Last week, we asked you to pick a starting XV for whenever it is the Wallabies next take to the field. Today, it’s time to finish the job by filling out the bench and selecting a captain.
First, let’s take a look through the run-on side, which was picked after well over 1500 votes were entered into last week’s poll.
There were three positions in particular which, while not unanimous selections, it’s clear there’s a consensus on who should play there: Tom Banks at fullback, Folau Fainga’a at hooker and Michael Hooper at openside flanker all received around 70 per cent of the vote in their respective positions.
In the second row and on the wings there were even more clear-cut first options, with Marika Koroibete on the wing and Izack Rodda at lock picked in 89 and 80 per cent of teams respectively, but their partners were far closer contests.
Henry Speight (24%) edged out Andrew Kellaway and Dane Haylett-Petty (both 20%) to take the second winger’s spot, while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (40%), used to playing at no.6 for the national team, was the second-favourite second-rower ahead of Matt Philip (36.4%).
Running through the rest of the side, the centre pairing was clear-cut, with Tevita Kuridrani (47%) preferred to the currently injured Jordan Petaia (37%) at 13 and James O’Connor (48%) picked ahead of Matt To’omua (31%) at 12. it was then To’omua picking up 41 per cent of the flyhalf vote ahead of O’Connor’s 35 to take the no.10 jersey.
Nic White is the first-choice scrumhalf, picked in 45 per cent of teams, but Tate McDermott of the Reds had a surprisingly high portion of the vote with 38 per cent. And it was another young Queenslander, Harry Wilson, who got the nod at number 8 with just under half the vote, well ahead of incumbent Isi Naissarani’s 37 per cent.
Pete Samu (40%) was chosen to partner Michael Hooper as the blindside flanker, comfortably preferred to club teammate Rob Valetini (25%), while it was no surprise to see two more Brumbies in jerseys 1 and 3, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa filling out an all-ACT front row.
Sio was picked in half the teams to get past James Slipper (38%) at loosehead prop, while Alaalatoa (60%) and Taniela Tupou (40%) were the only two tightheads to garner any significant support.
So, that’s our run-on side, now you just need to decide who’ll be on the bench. First, choose your preferred forwards-backs bench split: either 6-2 or 5-3. You’ll then have to pick dedicated back-ups in each of the front-row positions and halfback, as well as the remaining reserve forwards and reserve backs.
To finish things off, pick a captain from the 15 starters, hit submit, and then let us know your selections in the comments below.