Over the past two weeks, we’ve asked you to pick the Wallabies team for whenever it is they next play, including the starters, the bench, and the captain. It’s time now to reveal that full side.
We ran through the starting XV earlier in the week, but for those who missed it, here it is, with their share of the vote for their position in brackets:
The reserve props to back up Sio and Alaalatoa were hardly a contest. James Slipper was picked by 81 per cent of the thousand people who voted on the bench, while Taniela Tupou was pretty much a unanimous selection with 97 per cent of the vote.
Folau Fainga’a’s backup was a more close-run thing. Both Anaru Rangi and Alex Mafi were picked in 29 per cent of the sides, but it was the oft-injured but much-talented youngster Jordan Uelese (41 per cent) who nabbed the no.16 jersey.
With a clear majority (71 per cent) opting for a back-heavy 5-3 bench split, there were only two more available spots for reserve forwards. Liam Wright (48 per cent) was the most popular selection there, his versatility in the back row clearly playing into his hands.
The Queensland skipper was closely followed by Melbourne lock Matt Philip on 46 per cent, while his Rebels teammate and incumbent number 8 Isi Naisarani fell just short on 43 per cent.
Rob Valetini (28%), Caderyn Neville (18%), Jack Dempsey (17%), Fraser McReight (11%) and Harry Hockings (10%) were the other forwards to finish in double-digits.
At scrumhalf, Tate McDermott easily won the race to back up Nic White with 61 per cent, comfortably ahead of Brumbies halfback Joe Powell (25%).
The other two bench spots for the backs went to Melbourne fullback and occasional Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty (35%) and young centre Jordan Petaia (34%).
Haylett-Petty’s Rebels teammate Reece Hodge fell just 21 votes short of Petaia, despite his ability to cover pretty much every position in the backline. Noah Lolesio (19%) and Kurtley Beale (15%) were the next-best backs.
The only remaining task was to choose a captain from the 15 starters, and it was Michael Hooper who won that poll with 42 per cent of the vote, comfortably clear of Allan Alaalatoa on 26. Matt To’omua (11%) was the only other potential skipper to get a double-digit portion of the vote, and Izack Rodda (9%) wasn’t far behind him.
And so, that leaves us with a Wallabies team which looks a little something like this:
Dave Rennie, you’re welcome. Now all we need is some rugby to see these guys in action together.