        ethan said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

        McCalman is on the comeback from injury so I don’t mind if he’s eased from the bench for a game or two, though would have started Timani over Hanigan. Kerevi meanwhile has had his time coming back from injury on the bench, and its a great opportunity to see how the two big men go together in midfield. A lot of us also think Kerevi is better suited to 12 anyway, so its exciting to see him there. And Hunt is unavailable due to injury.

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 4:01pm
        JB said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

        Hunts injured McCalman coming back from injury

      • Roar Pro

        November 2nd 2017 @ 4:22pm
        Matt Davis said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        Probably should of thought this through a little more ai Jacky?

      • Roar Pro

        November 2nd 2017 @ 4:22pm
        Matt Davis said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        Eg: it says in the article that Hunt is not playing as he is injured.

        • Roar Guru

          November 2nd 2017 @ 4:49pm
          John R said | November 2nd 2017 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

          There could be an article about Cheika donating a million dollars to the childrens hospital and dudes like Jacky would find a way to be angry about it.

          • Roar Pro

            November 2nd 2017 @ 5:17pm
            Matt Davis said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

            You’re not wrong, the comments are almost unreadable at times.

            • November 2nd 2017 @ 5:39pm
              Reverse Wheel said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

              Same culprits. Time after time.

            • November 3rd 2017 @ 4:48pm
              HarryT said | November 3rd 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

              It is the eloquent ones that irk me the most.

              Continually sprouting articulate and damning criticisms as though they are facts, and yet you know by their dismissive arrogance that they have never known the physical, psychological and emotional extremities it takes to be an elite sportsman or a world class coach.

    • November 2nd 2017 @ 2:47pm
      Dave_S said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

      Why the 6/2 bench? Surely we’re not expecting a big battle up front? Rona only covers 13 and wing (correct?). If one of Hodge or Beale needs to be replaced then we’re without cover for them. Can Powell play 10/15?

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 2:49pm
        Fionn said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

        Lol definitely, definitely not.

        Lack of back-row cover. Hmm, some might say that taking another in-form fullback who could also play wing in Tom Banks might have been a good idea…

        An injury to Foley? Imagine if anyone had suggested carrying a backup 10 in the squad.

        Mafi might outplay our entire back-row by himself, to be fair.

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 2:53pm
        ethan said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

        Rona played a bit of fullback in the Baa Baas game, so I assume he’ll cover there if anything happens to Hodge or Beale.

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 3:11pm
        Dave_S said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

        I guess it’s fair to say that there is a lot of simple bad luck in losing both our only specialist 10 and a key utility just before the game.

        But the lack of a backup 10 has now pretty much forced us to play Hodge and Beale for 80 min vs Japan when they have had busy seasons already and will be expected to play 80min in each of the remaining tour games.

        Cheikens coming home to roost?

        • Roar Rookie

          November 2nd 2017 @ 5:44pm
          piru said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

          Cheikens – nice

        • November 2nd 2017 @ 5:53pm
          Reverse Wheel said | November 2nd 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

          Hodge is a winger. Wingers don’t have tough seasons.

          Says the prop.

          • Roar Guru

            November 2nd 2017 @ 7:05pm
            Timbo (L) said | November 2nd 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

            Open your mind Paduan

            The only coach that puts Hodge on the Wing is Cheika. That doesn’t make him a winger.

            For the Rebs Hodge played 13,15,12,10 in random order depending on injuries.
            I don’t Recall him out on the Wing, Tom English tended to be injury cover out there, with Hodge and Inman picking up the slack in the middle.

            • November 2nd 2017 @ 8:11pm
              Reverse Wheel said | November 2nd 2017 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

              * backs don’t have tough seasons.

              • November 3rd 2017 @ 2:36am
                Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | November 3rd 2017 @ 2:36am | ! Report

                Reverse Wheel – you were a prop?
                “Hmmm…..” says the winger

      • Roar Guru

        November 2nd 2017 @ 7:02pm
        Timbo (L) said | November 2nd 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

        Chieka Runs his forwards ragged and they start to Fumble the ball when they get fatigued. He puts his third reserve back on the field with 8 minutes to go, if at all. It actually makes a lot of sense.

        Injury cover is already on the field

        Hoops can slip out to 12.
        Hodge can play anywhere above 9
        Beale can play 10,12,15
        Phipps was a winger in a former life.

        If both Hodge and Beale, go down, there might be a problem at 15 and Goal kicking.
        I think Speight could probably cover the FB Job

    • Roar Guru

      November 2nd 2017 @ 2:52pm
      Hoy said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

      I haven’t heard any injury updates, so that is news… Ooohhh… jeez, I just can’t see Hodge as a decent 5/8. His passing is labored, and unnatural to me…

      Forward pack is close to full strength for the year, except Hanigan, who still offers very little.

      I like the backline except for Hodge at 10, and to a lesser extent Phipps but he was expected I guess if there was an injury to Genia…

      His bench is interesting… I guess if Hodge goes down, Beale goes to 10, and what? Speight drops back to 15? Rona? Does Kerevi slot to 10? I mean what is the plan there?

      • November 2nd 2017 @ 2:54pm
        ethan said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

        No but Hodge is a better 5/8 than Cooper now. Well, I guess we’ll find out…

      • Roar Rookie

        November 2nd 2017 @ 2:59pm
        Paul D said | November 2nd 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

        Foley has had a virus all week. Hunt has a crook neck from training and Genia’s calf isn’t right.

        • November 2nd 2017 @ 3:02pm
          Fionn said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

          Any idea how serious Genia’s injury is??? We are stuffed if he is seriously injured.

          • Roar Rookie

            November 2nd 2017 @ 3:36pm
            Paul D said | November 2nd 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

            He’s had it since last Bled. Given that I assume it’s not serious otherwise he would’ve stayed home.

      • Roar Guru

        November 2nd 2017 @ 7:09pm
        Timbo (L) said | November 2nd 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

        I can see Hodge becoming a good 10, but will take a bit of time to get there.

        The criticisms have been about passing accuracy and decision making, a couple of key criterion for the job, not high priorities in the other roles he plays.

        Let’s call it “On the job training” and hope for the best.

      • November 3rd 2017 @ 12:41pm
        MitchO said | November 3rd 2017 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

        I don’t see Hodge having a future as a test match 10. Nor even Beale although he is the best 10 in the squad

        Timani should start because he needs a run more than Hanigan.

        Matt Philip should start with Coleman because we know what Simmons can do and does do. Matt will do a good job against the Japanese.

        Why bother playing Stephen Moore. He’s played plenty of test matches he doesn’t need this one.

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