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The Roar

JC

Roar Rookie

Joined March 2021

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Better to start succession-planning now, eg Eales > Gregan or Moore > Hooper, rather than leaving a new captain to come in cold. Short-term anything is an opportunity lost to plan ahead.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Wouldn’t call that warehousing, David. Naiyaravoro was playing rugby in Aus and was selected for the wider Test squad before it was cut for the RWC. He was in the Test squad the following year too so clearly he was considered a genuine Test contender. It wasn’t just a matter of making him ineligible for Fiji.

Eddie Jones makes surprising call on Louis Lynagh with Wallabies waiting to pounce

It’s starting to feel a bit messy, isn’t it, Matt? What the Wallabies may gain in experience, they may lose in cohesion. McMahon is a very good player but there’s clearly a conflict of interest between Test duties and family responsibilities for him, and McReight could do with some minutes.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Quite right, Daisy. Lynagh has come through all the England pathways. He’s apparently signed a long-term contract with Harlequins, and now has some work-ons from the England coaches so he can take the next step up. With no experience of Australian rugby, it’s far-fetched to think he could — or would want to — change sides, and warehousing by the Wallabies would be frowned on, anyway. To play for Australia, realistically he’d need to play Super Rugby.

Eddie Jones makes surprising call on Louis Lynagh with Wallabies waiting to pounce

Could be wrong but I can’t see McMahon going to Europe even if Suntory gives its blessing. Would he want to be away from his family for a whole month, especially without a guaranteed starting spot? The issues for him are the same as in 2017.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Agree that they’ll probably want Arnold on the bench v Scotland to give him the best chance of starting v England, maybe Latu too. It’s hard to see how Skelton fits in beyond a bench spot against Wales.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Cooper has been a VC before but I don’t think White has the right temperament and Hodge at fullback is too far from the action. For me, Ala’alatoa is the best option — experienced leader, respected, right part of the field and younger than Hooper so worth grooming for the future.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Good point. Valetini goes for 80 but neither Swinton nor Leota has had to yet. Samu could start at 6 and go to 7 in the second half for Leota to finish at 6, but is Samu better from the bench?

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Nice one, Brett. Momentum is everything for a team rediscovering its confidence. Continuity and cohesion are key, which make it hard to see how the French contingent can successfully integrate within such a short space of time, especially if they’re joining the squad just a few days before the Scotland Test. Have to disagree about their clubs. Surely they’d be delighted to see Arnold, Skelton and Latu not used — less chance of injury!

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Even if Hooper starts, an option would be for Samu to replace him at the same time Ala’alatoa comes on for Tupou (assuming Tupou starts). One glaring risk is that there is no alternative captain in the event of injury to Hooper. Ala’alatoa looks like the most likely option but needs an opportunity to take the reins.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Thanks, Geoff. Good luck to Marinos — his job is a tough one and we’re tough markers!

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Covering a lot of ground here, Geoff. Appreciate the interview but must admit I’m torn. Big pat on the back for RA’s efforts in delivering the French series and the Bledisloe/TRC but Marinos’ words here sound like a fob off. Great to say that the national teams need to perform and deliver but what does that actually mean when the Wallaroos haven’t been allowed to perform and the Sevens teams didn’t deliver at the Olympics? As others have asked, what would PE money be spent on? What happens if PE want us to ditch Cadbury’s as a sponsor for Betfair because the money’s better or they want to sell off their investment to another party? How can rugby be sustainable outside of rare events like a BIL tour or home RWC? How are we going to protect the Super clubs without Wallaby eligibility restrictions? Marinos has only been in the job a few months so I’m not expecting miracles but I’d rather hear in detail about one difficult decision than a thousand platitudes and empty words.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

TBH, I haven’t seen much of Skelton in France, Zulu, just highlights. Can’t really judge his skills but his strengths may be more suited to European conditions. We need jumping locks — and smart, disciplined ones, as you say. My biggest concern is that he’s a red card liability, and we already have one of those in Swinton (although he shows signs of improvement).

Coach’s Corner Issue 30: How Tolu Latu can get even more from Taniela, and Eddie's big decision

The big Japanese clubs are all backed by corporate behemoths with huge coffers, eg Panasonic, Toyota and Suntory.

Coach’s Corner Issue 30: How Tolu Latu can get even more from Taniela, and Eddie's big decision

Nothing to do with punishment and everything to do with safeguarding the Wallabies’ reputation by ensuring Skelton (and Latu) have learned from their mistakes before gifting them prized spots in the national squad.

Coach’s Corner Issue 30: How Tolu Latu can get even more from Taniela, and Eddie's big decision

Koroibete’s red card was overturned, as you well know, Numpty, and most of Hooper’s yellows were for an accumulation of team penalties. They’re not dangerous players. Skelton, on the other hand, is a huge man and his disregard for others’ safety should alarm RA. Rushing him into the squad on the back of a five-week suspension is poor. I’d like to see him free of red cards for two years before considering him.

Coach’s Corner Issue 30: How Tolu Latu can get even more from Taniela, and Eddie's big decision

Four-week red card suspension in 2020, five weeks in 2021. Given his experience and size, it sets an appalling standard. But he didn’t select himself in the squad. Rennie and Johnson decide what’s acceptable.

Coach’s Corner Issue 30: How Tolu Latu can get even more from Taniela, and Eddie's big decision

Useful in assessing their playing value to the squad but not in setting high standards, unfortunately.

Coach’s Corner Issue 30: How Tolu Latu can get even more from Taniela, and Eddie's big decision

Always a meaty Friday read — thanks Nick. Latu’s value was evident at the last RWC and I can understand Rennie’s interest. The issue for me is reputational. Latu’s driving offences to date have not caused physical injury/death only through sheer luck. Will he be lucky a third time or will RA wish they’d overruled Rennie and protected the Wallabies reputation? Skelton, meanwhile, is being rushed from five weeks’ suspension into the Wallabies’ squad. It’s simply a terrible look. There’s sympathy for Rennie needing some relaxation of eligibility restrictions in the current environment but I wish he’d stuck at the two picks outside the Giteau Law agreed last year and just selected Kerevi and Arnold.

Coach’s Corner Issue 30: How Tolu Latu can get even more from Taniela, and Eddie's big decision

Some encouraging words here for Petaia. Nice work, Tigerland. We all put too much pressure on talented young players. Kellaway also battled with the weight of early expectations. Interestingly, Petaia actually seemed very composed when he first started playing Test rugby under Cheika — on the biggest stage of all. If you recall, after a couple of short stints on the wing during the pool rounds, he started at outside centre in the RWC QF and didn’t look out of place at all. Anyway, good luck to Petaia and the whole team for Japan and beyond.

An open letter to Jordan Petaia: Forget about being the 'next big thing' and enjoy the ride

Thanks for asking, Tony.

Rugby World: What SBW owes to Mundine and Wilkinson, McMahon out of Japan clash, Faf's woe

QC with some fast food!

Is Taniela Tupou top of the props?

Wondering if Arnold, Skelton and Latu will be fully vaxxed before joining the Wallabies.

Rugby World: What SBW owes to Mundine and Wilkinson, McMahon out of Japan clash, Faf's woe

The QC influence and Tupou’s family might have been factors but apparently two Big Macs clinched the deal with the Reds. Never underestimate the power of food in negotiations with front rowers. 😂

Is Taniela Tupou top of the props?

A great topic to debate — thanks, Nick. It’s good to see Tupou’s growing appetite for grunt work. Possibly, Rennie may opt for a horses for courses approach in how AAA and Tupou are used — taking into account opposition, tactics and the heavy ball carriers he has available. AAA’s consistency and leadership are surely highly valued. One other thing — and I may be utterly wrong — but do Tupou’s best all-round performances tend to be at Suncorp? It will certainly be interesting to see how he fares up north.

Is Taniela Tupou top of the props?

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