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Thread: Wallabies squad for Samoa Test & Tri Nations named

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Wallabies squad for Samoa Test & Tri Nations named

    The inclusion of three newcomers, and seven uncapped players overall, highlights the Qantas Wallabies squad of 40 that has been released today for this year’s Castrol Edge Rugby Test against Samoa, and for the 2011 Castrol Edge Tri Nations series.

    The Queensland Reds pair of flanker Beau Robinson and hooker James Hanson have been invited to join the playing cast, as has the impressive NSW Waratahs second rower Sitaleki Timani.

    The three first-time Wallabies are joined in the squad by Queensland Reds wingers Rod Davies and Luke Morahan, Melbourne Rebels halfback Nick Phipps and the NSW Waratahs loose forward Dave Dennis.

    While Davies, Morahan, Phipps and Dennis have previously participated in Spring Tours, they remain uncapped at Test level to this point in their respective careers.

    The enlarged squad has been named with one eye to the upcoming Rugby World Cup later in the year, where 30 players will represent Australia at the tournament.

    For this reason, a number of players have been included in this initial naming who are not immediately available due to injuries sustained during Super Rugby.

    Two other Test incumbents, winger Drew Mitchell and inside centre Berrick Barnes, have been omitted for now due to the uncertain timelines surrounding their rehabilitation from injury.

    Even without the pair, as many as six of the players chosen today will not be available for the opening Test of the year against Samoa due to injury, although Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans expects all of the selected players to have returned to full training if not playing duties, at some level, prior to the completion of the Tri Nations at the end of August.

    “In terms of the players who are currently on the sidelines, we won’t be rushing any of them,” Deans says, “but we need to get them all started, in terms of being exposed to all of the detail, as part of our preparation.”

    “That’s one of the reasons why we have opted for an enlarged squad at this point.

    “The expansion of Super Rugby and this year’s Rugby World Cup has condensed the schedule significantly which has placed an even greater importance on making sure that we have covered all selection-related eventualities, as there isn’t a lot of time between matches.

    “To that end, we want the guys to be playing so, as we have done in previous years, we will be looking to have as many of the players playing as is possible by releasing them to their clubs where we can.”

    The selection of Beau Robinson, Hanson, Morahan and Davies recognises their contributions to the Reds’ charge to the top rung of Super Rugby, which was completed by last night’s gritty 18-13 win over the Crusaders in the final.

    Phipps and Dennis also performed strongly for their Super Rugby provinces, while Deans says the form shown by the damaging Timani, was simply too good to ignore.

    The Tongan-born lock began the year as part of the back-up pool of players at the Waratahs, but ended it as one of his team’s form players.

    While the 24-year-old was due to take up a playing option in Japan at the conclusion of Super Rugby, this has now been put on hold, with international selection taking precedence under International Rugby Board regulations.

    Australia’s fifth Super Rugby representative, the Melbourne Rebels, has doubled its representation from the last Spring Tour, with Phipps being joined by fullback Mark Gerrard, who last appeared for the Wallabies at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

    The 28-year-old, who is the veteran of 23 previous Tests for the Wallabies, only returned to Australia late last year after a stint playing in Japan.

    Gerrard is one of three players whose selection today turns back the clock: NSW Waratahs second rower Dan Vickerman last played for Australia in the 2008 Tri Nations, and returned to the country last month after a period of tertiary study in England.

    However the ‘Comeback of the Year’ unquestionably belongs to the 2004 Wallaby Radike Samo, who has revitalised his career after joining the Reds at the tail end of last year’s Super Rugby competition as an injury reinforcement.

    The ex-Fiji Under-19 rep, who played six Tests for Australia in 2004 after sharing in the Brumbies Super Rugby title earlier that year, left the country in 2006 and only returned after stints playing in both France and Japan.

    Samo was plucked from semi-retirement in Sydney club rugby last year to bolster the Reds for their final two matches, and was rewarded for his deeds then with a fulltime contract for this season.

    Today’s selection, which comes a day after his 35th birthday, adds arguably the most remarkable chapter yet to a colourful career which has seen Samo ply his trade as both a loose forward and a second row in Super Rugby, and in his younger days in club rugby, as a wing!

    “His performances speak for themselves,” Deans says.

    “Seven years after he first played Test matches, he has got into good shape physically and has shown that he still has an appetite for rugby at this level.”

    Sydney fans have the opportunity to meet the Wallabies when the team holds a Fan day around its season-opener against Samoa at ANZ Stadium next Sunday.

    The match is the fifth Test to be played between Australia and Samoa with the day also providing the opportunity for a reunion of the first Wallabies side to play the Pacific Islanders, during the 1991 Rugby World Cup tournament, which Australia went on to win.

    The Castrol Edge Tri Nations Series opens six days after the Samoa Test, with Sydney again the venue as South Africa appears in the harbour city for the first time since 2007.

    The opening two weekends of August see the Wallabies in action in Auckland and Durban, before the Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup finale against the All Blacks pits the trans-Tasman rivals against each other in Brisbane for the first time since 2008.

    Although the Tri Nations has this year been abridged to a home-and-away round, Deans expects the tournament to be no less intense, even with September’s Rugby World Cup hovering in the background.

    Australia hasn’t won the Tri Nations since 2001, and last held the Bledisloe Cup in 2002, although it recaptured the Mandela Challenge Plate off South Africa last year.

    The Wallabies have won their most recent matches with both South Africa and New Zealand, with both wins being claimed outside of Australia after a drama-filled 41-39 win over the Springboks at Bloemfontein during last year’s tournament, and the equally dramatic 26-24 win over the All Blacks at Hong Kong during the Bledisloe Cup Test which opened the last Spring Tour.

    The Wallabies squad will assemble in Sydney today and tomorrow, with the first training run to be held tomorrow afternoon.

    The Qantas Wallabies squad to play the Castrol Edge Rugby Test against Samoa and contest the 2011 Castrol Edge Tri Nations is:

    Player Position State Age Appearances

    Ben Alexander Prop Brumbies 26 24
    Adam Ashley-Cooper Fullback-Wing-Outside Centre Brumbies 27 51
    Kurtley Beale Fullback NSW Waratahs 22 14
    Luke Burgess Halfback NSW Waratahs 27 32
    Quade Cooper Flyhalf Queensland Reds 23 24
    Ben Daley Prop Queensland Reds 23 3
    Rod Davies Winger Queensland Reds 22 Uncapped
    Dave Dennis Loose forward NSW Waratahs 24 Uncapped
    Rocky Elsom © Flanker Brumbies 28 64
    Anthony Faingaa Inside Centre Queensland Reds 24 4
    Saia Faingaa Hooker Queensland Reds 24 11
    Will Genia Halfback Queensland Reds 23 22
    Mark Gerrard Fullback Melbourne Rebels 28 23
    Matt Giteau Inside Centre Brumbies 29 91
    James Hanson Hooker Queensland Reds 22 Uncapped
    Scott Higginbotham Loose forward Queensland Reds 24 1
    Matt Hodgson Loose forward Western Force 30 4
    James Horwill Lock Queensland Reds 26 24
    Digby Ioane Wing Queensland Reds 25 11
    Sekope Kepu Prop NSW Waratahs 25 3
    Salesi Ma’afu Prop Brumbies 28 10
    Pat McCabe Centre/Wing/Fullback Brumbies 23 1
    Ben McCalman Lock/Loose Forward Western Force 23 9
    Stephen Moore Hooker Brumbies 28 55
    Luke Morahan Wing Queensland Reds 21 Uncapped
    Dean Mumm Lock/Loose-forward NSW Waratahs 27 32
    James O’Connor Fullback Western Force 21 27
    Wycliff Palu No 8 NSW Waratahs 28 36
    Nick Phipps Halfback Melbourne Rebels 22 Uncapped
    David Pocock Flanker Western Force 23 30
    Tatafu Polota Nau Hooker NSW Waratahs 25 25
    Beau Robinson Flanker Queensland Reds 24 Uncapped
    Benn Robinson Prop NSW Waratahs 26 42
    Radike Samo Loose forward Queensland Reds 35 6
    Nathan Sharpe Lock Western Force 33 93
    Rob Simmons Lock Queensland Reds 22 6
    James Slipper Prop Queensland Reds 22 14
    Sitaleki Timani Lock NSW Waratahs 24 Uncapped
    Lachie Turner Wing NSW Waratahs 24 14
    Dan Vickerman Lock NSW Waratahs 32 55

    Castrol Edge Test Series Schedule

    Castrol Edge Rugby Test
    Sunday July 17: Qantas Wallabies v Samoa, Sydney

    Castrol Edge Tri Nations
    Saturday July 23: Qantas Wallabies v South Africa, Sydney
    Saturday August 6: Qantas Wallabies v New Zealand, Auckland
    Saturday August 13: Qantas Wallabies v South Africa, Durban
    Saturday August 27: Qantas Wallabies v New Zealand, Brisbane

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Elsom has a (C) next to his name

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    Was hoping that Charles would get the call up for the squad due to his set piece and mobility around the field. No Wykes either but although he's had a good season timani has a bit more mongrel

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    Champion SinBin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    Elsom has a (C) next to his name
    I don't understand what Deans sees in him..

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    I like the look of the 40 man squad...

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    Test Rugby not sponsored by Bundaberg Rum any more?
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    Senior Player Contributor WF2006's Avatar
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    No Shep - gutted.
    No Wykes - dissappointed.
    No Chucky - not suprised - thought he'd be handy to cover 9/10

    Vickerman and Elsom - shows how much respect they pay Super Rugby!

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    Eight Reds forwards.

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    Hard to argue with most of them. I doubt they'll have more than 4 after the cut though (Robinson/Daley/Hanson/Samo to get axed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by volvo View Post
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    Welcome to the board volvo, a thought provoking first post.....

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by todd4 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by volvo View Post
    yy


    Welcome to the board volvo, a thought provoking first post.....
    I think he was responding to
    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    Elsom has a (C) next to his name
    and used the abbreviated form of

    WWHHHYYYYY?!!?!!!! Why?!!?!?!!?!??!!?!?!

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    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    Test Rugby not sponsored by Bundaberg Rum any more?
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    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WF2006 View Post
    No Shep - gutted.
    No Wykes - dissappointed.
    No Chucky - not suprised - thought he'd be handy to cover 9/10

    Vickerman and Elsom - shows how much respect they pay Super Rugby!
    Gutted about Shep, and Wykes especially with Vickerman getting in before Sam (NSW influence!)

    Did not expect to see Stannard but would have thought both Shep and Dellit would have got a look in before Mccabe.

    Very disappointing that Dennis and Sitaleki got calls up especially as Dennis battled to regain his starting spot in Warratahs.

    Happy to see Gerrard get a look in he was all class for the Rebels, and we will need that experience hope his ageing body is up to it.

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    You can't not pick Vickerman.

    It's a world cup year. If it was any other year he probably wouldn't get the time of day, but we need experience and we need someone who can run a line-out as a back up to Sharpie. Horwill is a maybe but he wasn't up to it in 2009.

    Wykes' time will come. He is still only about 23 or so. If there is anyone who should be reconsidered for Wykes it would be Timani. Sure he was in some good form toward the end of the season with the Tahs but a handful of games don't necessarily make a test quality player. But if Wykes and Timani are on an equal pegging, of course Timani will get picked because there is the threat of him leaving and playing for Tonga whereas Wykes is contracted for the next 2 years. Which is a load of crap really because we all know Timani won't get more than 5 caps before he is discarded for Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Hugh Pyle, Sam Wykes, James Horwill, Peter Kimlin, etc. His ball handling isn't up to test level and, at least in his time at the Brumbies, was often guilty of going missing at Super Rugby level. He should play for Tonga. I wonder if powerbrokers at the Waratahs have been trying to get him capped so he will stay at the Tahs.

    It will be interesting to see what will happen with the Tahs forward stocks. If they go with 4 locks you've got Vickerman, Timani, Mumm . Blindside/8s you've got Palu, Dennis, potentially Elsom (although I think NSW are wrangling for a concession from the ARU to take him). So what happens with Greg Peterson, Lock McCaffrey, Cam Jowitt and Will Caldwell (if he comes back from Crohn's Disease)?

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