Australia vs Fiji RWC team & preview

Australia vs Fiji RWC team & preview

At the bottom is the Wallaby team selected to play Fiji this Sunday 23rd September in Montpellier, 22:30pm AEST. The word is that Fiji, as per the fashion among the ‘minnows’ in this world cup is selecting a second string side, so we should expect a good run out for our guys. A few thoughts on the Aussie selections.

I’ve seen this is being written up as Phil Waughs chance to unseat George Smith as first choice 7. Let’s be honest, unless through injury, it ain’t gonna happen. Waugh has a heart the size of Phar Lap’s, but Smith belongs to an elite class of turn-over freaks along with McCaw et al. Waugh’s defence and hitting is outstanding, if he was a foot taller he’d be one of the best ever Aussie blindsides.

Chisholm in for Sharpe – can he fill the role Sharpe plays as ball-carrier? Will be interesting to watch. I’ll also have my eye on the front row. While I didn’t have a good view from the stands last week, I’m not yet persuaded that this won’t be our undoing against either the Poms or the Kiwis. No matter what Knuckles says about Dunning being a world class prop.

In the backs AAC will slot in nicely for Mortlock, but I think you could have argued for Staniforth playing 13 and AAC giving LT a rest. Let’s face it – forget the off-field stuff – Tuqiri, not through lack of trying, has done nothing on-field to warrant selection this season. He’s simply out of form. I guess the selectors may argue that this gives him the chance to play into it, but how long does this go on for?

The current golden balls, Barnes, gets another run at 10. Would be good to see him build on last week. Say what you want about Knuckles, but to have young ‘back-ups’ performing like this was unimaginable just a few months back. May the positive vibe continue – it’s even managed to shut up Growden.

15-Chris Latham, 14-Drew Mitchell, 13-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12-Matt Giteau, 11-Lote Tuqiri, 10-Berrick Barnes, 9-George Gregan (captain), 8-Wycliff Palu, 7-Phil Waugh, 6-Rocky Elsom, 5-Dan Vickerman, 4-Mark Chisholm, 3-Guy Shepherdson, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-Matt Dunning

Replacements: 16-Adam Freier, 17-Greg Holmes, 18-Hugh McMeniman, 19-Stephen Hoiles, 20-Sam Cordingley, 21-Scott Staniforth, 22-Julian Huxley

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