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Thread: Australia teams may not be in Super finals but Wallabies still strong

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    Australia teams may not be in Super finals but Wallabies still strong

    BY Andrew Slack
    May 17, 2009 No matter how the final hours of the Super 14 regular season played out, it has again been a relatively disappointing tournament for Australia.

    There are three perspectives from which to view our performances.


    First, it is disappointing that there is no local action during the last fortnight of the tournament. Representative rugby goes missing in Australia for three weeks in a prime time for the winter codes.

    Second, the players, officials and supporters of the Reds, Waratahs, Brumbies and Force will be ruing another season of not being good enough. Each team has its if-onlys, but the bottom line is unchanged.

    The third perspective is the Wallaby one.

    What do the mediocre Super 14 results mean when it comes to selecting our national team and what effect will they have on the Wallabies' chances over the next six months? Miniscule or none at all would be my answer to that question.

    While our player depth may be improving slowly, it is still not good enough to sustain four teams that can all vie for the big prize at the pointy end of the Super 14 season.

    However, barring an unprecedented injury run, the depth at top level is sufficient to allow some optimism for the international season. If Robbie Deans can keep most of his top 25 players healthy, there may be cause to dust out the Australian Rugby Union's trophy cabinet.

    Unfortunately, the injury curse has weasled its way in early, with Hugh McMeniman and Digby Ioane, arguably Australia's best Super 14 performer this year, already out until the end of year at best.

    Nevertheless, the development progress that began in 2006 is about to reap some benefits.

    There will always be disagreement on who gets chosen and who misses out, but whatever mix the selectors settle on for the first squad of the year, it looks unlikely any of the players picked won't be up to the rigours of Test match rugby.

    In the forwards, and particularly in the scrum, where the Wallabies have for so long had questions asked of them, there looks to be definite potential.

    Al Baxter has copped plenty of barbs over the years but he was vastly improved last year and now the likes of Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander are coming into their own.

    Both only 24, they will only get better in their main job at scrum time. But they are already very good footballers.

    The backline personnel is impressive although there is some concern about halfback.

    I'd expect Luke Burgess and Josh Valentine to be chosen and both are fine players. They are also inconsistent.

    If someone makes the No.9 jersey his own over the next few months, any Super 14 disappointment should be washed away in the wake of excellent Wallaby results.

    A potential 30-man squad could look like this: Ashley-Cooper, Mitchell, Tuqiri, Hynes, Turner, Cummins, Cross, Tahu, Mortlock, Barnes, OConnor, Giteau, Burgess, Valentine, Palu, Brown, Smith, Waugh, Pocock, Mumm, Sharpe, Horwill, Kimlin, Caldwell, Alexander, Robinson, Henderson, Baxter, Moore, Polota-Nau.


    http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,...002381,00.html

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    The fact is we should win the Trinations and Bled if not the whips will be cracking...over Deans Ass!

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    SA will be very strong this year also...

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    In term of our front rower stocks. The same thing is being done with Dan Palmer and Ben Daly as was done with Ben Robinson. Both have entered S14 at a young age for props to give them a couple of years to get their bearings. This will either make them or break them. TG sorry but Cummins doesn't warrant a call up.

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    Cummins doesn't warrant a call up? I'd have him starting if I was Deans. The man is explosive in attack and the strongest winger in Aus in defense. He's outstanding. He'd never played on the wing before, he was an outside centre before he came to the force. He runs like a bullet and defends like a tank and I prefer him to many options we have (yeah, I'd rather have Cullet on the wing for the wallabies than Drew.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by robyn <3 View Post
    Cummins doesn't warrant a call up? I'd have him starting if I was Deans. The man is explosive in attack and the strongest winger in Aus in defense. He's outstanding. He'd never played on the wing before, he was an outside centre before he came to the force. He runs like a bullet and defends like a tank and I prefer him to many options we have (yeah, I'd rather have Cullet on the wing for the wallabies than Drew.)

    cant argue with anything you said there robyn.

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    You have to put favouritism and bias out of the equation. Cummins hasn't had enough game time. Francis Fainifo ran down Brian Habana. That would put him in the line up ahead of Cummins. Sorry.

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    But I said I'd rather have Cummo in ahead of Drew. That's throwing away all bias there ever was since the beginning of time! I didn't catch many Brumbies games this season, but I see Nick Cummins ahead of a few people. I'd start him if I was Deans. Cummins and Hynes on the wings, JOC at 15 since Cam's out.

    A Cummo-lovin article They are right - defensively that boy is outstanding
    http://www.westernforce.com/news/200.../section/50813

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    hynes is injured, i think

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    Turner will get a wing spot. Ioane would have. Staniforth showed that he still has it but probably won't be considered because he's off to Japan. However that might change as he could be viewed as a interim waiting until Ioane is back from injury. Mitchell or Hynes will get the other spot because of experience. Fainifo has had a good season. I have seen close to every game that involved the Aussie teams.

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    4 Props
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    4 Locks
    2 Flankers Openside
    2 Flankers Blindside
    2 No.8
    2 Scrum-halves
    2 Flyhalfs
    4 Centers
    4 Wingers
    2 Fullbacks

    +2 extras who Deans would like to expose to the Wallabies....

    Plenty of spots, most of each teams best should get a call up for the 30... Shame about injuries with some players who have had a good S14 season... I'm expecting a few surprises this year, Last year Deans really had to pick past players and claim a for the Wallabies a couple of young players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Working Class View Post
    You have to put favouritism and bias out of the equation. Cummins hasn't had enough game time. Francis Fainifo ran down Brian Habana. That would put him in the line up ahead of Cummins. Sorry.
    Frank isn't good enough. Probably never will be. Cummins is good enough but won't get any better if he doesn't get game time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Frank isn't good enough. Probably never will be. Cummins is good enough but won't get any better if he doesn't get game time.
    The Wallabies isn't where Cummins should get game time... He'll have to be a starter at his own club first...

    Franky Fainifo has the abilities, but needs a better kicking game. He has really improved his running line and defense this season. He has scored a good try in each of the last 3 matches... I can see Franky being a player who will greatly benefit from playing alongside Matt Giteau at the Brumbies next year... However he may have to wait another year...

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    need i remind you that a brumbies player by the name of Mr. M Giteau came off the bench for the wallabies before even having played a super rugby game? so no, you dont need to be a starter for your provincial team to get a wallabies spot.

    cummins should be in the squad, the skills he can pick up at training with the rest of the national team can only make him a better player. from the looks of him he will embrace the chance and outperform anyone he needs to at training to get a gold shirt. whether it be starting or a bench spot. his concistency in S14 deserves to be rewarded. he's put in the hard yards and the effort. he can be a wallaby

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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    cummins should be in the squad, the skills he can pick up at training with the rest of the national team can only make him a better player. from the looks of him he will embrace the chance and outperform anyone he needs to at training to get a gold shirt. whether it be starting or a bench spot. his concistency in S14 deserves to be rewarded. he's put in the hard yards and the effort. he can be a wallaby

    One could say Peter Hynes was picked under the same circumstances last year and was the surprise performer of most the wallaby backs in 2008.
    I fully endorse Nick Cummins selection into the squad

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