Kerevi in, Hunt benched as Wallabies side announced for Wales clash


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    The Wallabies have named a full-strength side to take on Wales this weekend, with a number of big names returning from injury and illness.

    Bernard Foley and Will Genia are back from illness and will line up in the halves, while Samu Kerevi has been named ahead of Karmichael Hunt at inside centre.

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika indicated Kerevi’s performance against Japan had put him ahead of Hunt in the race for the No.12 jersey.

    “If Karmichael had not been injured (neck) he would have started that game (in Yokohama) but as it was Samu played really well and deserves another go,” Cheika said.

    “He is a very good player Samu. He hasn’t had it all his own way this year and I’m eager to see him fight back and try and get a spot in the team.”

    Kerevi scored two of the Wallabies nine tries last weekend, forming a dangerous partnership with Tevita Kuridrani. Kuridrani scored a hat-trick in the Wallabies’ big win.

    Hunt has been named on the reserves bench.

    Foley’s inclusion means Reece Hodge is pushed back to the wing, with Kurtley Beale lining up at fullback.

    Cheika said the decision to keep Beale at fullback was not a long-term audition for the role, but a demonstration of the great versatility of his backs.

    “We know a bit what all those guys can do in the different positions and we’ve got good options and that’s one really good thing about us,” he said.

    “Karmichael can set up at fullback or centre. Samu can play 12 or 13.

    “Hodge can pretty much play anywhere, Beale can play 12, 15 or 10 if we need him.

    “He’ll still play in that playmaker’s role predominantly, a whole lot won’t change for him.”

    “They’ll be changes in how we set up for set pieces but in attack he’ll play the same role.”

    Cheika confirmed Foley will retain goal-kicking duties despite Hodge booting nine conversions from nine attempts last week.

    “We might have Hodge kicking the line kicks, we’ll see how that unfolds,” he said. “But Foley will be kicking goals.”

    Wallabies team to play Wales
    1. Scott Sio (40 Tests)
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (79 Tests)
    3. Sekope Kepu (88 Tests)
    4. Rob Simmons (79 Tests)
    5. Adam Coleman (19 Tests)
    6. Ned Hanigan (10 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (76 Tests)
    8. Sean McMahon (23 Tests)
    9. Will Genia (vc) (85 Tests)
    10. Bernard Foley (vc) (52 Tests)
    11. Reece Hodge (21 Tests)
    12. Samu Kerevi (15 Tests)
    13. Tevita Kuridrani (55 Tests)
    14. Marika Koroibete (5 Tests)
    15. Kurtley Beale (68 Tests)

    16. Stephen Moore (126 Tests)
    17. Tom Robertson (16 Tests)
    18. Allan Alaalatoa (20 Tests)
    19. Matt Philip (1 Test)
    20. Ben McCalman (50 Tests)
    21. Nick Phipps (59 Tests)
    22. Karmichael Hunt (3 Tests)
    23. Henry Speight (18 Tests)

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (125)

    • November 9th 2017 @ 11:44pm
      Riddler said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

      I know what sentence in this article will get the most comments..

      • November 10th 2017 @ 5:42am
        Fionn said | November 10th 2017 @ 5:42am | ! Report

        For me it is that we have named a ‘full strength side’ when Hanigan is in the team ?

        • November 10th 2017 @ 6:24am
          riddler said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:24am | ! Report

          i call your bluff matey!!

          • November 10th 2017 @ 10:22am
            PiratesRugby said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            “But Foley will be kicking goals.”
            I’d only go as far as agreeing that Foley will be kicking in the general direction of the goals.

            In The Australian, Joe Powell is listed on the bench.

    • November 9th 2017 @ 11:47pm
      Wallace footrot said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

      Shock horror! Never saw that coming!

    • November 9th 2017 @ 11:47pm
      Riddler said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

      Good luck oz.. won’t be easy and they could easily beat us. . That being said, I have had a flutter so we better win!

      Hope it will be roof closed..

      Great day for all. .

      Love November rugby.. beginning of the great few 4/5 months..

    • November 9th 2017 @ 11:48pm
      Noodles said | November 9th 2017 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

      Well I’m sure folk will have their views as usual. But you’d have to say that cheika is looking like the guy who built depth and strength in the wallabies.
      Personally I’m hanging out for a big game against the poms. For some reason I just hate losing to them.

      • November 10th 2017 @ 6:17am
        soapit said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:17am | ! Report

        would be interesting to see some analysis on depth now vs past coaches. not sure we can really cope with too many key injuries.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 6:22am
          Fionn said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

          Well if Genia is injured we have Phipps and if Moore is injured we have Moore… Cheika doing his best not to build depth at 2 and 9.

          • November 10th 2017 @ 6:52am
            Fionn said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:52am | ! Report

            Is TPN is injured we have Moore…

            • November 10th 2017 @ 8:37am
              Rebellion said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

              If Hanigan gets injured we can always drag a homeless bloke out from underneath a bus shelter to replace him

              • November 10th 2017 @ 8:39am
                Fionn said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

                Nah we get a massive upgrade in McCalman off the bench 🙂

          • November 10th 2017 @ 5:15pm
            Reverse Wheel said | November 10th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

            Phipps had a strong game last weekend, as I wrote elsewhere. Not a single inaccurate pass in the entire game. Two early mistakes but after that he was accurate, decisive and quick.

            • November 10th 2017 @ 9:21pm
              Fionn said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

              Not according to the stats on the Tuesday Top 5 on GAGR (by a Waratahs fan). I thought he was serviceable without standing out as being good—apparently he caused most of our turnovers and when Powell came on he made twice as many tackles. Phipps has to offer more, he just doesn’t.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 6:23am
          riddler said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:23am | ! Report

          soapit.. even in our glory years of 84,91,99 we didn’t have much more than a xv..

          we could cover 2 or 3 maybe.. but nothing like the kiwis or french could in naming virtually a whole new team and still be competitive..

          facts of rugby life in oz..

          • November 10th 2017 @ 10:20am
            Wolman said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report


          • November 10th 2017 @ 12:40pm
            Noodles said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

            I was referring to the lack of depth when cheika arrived. we barely had two or three test players. Now we have a strong team with a couple of soft backup possies (backrow, 9 and 10) that are getting better in general for depth.
            I would have thought it’s obvious that cheika has built a competitive squad.

            • Roar Guru

              November 10th 2017 @ 12:47pm
              Train Without A Station said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

              And despite that we’d drawn and lost to NZ by 1 point the year prior as well as winning 7 tests in a row…

              Not bad for having only 2 or 3 test players…

            • November 10th 2017 @ 4:24pm
              Frank said | November 10th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

              But why the hell is Hannigan andRobertson, Simmons there? Proven lightweights. No one can argue against claims of tah favoritism with these selections.. Hannigan selection represents all political bullsh#t that I hate about Oz rugby. I feel for better players like Fardy/Gill/ Higgers who were let go because they didn’t have “compatible personalities” or offended cheks delicate sensitivities. For the record I like the direction Wallabies are heading, I just think they could have gottten there sooner with better selections

      • Roar Guru

        November 10th 2017 @ 12:53pm
        Train Without A Station said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

        Cheika is building depth – or these players who played well in Super Rugby first to get selected in the first place have emerged?

        How many new selections had started 10 games of Super Rugby in October 2014?

        Adam Coleman? No
        Rory Arnold? No
        Allan Ala’alatoa? No
        Karmichael Hunt? No
        Samu Keveri? No
        Marika Koribete? No
        Sefa Naivalu? No
        Henry Speight? Yes – Wasn’t eligible.
        Lukhan Tui? No
        Izzack Rodda? No
        Sean McMahon? No
        Reece Hodge? No

        Cheika deserves credit for selections like Jordan Uelese where he astutely picked him off not much to see at the top level. But for each of them there is a Tom Robertson, or a Ned Hanigan who are continually selected despite nothing suggesting they are up to it.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 3:20pm
          Charlie Turner said | November 10th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

          Yeah! Most potential talent Australia is right under the coaches nose, it’s not like Cheika’s selecting players from the Roma Echidnas? Even Uelese’s selection was not exactly a Bob Dwyer/Phil Kearns “out of Randwick second grade” epiphany. Getting the players into their best positions has been a war of attrition rather than an application of common sense and rugby acumen. Cheika stubbornly persevering with Gentle Ned is further evidence he’s either a poor selector or borderline masochistic.

          • November 10th 2017 @ 5:17pm
            Reverse Wheel said | November 10th 2017 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

            Hanigan is better than the Roar gives him credit for. Not the full package for sure, but there are plenty of more astute judges than you find round here who are more than willing to give him a rap.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 6:30pm
          scubasteve said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

          Ned and Tom are still young in forward terms. Experience counts so I suspect he has an eye on them for 2019 as coming into their own.

          • November 10th 2017 @ 6:55pm
            Train Without A Station said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

            There are other young and better performing options.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 12:10am
      Cliff (Bishkek) said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:10am | ! Report

      Well I am afraid Cheika can see something in Hanigan that I can not see and also the majority of those with some knowledge on rugby and the role of a No. 6.

      I just cannot understand the continued selection!! If he was doing something that he should do, well maybe but he has done absolutely nothing!!

      • November 10th 2017 @ 8:40am
        waxhead said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        @Cliff – Hanigan is a Waratah and Randwick player – don’t need to know anything more 🙂

      • November 10th 2017 @ 11:34am
        Damo said | November 10th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

        Cliff, I’ll take that one step further. This is not meant to be a smartarse question and, all partisan crap aside, does anyone think they are sufficiently inside MC’s head to give an opinion about why he is using Hanigan at 6. He seems to be building a game around speed and power and it seems to be going ok. Have a look at how the backline is evolving- almost sub 100kg need not apply. Hanigan is honest and goes hard- and has lineout value. Maybe he wants precision rather than power in his backrow. We have all now just about accepted that Hooper does offer something unique at 7. However you have just got to think there are some players around who in Cheika’s mind could do the things that Hanigan does but also supply some ball carrying/ defensive hitting power as well. Anyway just throwing it out there.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 5:12pm
          Cliff (Bishkek) said | November 10th 2017 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

          Damo, I accept all of that in terms of the selection of Hanigan. Yes, Hanigan has speed but he does not have power. His job – first is to hit rucks and clean out, and then take the ball up when called upon, then he has to offer cover defence. He has the speed to do most of these tasks – BUT HE HAS NO POWER. He hits rucks and nobody moves, he takes it up and gets hit straight back. In cover defence he is good.

          But he is not doing the job of a six. Look at Dempsey – he can clean out, he can run it up – and has a good step. He can cover and he can hit.

          So mate, no I am not in Cheika’s head – but in fact would not want to be. As a brain cell I would be absolutely confused and bouncing on electrons and wondering wt …. is going on!!


          • November 11th 2017 @ 9:06am
            PiratesRugby said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

            Hanuman is weak but he is also inaccurate. His ball running is poor because he goes to ground immediately and places the ball badly. Against Japan he placed the ball at the side of the ruck allowing an easy turnover. By contrast, McMahon’s technique is good, he keeps running in contact making breakthroughs or at least extra metres and his placement is excellent.
            Meanwhile, Higgers, Fardy, Gill got shafted notwithstanding much better performance than Hanigan can dream of.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 12:49am
      Rugnut said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:49am | ! Report

      Foley r raining the kicking duties but handling the tough stuff to Hodge such as tackling ( they swap positions on defence)

      Good ol Ned.

      Moore still hanging in when he is the 5th best hooker in Australia

      Kerevi worries me. Great runner, but his defence is ordinary.

      • November 10th 2017 @ 1:05pm
        Cliff (Bishkek) said | November 10th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        Actually Rugnut, Kerevi’s defence at 12 is quite good. It is when he is at 13 that he gets lost in defence and reading the attack and loses position. At 12, I am quite impressed with his tackling.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 6:32pm
          scubasteve said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

          he isn’t exactly knocking people back and making them think twice though

          • November 11th 2017 @ 4:35pm
            Cliff (Bishkek) said | November 11th 2017 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

            Scubasteve – was once told by a Coach – if you can hit them hard, then hit them hard but remember the first point of a tackle is to – Knock them down which ever way you can. So if he can hit them and get them down I am not concerned about “knocking them back”. And he can tackle in the 12 channel. The 13 channel is his Achilles!!

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