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Thread: Tour perfect time to build nucleus for 2011 challenge

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    Tour perfect time to build nucleus for 2011 challenge

    Tour perfect time to build nucleus for 2011 challenge






    Mark Ella | September 20, 2008


    IN 2005, then-Wallabies coach Eddie Jones selected a number of exciting young players to go on Australia's end-of-season tour of the northern hemisphere. Unfortunately he stayed true to his senior players and the youngsters warmed the bench or watched from the grandstands.

    Jones wasted the perfect opportunity two years before the 2007 World Cup to give the rising stars of Australian rugby a sniff of what it means to represent your country and in the end he fell on his sword, to be quickly replaced by John Connolly upon their return.

    When Connolly assumed control of the Wallabies in 2006, he had to make a decision on whether to introduce young legs to a tiring, battle-scarred team or persevere with what he had and simply hope for the best.

    He stuck with what he had - thus maintaining the clear influence of several senior players within the squad - and the team's downfall against England in the quarter-finals proved him wrong and out the door he went.

    So the question of what type of squad incumbent coach Robbie Deans will select for the tour, starting with the Test against New Zealand in Hong Kong on November 1, is intriguing. Deans no doubt will justifiably state that throughout the just completed Test season he has certainly introduced a number of young, talented players to the Wallabies side and that there doesn't need to be a clean-out right now.

    Players such as Luke Burgess, James Horwill, Ryan Cross, Peter Hynes, Ben Alexander, Dean Mumm and Hugh McMeniman have given the Wallabies a new sense of excitement and they hopefully will be the nucleus of our next World Cup campaign, in 2011.

    Of course, we shouldn't forget the number of talented players who had a small but important part in Deans's new adventure. Such as Lachie Turner, Digby Ioane and Richard Brown without forgetting exciting players Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Rob Horne, Nick Cummins, David Pocock and a potential superstar in James O'Connor who is still only 17.

    With Dan Vickerman, Rocky Elsom and Sam Cordingley packing up for their own overseas adventures, it will be important to see if some of these young players step up to the demands of Test rugby.

    I doubt that Deans will stray too far away from all the players he has utilised this season, but for the sake of taking rugby forward in this country and to give the Wallabies a competitive edge in 2011 he must continue to blood new talent.

    There are a number of positions within the team which are far from settled, and although he will not want to blood players he thinks are not up to it he may have little choice but continue his experimentations.

    The fullback position seemed to be Cameron Shepherd's until he was injured and since then Deans has used Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell with varying degrees of success.

    Outside of these two players there is an option to play Waratahs fullback-cum-winger Turner at the back but from his displays with the Waratahs during the Super 14 he should remain on the wing until he comes to grips with this level of rugby and let his speed on the flanks do the talking for him.

    Hynes has been a standout this year and Lote Tuqiri has been more consistent than in the past two seasons although I would hope there is a space for young Rob Horne to show what he can do either on the wing on at outside centre.

    Even though Berrick Barnes has a mortgage on the Wallabies' No12 jersey, I have no doubt Deans will persist with giving Timana Tahu plenty of playing time on tour.

    At inside centre, Deans can also experiment with Cooper at inside centre and even Beale if it gets that desperate. But having Barnes, Tahu and Cooper should be sufficient.

    The key role which has plagued the Wallabies for a number of years is the reserve five-eighth role, if you consider Matt Giteau our best option at the moment.

    For the first time a long while, Australia has a plethora of young outstanding five-eighths who just need playing time at the elite level.

    I would be disappointed if both Beale and Cooper were not picked in the touring squad; not only because of their youth and versatility but as genuine ball players who, over the next couple of years, will really challenge Giteau for the No10 jersey, which must be good for Australian rugby.

    A young player who also should be considered because of his versatility is Reds halfback Lucas, who is a former five-eighth and has all the creative skills needed to keep the opposition guessing at the set pieces.

    This year the Wallabies forwards have improved their technique at the set piece, particularly the scrum, which has by and large held its own against some of the best. This tour will be an important barometer of how far they have come since last year's World Cup.

    Mumm and McMeniman can play either lock or blind side flanker and without Elsom they will get their opportunities.

    At number eight, Richard Brown, who made his debut for the Wallabies last weekend in Brisbane, showed a new level of enthusiasm and passion in the position. I hope he gets plenty of game time.

    All these exciting young players may make players such as Nathan Sharpe, Phil Waugh, George Smith, Wycliff Palu, Tuqiri and captain Stirling Mortlock feel old but they are our future.

    I sincerely hope Deans doesn't make the same mistakes that his two predecessors did.


    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...015656,00.html

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    My God, how much shit can Mark Ella produce in one article.........I won't bother picking it to pieces because OMG I could be here all day, but extrapolate the comments to suit just about every name he's mentioned ........ Lackie Turner - a shot at Fullback WTF he buggered up his only chance royally and won't be considered until he learns to play world class rugby. Timana Tahu inside Centre ..... just read the Turner comment. Rob Horne at 13.....sorry Rob Who? we've found the outside centre for 2011 thanks why look at a pedestrian like Horne. How about backup #10 QUADE FREAKIN' COOPER....Sorry Mark but you're smoking the wrong kind of weeds there!

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    i laughed at this, when i saw it this morning............no mention of his views on the front row for 2011.

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    And O'Connor has turned 18.

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    Veteran laura's Avatar
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    Is he GrowdenMoses/WJ in disguise? He is very pro-Tahs
    Although he does say how Brownie had a fantatic debut and that Pocock, O'Connor and Cummins could be worthy of a call up.

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    good grief!
    mmm does not give an 'exciting edge' to the wallabies. he just makes me want to scream
    joc is not 17
    turner will be given another shot but not yet coz he is rubbish at the moment
    tahu should bugger off and learn more about rugby
    horne...?? i dont remember him. is he as good as the press make him out to be or is he another overrated lote
    burgess was improving lots til he got injured. is justin turner in the force acadamy this year? would he be a wallaby in 2011?
    i think cummins would have been named in the wallabies squad ahead of turner if he wasnt injured.
    LOTE TUQUIRI HAS NOT BEEN CONSISTANT! (yes that deserves being underlined, bolded and italiced)
    i cannot see barnes being dropped for tahu. kernsie would die, for one thing, and barnes is playing good consistant rugby at the moment and tahu, well, isnt. neither is beale. please no. i want to wear my wallabies jumper around europe with an air of victory!!

    if you consider Matt Giteau our best option at the moment.
    yes i do. barnes is an option, but gits is growing into the position well. i think he quite likes 10

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    Last edited by robyn <3; 20-09-08 at 15:20. Reason: i stopped typing halfway through a sentence

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    Quote Originally Posted by robyn <3 View Post
    horne...?? i dont remember him. is he as good as the press make him out to be or is he ano
    Given those choices I'd have to say ano whatever that is.

    Horne played centre for the 'Tahs this year and made a lot of use of the fact that their pack created significant momentum for his ballplayers to capitalise on....reasonable without being either spectacular or anywhere near the same solar system as an International rugby player.
    Quote Originally Posted by robyn <3 View Post
    burgess was improving lots til he got injured. is justin turner in the force acadamy this year? would he be a wallaby in 2011?
    I think turner is def in the academy, with a shot at a contract next year, but really BUrgess was the goods we just need somebody who doesn't have their own grandchildren to back him up.
    Quote Originally Posted by robyn <3 View Post
    i think cummins would have been named in the wallabies squad ahead of turner if he wasnt injured.
    I don't, Nicky is an exciting prospect, but you don't make the Wallabies based upon a couple of performances which show promise, Timana Tahu has amply proven the folly of that route. Give him some time to learn from the best back three (well Shep and Drew make two of the three, I'm not sure about number three) in the country and then introduce him into the early tests of 2010.

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    He is correct in one aspect though, we do need to be laying the foundations for 2011 now by bringing newer blood on the Spring Tour rather than reverting to journeymen hacks in the wake of Vickerman, Elsom et al departing.

    Tell you someone who continues to stay well under the radar due to injury and I don't even know his current status is Clyde. He is still young enough to do a Stanners style return to the top and he is a damn site harder (until he breaks) than most of the other young kids proposed for Wing duties.
    Perhaps warrants a different thread but any updates on him from Canberra?

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    Quote Originally Posted by robyn <3 View Post
    horne...?? i dont remember him.
    It is understandable that you'd repress memories of the try that turned your season

    But never fear, you can download the 7MB masterpiece here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Tell you someone who continues to stay well under the radar due to injury and I don't even know his current status is Clyde. He is still young enough to do a Stanners style return to the top and he is a damn site harder (until he breaks) than most of the other young kids proposed for Wing duties.
    Perhaps warrants a different thread but any updates on him from Canberra?
    He's played a few Shute Shield games for Easts, looked pretty good too.... Seems to have lost some speed though, but is as strong on his feet as always.

    Edit: Clyde doesn't play for the Force, can't believe you didn't get groaned for mentioning his name

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    Edit: Clyde doesn't play for the Force, can't believe you didn't get groaned for mentioning his name
    We only groan people who mention overpaid, overrated nothing merchants like Adam Frier, Lote Tuquiri and Rob Horne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    It is understandable that you'd repress memories of the try that turned your season

    But never fear, you can download the 7MB masterpiece here
    the try i remember more is the divine intervention (or extremely f***ing lucky ricochet) that led to Turners match winner that the national selectors misinterpreted as potential.

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    This one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moses
    Lote Tuqiri's grubber kick is blocked by Cameron Shepherd's foot with the effect being that he kicks it straight into LACHIE TURNER's shoulder. Lachie makes a good grab as the ball is going into his shoulder at pace, then beats a flying Drew mitchell to the corner for the try. Download Now.
    Was gold I tells ya. I've got all the Force tries from that game too, you can download them here.

    Oh, and I reckon Lachie's two tries in the final were more likely to have the national selectors believing in his potential...

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    Champion Moses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    We only groan people who mention overpaid, overrated nothing merchants like Adam Frier, Lote Tuquiri and Rob Horne
    You spelt Rob Horne's name correctly, 1 out of 3 aint bad

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