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Thread: Ashley-Cooper, Petaia, Valetini to join Wallabies in Japan

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    Ashley-Cooper, Petaia, Valetini to join Wallabies in Japan

    Yesterday at 4:00 PM
    by Sam Phillips



    The 116-Test utility will join the Wallabies squad in Odawara on Monday along with boom Reds rookie Jordan Petaia and big, ball-carrying Brumbies backrower Rob Valetini.

    Ashley-Cooper last played for his country against the All Blacks in 2016 but will be eligible for selection against Wales should coach Michael Cheika call his name.

    If he does earn another cap it will make him Australia's third-highest capped Wallaby, bringing the kind of experience Cheika desires.

    "His experience is important and also just his versatility, his ability to cover a few positions," Cheika said.

    "With him and then a guy like Jordan, it’s probably a good balance.

    "We need a couple of extra backs here on the trip.

    "(Ashley-Cooper) will train with us, we’ll see where he’s at.

    "He’s come on the tour with us to be available for selection, he’s not coming for a holiday."
    Petaia isn't coming for a holiday either.

    The 18-year-old has just 13 Super Rugby caps to his name but embodies the term meteoric rise.

    After making his debut off the bench for Queensland against the Brumbies in Round 8 he immediately showed glimpses of a superstar.

    He went on to play 12 more games to finish the year - mostly on the wing - but filled the sizeable shoes left by Samu Kerevi at outside centre for the final two games of the season.

    The teenager has gone on to make an impact in the NRC as well, finishing the season as the competition's highest try-score on the way to a grand final appearance with Queensland Country.

    His footwork at the line, ability to shed tackles and split second decision making is well beyond his years and he is every chance of making his Wallabies debut.

    “He’s just got a lot of good touches," Cheika said.

    "He’s a good lad, he wants to succeed, he wants to do the work, he’s eager.

    "Having him here with us on these next few weeks will give him an idea of what’s required at the level and give him a chance to make a play for the World Cup squad."

    Petaia is most likely to line up on tour against Italy, the second of three Tests in the Spring Tour.

    Cheika is expected to hand his big guns a break in that Test and, as a result, see what some of his fringe players have to offer.

    The other notable addition is Valetini.

    The 20-year-old has just three Super Rugby caps to his name but has shown through Australian U20s and NRC football that he has what it takes to thrive on the world stage.

    He has been added as a development player and will not be considered for selection on tour, following in the footsteps of now fully-fledged Test players Jack Maddocks, Jack Dempsey and Taniela Tupou.

    Playmaker Matt Toomua will also rejoin the squad after completing Leicester duties but Tatafu Polota-Nau will stay in England to give his body a break for the remainder of the year.

    Skills coach Mick Byrne has also linked back up with the team after being absent in the lead up to the Yokohama Bledisloe for personal reasons.

    The Wallabies face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday November 10, kicking off at 5:20pm local, Sunday 4:20am AEDT, LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.

    SQUAD

    Wallabies Spring Tour squad

    IN: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Jordan Petaia, Matt Toomua Rob Valetini (development player)
    OUT: N/A

    Forwards
    Jermaine Ainsley (1 Test, Melbourne Rebels, 23)
    Allan Alaalatoa (30 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
    Rory Arnold (19 Tests , Brumbies, 28)
    Adam Coleman (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
    Jack Dempsey (7 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 24)
    Folau Fainga’a (6 Tests, Brumbies, 23)
    Ned Hanigan (18 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)
    Jed Holloway (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
    Michael Hooper (c) (88 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)
    Sekope Kepu (100 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 32)
    Tolu Latu (10 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)
    Brandon Paenga-Amosa (4 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
    David Pocock (75 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
    Izack Rodda (14 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
    Rob Simmons (91 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
    Pete Samu (7 Tests, Brumbies, 26)
    Scott Sio (52 Tests, Brumbies, 27)
    Taniela Tupou (9 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)

    Backs
    Adam Ashley-Cooper (116, Kobe Steelers, 34)
    Tom Banks (3 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
    Kurtley Beale (81 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
    Israel Folau (70 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
    Bernard Foley (65 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
    Will Genia (97 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)
    Jake Gordon (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
    Dane Haylett-Petty (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)
    Samu Kerevi (22 Tests, Queensland Reds, 25)
    Marika Koroibete (18 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
    Jack Maddocks (5 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 21)
    Sefa Naivalu (8 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
    Jordan Petaia (uncapped, Queensland Reds, 18)
    Nick Phipps (70 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
    Matt Toomua (39, Leicester Tigers/Melbourne Rebels, 28)
    Development Player
    Rob Valetini (uncapped, Brumbies, 20)


    FIXTURES
    Wallabies Spring Tour
    All times AEDT
    Sunday November 11
    Australia vs Wales, Cardiff, 5:20am
    Sunday November 18
    Australia vs Italy, 1am
    Sunday November 25
    Australia vs England, 2am

    http://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/10...n-to-test-fold

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    With AAC back at the Tahs , this man is on the market


    https://www.cnru.com.au/news-details.php?nid=1821

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Seriously, what is the point of bringing AAC back? Wouldn’t this tour be a good opportunity to try out some new options? What with the RWC next year and all?

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Remember a few months ago Drew mentioned on Fox that AAC was in talks about coming back for RWC either via Super Rugby or WSR/IPRC. I would be assuming that being such good mates Drew was aware that WSR/IPRC was a reality otherwise he would not have even mentioned it and given it the air time. And then would you believe it all of sudden the Waratahs look like being front runners, much the same as the Western Sydney shenanigans and the long term signing all of sudden of these players.

    They are shit scared about what WSR/IPRC will achieve and are trying to hold onto what ever they can for as long as they can at the detriment of everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Seriously, what is the point of bringing AAC back? Wouldn’t this tour be a good opportunity to try out some new options? What with the RWC next year and all?
    I agree, for the most part. But.......

    please consider this for a moment.

    The last couple of Tests the Wallabies have played it has been very obvious that one of the things that the Wallabies are lacking is onfield leadership - particularly in the Backline. The Test matches this year have shown some seriously dumb decision making at times.

    AAC's experience - hopefully- fills that need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exile View Post
    I agree, for the most part. But.......

    please consider this for a moment.

    The last couple of Tests the Wallabies have played it has been very obvious that one of the things that the Wallabies are lacking is onfield leadership - particularly in the Backline. The Test matches this year have shown some seriously dumb decision making at times.

    AAC's experience - hopefully- fills that need.
    I dont think it will fill that void. The so called 'experienced' players in the backline , Foley, Beale, Genia, Folau, Toomua ... I mean why arent these guys stepping up, they should be stepping up as leaders and organizing the backline. There should be no need to bring a 34 year old in to fix the wallaby backline problems. Lets not forget the last time AAC played he was concussed after 16 minutes and never returned again for the wallabies, he showed last time he came back that his test days are over. Don't get me wrong, he was a great player in his prime but all players get old...

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    I don't know whether to laugh or cry

    Its laughable, but sad.

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exile View Post
    The Test matches this year have shown some seriously dumb decision making all the time
    fixed at no charge

    Genia, Foley, Beale, Folau would have to be the most experienced half/centre combo we have ever fielded. DHP, Toomua, Kuridrani and Korobiete are all very experienced men, not Young Turks.

    AAC has NOTHING to offer, he is now old, slow and has never managed to pass the pill even in his prime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volvo View Post
    I dont think it will fill that void. The so called 'experienced' players in the backline , Foley, Beale, Genia, Folau, Toomua ... I mean why arent these guys stepping up, they should be stepping up as leaders and organizing the backline. There should be no need to bring a 34 year old in to fix the wallaby backline problems. Lets not forget the last time AAC played he was concussed after 16 minutes and never returned again for the wallabies, he showed last time he came back that his test days are over. Don't get me wrong, he was a great player in his prime but all players get old...
    My mind goes back to the last World Cup, when Cheika brought back Drew Mitchell and Matt Giteau. Drew was certainly not nearly up to the fitness levels and pace required for Tests and he hardly played. Gitts had little impact.
    AAC was a great player, but playing World Cup Tests against the AB, Boks, England etc is a huge jump for a 35 year old (next year) playing Japanese club rugby.

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    Legend Contributor Exile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volvo View Post
    The so called 'experienced' players in the backline , Foley, Beale, Genia, Folau, Toomua ... I mean why arent these guys stepping up, they should be stepping up as leaders and organizing the backline.
    Absolutely 100%

    but - did you see the cross-field kicks in the last Match. I would generously call them Clutching at Straws.

    Or

    Just fucking stupid.

    I have seen better decision making at the local under 13s.

    I don't believe that AAC is the answer - I can just understand the thought process.


    Tho - I must admit in typing this. I'm pretty sure Cheika and his sidekicks just don't have a fucking clue.

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    I wonder why how much grassroots money was spent on this extra week in Japan with no match and to bring Valetini over to hold tackle bags.

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    if he stood motionless, "grassroots" AAC could almost side step him

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    It doesn’t matter who or what is brought in to “mentor” the Wobblies, very few of them possess ANY rugby nous whatsoever as we see every game. They simply do not have the talent or skills, all they seem to understand is how to boof it up the middle and hope for a miracle - the same mentality as Cheika. Nothing will teach them, can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

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    Legend Contributor Exile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingbison View Post
    fixed at no charge
    NO thanks

    I stand by my original statement.

    At times this year the Wallabies have played some very good Rugby.

    I will freely admit to them being both Clueless and Rudderless for the majority of all Test Matches this year.

    *** Except the last half of the Argentina match - that was very pleasing to watch and to be a lover of Rugby.

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    the single common denominator is....Cheika

    This guy blackmailed the then ARU into giving him the keys to the mansion...sole selector of players, sole selector of assistants, unaccountable. Hes been living off fluking his way into the RWC 2015 finals ever since. I laugh every time I see a headline ala "Cheika needs advice from old coaches". FFS this guy is the epitamy of pig headed and stubborn. The wallies have been playing dumb brutish simple Simon rugby for three years now, which is exactly how Cheika played club rugby. His selections are favouritism and bizzare, hes got half the team playing out of position, his defence coach has got the befuddled players playing Russian Roulette trying to cover midfield tackling deficiencies, his attack coach doesnt know who has been selected until the warm-up which shows how stupid he is as everyone else knows who the Usual Suspects. None of the coaches have bothered to look at the opposition and work out systems and plans to nullify their strengths and expose their weaknesses....you know what everyone else in every sport does even at school. The most innovative thing they have come up with is a cross field kick to Izy coz Izy can take a spekky overhead mark. Sheesh.

    This guy has killed off a generation of players, and a generation of spectators. And probably the golden goose of PayTV as well.

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