Beale back but Wallabies halves miss trial

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    NSW Waratahs “barometer” Kurtley Beale is playing in Thursday’s rugby trial against Melbourne Rebels but the nation’s two most established halfbacks will be missing.

    Both teams will field eight Wallabies in their starting side with Test lock and new Rebels captain Adam Coleman making his first appearance for the Victorian franchise.

    However among the notable absentees are Rebels and Wallabies halfback Will Genia (back) and his Test deputy and Waratahs No.9 Nick Phipps (calf).

    Also missing will be three Wallabies with knee issues: Rebels winger Marika Koroibete and backrower Richard Hardwick and Waratahs lock-blindside flanker Ned Hanigan.

    Beale, who is about to begin his third stint with the Tahs and is a former Rebel, pulled out of last week’s Tens tournament with an elbow injury.

    “He’s like the barometer of the team, KB, when he’s up the whole team is up and you feel when there’s a loss that he hates it,” Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said.

    “He’s great to have in the changing room, he lives and breathes the Tahs, so it’s great to have him back.”

    Former Reds lock and Wallabies stalwart Rob Simmons will make his debut for NSW.

    “He’s been fantastic since coming to Sydney, he’s pumped to play and pumped to prove a point,” Hooper said.

    The match also marks the return of Waratahs and Wallabies fullback Israel Folau, who was rested from last year’s spring tour.

    “He’s mentally refreshed, he looks in fantastic shape, so I know he’ll be coming out and wanting to prove a point,” Hooper said.

    Both teams will be looking to build combinations and confidence after being heavily beaten in their first trials.

    Tha Tahs were defeated 55-29 by the Highlanders and the Rebels were flogged 50-19 by the Brumbies.

    NSW Waratahs: Israel Folau, Alex Newsome, Curtis Rona, Kurtley Beale, Andrew Kellaway, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper (capt), Michael Wells, Rob Simmons, Tom Staniforth, Paddy Ryan, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson.

    Melbourne Rebels: Dane Haylett-Petty, Jack Maddocks, Tom English, Reece Hodge, Sefa Naivalu, Jack Debreczeni, Michael Ruru, Amanaki Mafi, Angus Cottrell, Lopeti Timani, Adam Coleman (capt), Matt Philip, Jermaine Ainsley, Jordan Uelese, Tetera Faulkner

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (42)

    • February 15th 2018 @ 8:22am
      Malo said | February 15th 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      The Tahs will annihilate the rebels

    • February 15th 2018 @ 9:15am
      John DRYSDALE said | February 15th 2018 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      Malo,

      Unfortunately, I do not think so.

      • February 16th 2018 @ 11:30am
        Malo said | February 16th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        Told ya, the Sunwolves will beat the rebels.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 10:19am
      jameswm said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

      Wow, strong units each side is playing. A lot would say Tahs are stronger with Gordon starting than with Phipps.

      Paddy Ryan back to TH? That’s a worry. He was finding his feet at LH, not sure he is up to TH.

      What about Kepu and Latu? And is Vui on the bench? Is Vui more of a TH or LH? Do we need Ryan to play TH?

      Is Naiyaravoro on the bench?

      Who is this new flanker Meafua? Looks like a replacement for until Dempsey and Hanigan are ready.

      Debre at 10 – will be interesting. He can pass and kick. Queries on defence and strength in contact.

      • Roar Rookie

        February 15th 2018 @ 10:29am
        Paul D said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        Im guessing Kepus suspension still valid. Either that or better off getting game time into the other guys since they will be starting the year off. Vui is a TH and on the long bench. Kelly Meafua is a No8, big unit and strong in contact. Is he good enough for Super Rugby though remains to be seen. Didnt see him listed on yhe bench for this one though.

        • February 15th 2018 @ 10:32am
          Fionn said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

          Kepu is suspended for game 1, so maybe worth giving someone else a shot if they will have to play the first game anyway?

      • February 15th 2018 @ 1:07pm
        Cynical Play said | February 15th 2018 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

        Meafua is very promising. He’s a wrecking ball backrower. Latu was loose-head in the 10’s. I liked it.

        • February 15th 2018 @ 4:11pm
          cuw said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

          he has played 7S for Samoa , so atm cant play for Auzzy πŸ™‚

          • Roar Rookie

            February 15th 2018 @ 4:39pm
            Paul D said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

            I dont think anybody is talking about him being a Wallaby. Just whether he will fill the need in the Tahs.

            • February 15th 2018 @ 5:08pm
              cuw said | February 15th 2018 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

              LOL – isnt the whole purpose of super rugger to find players for the national team?

              no wonder auzzy has issues πŸ˜›

      • Roar Guru

        February 15th 2018 @ 3:56pm
        jeznez said | February 15th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

        NSW Waratahs squad: 15. Israel Folau, 14. Alex Newsome, 13. Curtis Rona, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Andrew Kellaway, 10, Bernard Foley, 9. Jake Gordon, 8. Jed Holloway, 7. Michael Hooper (Captain), 6. Michael Wells, 5. Rob Simmons, 4. Tom Staniforth, 3. Paddy Ryan, 2. Damien Fitzpatrick, 1. Tom Robertson.

        Replacements: 16. Hugh Roach, 17. Tolu Latu, 18. Shambeckler Vui, 19. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 20. Will Miller, 21. Mitch Short, 22. Mack Mason, 23. Bryce Hegarty, 24. Ned Hanigan, 25. Lalakai Foketi, 26. Lachlan Swinton, 27. Ryan McCauley, 28. Brad Wilkin, 29. Nick Palmer, 30. Irae Simone, 31. Taqele Naiyaravoro

        I’d prefer Ryan and Robertson swapped around. Contrary to the article Hanigan is there – on the bench listed at 24.

        Haven’t seen Meafua play yet but looks like he has been around a few professional set ups – most recently in France.

        Interesting to see Newsome and Kellaway on the wings – wondering if they are playing off for a spot with Taqele locked in or if they are genuinely seen as the top two wingers.

        No Clark in the squad – wonder if he is injured or on the outer.

        Who is Mitch Short – assume he is a halfback?

        • Roar Rookie

          February 15th 2018 @ 4:09pm
          Paul D said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

          Yep Clark is injured. Meafua has some experience and strong leg drive, but looked a bit unfit in some photos. Too much pudge. I hope he develops as he can be the hard tight backrow option required.

          Mitch Short is a halfy. Big step down from Lucas. Not as well placed in halfbacks this year so i hope Gordon is ready to fire.

          Kellaway was really good till he was injured last year. A well rounded footballer. I expect big T will play good minute though.

          • February 15th 2018 @ 5:46pm
            Cynical Play said | February 15th 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

            Would have like to see JP Sauni have a run. But not much room with Roach and Latu on bench.

            I see Latu having first crack at 2 when the comp starts.

            • Roar Guru

              February 15th 2018 @ 6:45pm
              jeznez said | February 15th 2018 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

              I’m surprised that Fitzpatrick is starting. Always thought he was serviceable without being anything special when he was in the squad before.

              Hopefully you are correct and Latu will be getting first crack.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 11:29am
      Tony said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:29am | ! Report

      The hoax is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack !!

    • Roar Rookie

      February 15th 2018 @ 1:21pm
      piru said | February 15th 2018 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

      Phipps out is an advantage surely?

      A decent number of the Western Force team that destroyed the Tahs in Perth last round in 17 is in this Rebels squad.

      This could be a good indicator of whether we can expect Rebels + Force to be more or less than the sum of it’s parts.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 1:45pm
        Cynical Play said | February 15th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

        That was last year buddy, and they had alot to play for, Tahs are not going to get towelled like that this year

        • February 15th 2018 @ 2:23pm
          Tony said | February 15th 2018 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

          ^ Tahs March Premiers. Again.

          • February 15th 2018 @ 2:55pm
            Fionn said | February 15th 2018 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

            Bookmark it, Piru πŸ˜‰

            • Roar Rookie

              February 15th 2018 @ 6:38pm
              piru said | February 15th 2018 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

              Mate I’m going to be dancing on some bookmarks come end of season!

      • February 15th 2018 @ 2:21pm
        Mmmmm..k said | February 15th 2018 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

        No, Phipps out is not an advantage.

        Picked for Aus by Dean’s, McKenzie, Cheika.

        They know a bit about rugby.
        Clearly you know more than 3 international coaches that won Super Rugby.

        • February 15th 2018 @ 2:53pm
          Fionn said | February 15th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

          And as we all know form from 2011-14 is entirely relevant on 2018 form.

          Nick’s analysis of Phipps disastrous 15min against England last year is entirely irrelevant…

        • Roar Rookie

          February 15th 2018 @ 6:38pm
          piru said | February 15th 2018 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

          Clearly you know more than 3 international coaches that won Super Rugby.

          Apparently so

          I have eyes

    • February 15th 2018 @ 1:28pm
      Gary said | February 15th 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

      Holloway getting a start is good to hear. If he can improve his fitness and up his involvements he is the real deal , just the abrasive type of forward we need in the national team and guess what – he can run with the ball in the tight and also the loose , add him together with Coleman , Uelese , Thor , Rodda , then you are putting a tough pack together at last.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 3:43pm
        JP said | February 15th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

        I Like Holloway Gary .Add Higgers and Lukhan Tui to that mix as well,but it wont happen.I wish it would happen,but Cheika will still select powder puffs Hooper Hanigan and Robertson , no risk.

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