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Thread: Australia coach Robbie Deans plan to inject youngsters into Wallabies squad

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    Australia coach Robbie Deans plan to inject youngsters into Wallabies squad

    By David Beniuk

    April 14, 2009

    Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has foreshadowed an injection of youth into the Australia side for 2009, saying he'll begin his second year in charge with a "clean slate".


    Far from disheartened by average seasons for Australia's Super 14 teams, Deans says he has more depth to choose from in 2009 and is pleased with the development of the players he blooded during his first year in charge.

    Deans has been compiling an Australian team of the month based purely on Super 14 form and has asked the state sides to do the same to challenge his thinking and that of fellow selectors David Nucifora and Jim Williams.

    "It's a living document very much, it changes from month to month," Deans said on Tuesday.

    "The only criteria I put around it was that anyone (the states) named was genuinely good to go in terms of international rugby."

    And the process is changing the way Deans thinks about his squad after largely inheriting last year's just days after his Crusaders won the Super 14 final.

    "There probably wasn't a lot of decisions to be made in June last year but there will be this year which is great," he said.

    "We're going to be under pressure in terms of making decisions.

    "We will consider everyone, there won't be any preconceived ideas ... we'll consider every permutation in terms of injury and form.

    "We're going with a clean slate, a fresh outlook."

    The recent appointment of skills coach Richard Graham has come about partly because of the expectation of a younger squad, Deans said.

    "When you look at the likely profile of the group ... there is going to be a fair amount of youth in terms of the average age of the squad I suspect, so to have another pair of hands from my perspective will be great because you can't be everywhere," he said.

    Eligible young guns like Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor and Rob Horne will be required to represent Australia at June's Under-20 Rugby World Cup in Japan, though, before any senior international call-up.

    "We want to see what they bring to that tournament," Deans said.

    "We want them to bring and offer exactly what they've done there with us and it will be a great indicator in terms of their ability to lead and initiate and contribute to a team."

    Fullback, centre, halfback and tighthead prop are the positions Deans is most concerned about, but he believes Australia's overall depth has improved.

    "There's more choice, some of the blokes who got an opportunity last year are showing more than they were this time last year," he said.

    But one position Deans is not concerned about is five-eighth.

    The former mentor of All Blacks superstar Dan Carter believes Matt Giteau has now mastered the role of No.10.

    "You look back 12 months and he's a genuine 10 now where he was learning the trade very much a year ago," Deans said.

    "He looks totally comfortable in his own skin now."

    The Wallabies' first squad of the year will assemble on the Monday after the Super 14 final to begin preparations for the season-opening showdown with a Barbarians side including Sonny Bill Williams at the Sydney Football Stadium on June 6.

    Should an Australian Super 14 side make the May 30 final, it is unlikely players from it would back up against the Baa Baas.

    "There's a lot of blokes who have been world class internationals previously and are coming back to international rugby so they're going to have something to prove,'' Deans said of the Barbarians.
    The Wallabies will then play two Tests against Italy and one against France before opening their Tri-Nations campaign on July 18 in Auckland.
    "I think you'll see the most competitive Tri-Nations ever," Deans said.


    AAP

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,...016959,00.html

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    Yeah, yeah, hear it every year, we'll see how clean the slate will be...

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Yeah, yeah, hear it every year, we'll see how clean the slate will be...
    Yeah it does come out pretty often but last year there were around 12 new caps for the Wallabies that included 4 Force players.

    Some of last year’s debutants included(correct me if i am wrong sort of off the top of my head):

    Brown
    Alexander
    Mumm
    Kepu
    Pocock
    Burgess
    Cooper
    Cross
    Hynes
    Tahu(don’t know why they bothered must have been written in some stupid contract)
    Turner
    O’Connor

    Expect some of these 12 to take up more permanent spots in this year’s selections. Plus newer players I am banking on Pek Cowan and maybe on an outside chance Matt Hodgson to make the larger squad this year.

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    Veteran robyn <3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandgroperrugby View Post
    Pek Cowan
    Absolutely. He could solve a few prop problems we have and I hope he is given a fair amount of game time. Hodgsen should be a given if he keeps up his current form, also Cummins and Hockings

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robyn <3 View Post
    Absolutely. He could solve a few prop problems we have and I hope he is given a fair amount of game time. Hodgsen should be a given if he keeps up his current form, also Cummins and Hockings
    Robyn the problem is Pek packs down on the opposite end that we have so much problems with. Benn Robinson was great for the Wallabies last year and since the Tahs have been playing "Boring" rugby has been seeing a lot of the ball and playing really well. Pek would have to sit behind him in selection and the bench prop really needs to be able to cover both sides of the scrum hence Dunnings continued selection.

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