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Thread: Qantas Wallabies Tri-Nations squad

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    Champion tdevil's Avatar
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    Qantas Wallabies Tri-Nations squad

    The selection of former State of Origin league winger Timana Tahu highlights the 30-man Qantas Wallabies squad that has been announced to contest the 2008 Tri-Nations.

    A newcomer to Rugby Union this year, Tahu has joined an elite group of sportsman who have been selected to represent Australia in both Rugby Union and league.

    The 27-year-old is one of four players named today, who were not originally selected in the initial Qantas Wallabies squad that contested the first three Tests of Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series.

    Winger Drew Mitchell and flanker Hugh McMeniman have also made the cut for the Tri-Nations series after having performed strongly for Australia A in the Pacific Nations Cup.

    McMeniman backed up for Australia A yesterday against New Zealand Maori in the tournament finale, after having played 43 minutes for the Qantas Wallabies the night before in Brisbane against France.

    McMeniman had been called into the Test squad on Thursday as a replacement for the injured Nathan Sharpe.

    Lock Daniel Vickerman also makes his entry into the Qantas Wallabies at this point after being forced to miss the opening three matches of the international season due to injury.

    The unlucky players to lose their places in the squad are Queensland Reds winger Digby Ioane, Brumbies loose forward Mark Chisholm and Brumbies No.8 Stephen Hoiles, who played in the Test against France on Saturday night.

    The other change to the squad that beat Ireland and won the two Tests against France is Western Force fullback Cameron Shepherd who could be out for the rest of the season after breaking his ankle last weekend in the second half against France.

    The break down of the squad reflects a 17-forward, 13-back split, the same as featured in the first Qantas Wallabies squad of the year.

    Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans noted that Mitchell, Vickerman and McMeniman had all been unavailable for the original selection due to injury.

    “That presented us with an opportunity to give other players, some of them quite young, an opportunity within our group, and we’re not disappointed with their contribution,” Deans says.

    “All of the players who have missed out today have more to contribute at this level. It’s just a reality that our selection pool has grown. The quality of some of the blokes that we have coming into the squad, which has been proven previously at Test level, can’t be denied.”

    Between them, Vickerman, Mitchell and McMeniman have featured in a combined total of 86 Tests, bringing with them a wealth of experience for the tough Tri-Nations campaign that lies ahead.

    Tahu makes the grade after impressing for Australia A in the Pacific Nations Cup, including two tries on Sunday in the loss to New Zealand Maori, following a frustrating run due to injury with the NSW Waratahs in the Investec Super 14.

    “We’ve been watching Timana closely, and believe the time is right to introduce him to this level,” Deans says.

    “He has made good progress after a frustrating start to the year. While he is still learning the game, it is clear he has the ability to make an impact on a game, and will only get better as he gains more experience.”

    A State of Origin representative with New South Wales in league, Melbourne-born Tahu appeared 11 times in that arena, while also scoring 102 tries from 159 games in the NRL. He also represented Australia in that code prior to joining the Waratahs for this year’s Super 14.

    While injury restricted the involvements of prop Matt Dunning, hooker Tatafu Polata-Nau, winger Lote Tuqiri and No 8 Wycliff Palu during the opening phase of the Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series; all four are expected to be fit for some involvement when the squad assembles for training at Manly tomorrow.

    Sharpe, who was ruled out of Saturday night’s Brisbane Test due to a groin strain suffered at training last week, is expected to be fit in time for the Tri-Nations opener.

    Lock James Horwill and inside centre Berrick Barnes also remain in contention for the start of the tournament despite picking up injuries at Suncorp Stadium.

    The injury news is also good on Vickerman. The 52-cap lock hasn’t played since the Investec Super 14 final at the end of May, but is making good progress and is likely to play at least one club match prior to being considered for a resumption of international duties.

    Deans said the retention of 26 members of the squad that contested the first three Tests of the year reflected the selectors’ satisfaction with the progress that had been made.

    “We’re relatively happy with where we sit heading into the Tri-Nations,” Deans says.

    “We’ve made some solid progress, in terms of building up the combination within the squad, as well as developing the general understanding of our method.”

    But while Ireland and France provided solid examinations, Deans acknowledged that his side would have to step up significantly in order to match the all-round capabilities of the All Blacks and the World Champion Springboks.

    “History shows how difficult the Tri-Nations is to win. This year will be no different,” Deans says.

    “You only have to look at how competitive last Saturday night’s game [the Tri-Nations opener between New Zealand and South Africa] was, to see how demanding this tournament is going to be.”

    Australia, which has previously won the tournament in 2000 and 2001, opens its campaign when the Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series resumes with the visit of South Africa to Perth on 19 July.

    The four-match Bledisloe Cup series then commences the following weekend, when the All Blacks visit ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 26 July. That series will stretch beyond the Tri-Nations tournament, concluding with the historic trans-Tasman Test match in Hong Kong on 1 November.

    This year, Australia has two home matches against the All Blacks during the Tri-Nations, and one away [in Auckland], while this month’s home tie against the Springboks in Perth is followed later by back-to-back away matches in the Republic at the end of August.

    Those games, which will be played in Durban and Johannesburg, will also double as contests for the Mandela Challenge Plate.

    QANTAS WALLABIES SQUAD FOR THE 2008 TRI-NATIONS

    PLAYER S14 DOB Ht(cm) Wt(kg)TEST CAPS TEST POINTS

    Forwards (17)

    Alexander, Ben Brum 13.11.84 189 120 2 0

    Baxter, Alistair NSW 21.1.77 190 116 54 5

    Brown, Richard WF 28.8.84 189 106 0 0

    Dunning, Matt NSW 19.12.78 182 119 37 0

    Elsom, Rocky NSW 14.2.83 197 112 35 30

    Freier, Adam NSW 20.3.80 175 101 22 10

    Horwill, James QLD 29.5.85 200 117 3 5

    McMeniman, Hugh QLD 1.11.83 200 114 12 0

    Mumm, Dean NSW 5.3.84 196 109 3 0

    Moore, Stephen QLD 20.1.83 186 112 23 5

    Palu, Wycliff NSW 27.7.82 194 120 19 5

    Polota-Nau, Tatafu NSW 26.7.85 181 113 3 0

    Robinson, Benn NSW 19.7.84 183 113 9 0

    Sharpe, Nathan WF 26.2.78 200 115 66 35

    Smith, George Brum 14.7.80 180 104 85 45

    Waugh, Phil NSW 22.9.79 175 100 69 20

    Vickerman, Dan NSW 4.6.79 204 115 52 0



    Backs (13)

    Ashley-Cooper, Adam Brum 27.3.84 182 97 14 20

    Barnes, Berrick QLD 28.5.86 183 88 7 21

    Burgess, Luke NSW 20.8.83 179 89 3 0

    Cordingley, Sam QLD 20.3.76 178 87 16 0

    Cross, Ryan WF 6.10.79 191 100 1 0

    Giteau, Matt WF 29.9.82 178 85 54 286

    Hynes, Peter QLD 18.7.82 180 92 3 0

    Mitchell, Drew WF 26.3.84 182 92 21 70

    Mortlock, Stirling Brum 20.5.77 191 102 66 468

    Sheehan, Brett NSW 16.9.79 173 90 1 0

    Tahu, Timana NSW 16.10.80 185 98 0 0

    Tuqiri, Lote NSW 23.9.79 191 104 60 140

    Turner, Lachie NSW 11.5.87 189 88 1 0



    Tri-Nations – Qantas Wallabies Draw



    Sat 19 July – Australia v South Africa, Perth

    Sat 26 July – Australia v New Zealand, Sydney

    Sat 2 Aug – New Zealand v Australia, Auckland

    Sat 23 Aug – South Africa v Australia, Durban

    Sat 30 Aug – South Africa v Australia, Johannesburg

    Sat 13 Sept – Australia v New Zealand, Brisbane

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    Veteran force addict's Avatar
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    Good to see Brown there. Turner is there, hopefully just there to be on the bench for an injury

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    Veteran robyn <3's Avatar
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    five force boys is better than four force boys

    looks good why didnt they bring gerrad in? we are in a fullback crisis at the moment

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    Champion lara93's Avatar
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    goooooood squad!!!!
    YAY!!! go our forcians!!!

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    Veteran BLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robyn <3 View Post
    five force boys is better than four force boys

    looks good why didnt they bring gerrad in? we are in a fullback crisis at the moment
    He's shite.

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    Veteran robyn <3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLR View Post
    He's shite.
    i know that! but hes better than aac by lots not really hard though...

    who plays fullback for the tahs chook?

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Of the backs, will be interesting to see who makes it to the bench. Whether Deans goes for the 5-2 or 4-3 bench..I see a 4-man tug-of-war on the backs bench between Cross, Tahu, Mitchell and Cordingley (assuming Lote, Barnes, and ACC start).

    Typically Cordingley should get the nod as cover for Lukey (I doubt Deans will experiment Gits as scrum half cover) leaving the 3 --Cross, Tahu and Mitchell-- to battle it out for either one or two spots on the bench.

    I would think that with Lote a possible cover for ACC at full back, the bench will have Tahu as possibly getting the nod over Cross and Mitchell for the second spot on the bench.

    The predicament for Deans is that if Barnes is a no-show (haven't read the latest on his injury), he's got no cover for Giteau in his 30 so we will probably see a late inclusion outside of the 30.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenyaQuin View Post

    I would think that with Lote a possible cover for ACC at full back, the bench will have Tahu as possibly getting the nod over Cross and Mitchell for the second spot on the bench.
    Spot on. Much as I admire Crossy, Tahu brings more flexibility. For those who have not seen much of Tahu in the NRL, he's an accomplished centre but early on he was a brilliant finisher on the right wing. His combination with right centre Matt Gidley for Newcastle, NSW and the Kangaroos was legendary.

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    KQ your're joking Lote fullback - WJ will make our lives a misery !

    Ye Gods there must be more options than that - Lets send Cam to Lourdes !

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    Champion Contributor chook's Avatar
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    Not enough Tahs.


    Nice choice in Tahu. He is the goods. Sure he might get shown up in defence but he makes up for that by being awesome and by having played for the Eels and playing for the Tahs.

    As much as I don't rate Gerrard its kinda odd to not see him there. Hangers hsould be there too as a back up kicker and FB. He kicks good. Also his patented 'Dummy Right, Step' evasive move fools all oppoonents. Just don't tell anyone thats what he does all the time.

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Sorry TQ1, just looking at the list and the options, Deans won't have too many with his restricted bench space. Mitchell would also provide cover if he starts (though as I mentioned I'm doubting he will make it to the starting XV against ABs..not to say I won't be pleased if he did).

    About the fullbacks, good point re Gerrard, Chook. Hynes' or Turner's spot could have been sacrificed but there's still good cover there so tough luck but no big drama.

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    Champion Moses's Avatar
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    Needs more Tahs.

    Good to see Lachie given a second chance, must be all the hard work he does at training. Happy for Tahu as well.

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    Veteran robyn <3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenyaQuin View Post
    Sorry TQ1, just looking at the list and the options, Deans won't have too many with his restricted bench space. Mitchell would also provide cover if he starts (though as I mentioned I'm doubting he will make it to the starting XV against ABs..not to say I won't be pleased if he did).
    that confused the hell out of me! are you saying it will be good of australia or good for the all blacks if he does?

    gerrad isnt the best... but are we left with any that are the best?

    who is hangers?

    is turner any good at fullback? judging by the kicks he took on the w/e, im not convinced...

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    Senior Player Contributor gustafsl's Avatar
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    If Mitchell isn't in the starting 15 for the first game then Robbie should be sacked straight away. Not starting Mitchell cost us the game against England. He was the best Wallaby the entire World Cup.

    I could understand if Shepherd was not injured you might stick with Turkey 11, Hynes 14 and Shepherd 15. But now that Sheps is gone, there is no way that Mitchell doesn't get the starting full back or wing spot if they decide to put Hynes at FB.

    As for Cross, well he should still get in ahead of Tahu. Tahu showed some good stuff for Australia A but a lot of that was against crap teams. I'm sure if Cross had played against Tonga he would have got 5 or 6 tries.

    Wouldn't it be good if the ARC was still going on so that these guys who aren't playing could get some quality games in.

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    I think now Sheppie has gone down, we should Lote Tuqiri at full back. He is the best player we have and he will bring something extra to the role.

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