Latest News: All Blacks team named:
Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ma’a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, Hosea Gear, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Brodie Retallick, Victor Vito, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith.
The Wallabies team to play the All Blacks this weekend has been announced and some of you aren’t going to like it…
To prosecute the Bledisloe with or without a QC? For mine, the scales of justice appear to be weighed against him.
We’ve just telegraphed the game plan the Wallabies are going to play this weekend — essentially the same as last year. And that was a success against the All Blacks when it really counted, wasn’t it?
So, how do you truck the ball up and make gains against SBW and Nonu (or Carter for that matter)? Where is the creativity that’s needed in the inside backs to unleash our powerful back three?
This isn’t the Welsh we’re taking on and the difference someone like Cooper can make is significant. It is a risk but fortune favours the brave, not the predictable.
Don’t get me wrong, Barnes absolutely deserves to be in the side, but not at five-eighth.
The selection of a 5/2 forward and backs split doesn’t leave any room for QC on the bench either.
The sad fact of life is we’re going to learn this lesson again and when it doesn’t work (again) it’ll either be all over or too late to do much about. Isn’t there a Murphy’s Law about that?
And, mark my words, that will be the beginning of the end of the Deans regime…
The rest of the selection is fairly predictable. However, I’d much prefer the workrate of Squeaky Moore to start than the occasional kamikaze tackle of TPN.
If Sitaleki Timani is our number 2 lock (after an injured Big Kev) then you know we’re going to struggle.
Dave Dennis deserves a start after a good season and the props pick themselves, although James Slipper can feel a little hard done by. Likewise Nic White.
I really like the look of the bench — a mixture of experience and youth, but with guys who can make an impact. It’s going to be a big factor against the All Blacks and it’ll need to be managed effectively.
Whatever team we go into the Bledisloe with, I think we’re going to struggle. But I feel we’ve just made our job that little bit harder.
This day in history (18 August) in 1988, George Bush Snr selected Dan Quayle to be his Vice-Presidential candidate. He was a lemon.
Hopefully, history will be kinder to Robbie Deans…
15. Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels)
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs)
13. Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs)
12. Anthony Fainga’a (Queensland Reds)
11. Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds)
10. Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs)
9. Will Genia (Queensland Reds, vice-captain)
8. Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)
7. David Pocock (Western Force, captain)
6. Dave Dennis (NSW Waratahs)
5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)
4. Sitaleki Timani (NSW Waratahs)
3. Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs)
2. Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs)
1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)
16. Stephen Moore (ACT Brumbies)
17. James Slipper (Queensland Reds)
18. Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)
19. Radike Samo (Queensland Reds)
20. Michael Hooper (ACT Brumbies)
21. Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels)
22. Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs)
Bledisloe Cup — First Test
18 August : Australia v. New Zealand, Sydney (ANZ), 8pm
TRC — 18 August: South Africa v. Argentina, Cape Town