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Thread: Wallabies on way to World Cup win: Tim Horan

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    Wallabies on way to World Cup win: Tim Horan

    Wayne Smith | June 26, 2009

    Article from: The Australian

    WITH just a little tweaking needed to find room in his squad for Lote Tuqiri, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans appears to be building a team capable of winning Australia's third Rugby World Cup, Tim Horan believes.

    As one of only five players - John Eales, Jason Little, Dan Crowley, Phil Kearns and South African Os du Randt being the others - to have played in two World Cup-winning teams, Horan has a good grasp of what is required to win the Webb Ellis Trophy, and so far he is satisfied Deans is doing just about everything right.

    His one quibble is with Deans's reluctance to make use of Tuqiri this season, having left the 67-Test winger out of his 22-man squad for the three Wallabies matches played so far, as well as for tomorrow's one-off Test against France at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

    "I still believe Lote should be on the bench somewhere, because having a small back three can sometimes hurt you when it's a wet game or a tough game against the All Blacks," Horan said.

    "We saw in the Lions-Springboks match last week that you need bigger players to get across the advantage line and then offload to the quicker players. Sometimes in Test matches, that's the only way to get through.

    "I just think Lote's obviously suffered for the way NSW have been playing their game plan. But certainly he's someone who tries to look for the ball ... it will come for him. He'll play more Test matches, there's no doubt."

    Tuqiri's absence aside, Horan is convinced Deans has the right mix of players to emulate the 1991 and 1999 Wallabies sides, which bookended that decade with World Cup triumphs.

    "The average age of this group of players is probably a lot less than we were going into 1999, but if they can stick together and maintain their structures they're a pretty unique group," he said yesterday. "This Wallabies team in the next 18 months could be one of the better ones we've seen."

    The significance of the Wallabies' new depth in the front row is not lost on him - "when there's depth in Australia's front row, you know there's depth throughout the team" - but it's what's happening around the playmaking five-eighth position that most excites Horan.

    "Like Daniel Carter (with the All Blacks), Matt Giteau is a very important cog in the whole situation for the Wallabies. But if he's injured, Berrick (Barnes) can step up there easily now. If Berrick is injured, Quade Cooper is not far away. He's got a bit to go yet, but he's not far away from being a good reserve No 10."

    For a player of only 26 who is about to match 29-year-old Tuqiri's tally of Tests, Giteau is now showing leadership qualities far beyond his years, Horan suggests. "He has really grown as a leader. To be a leader and be in a position of 10 or 12, you've got to push and tell forwards and tell other players where to go," he said. " He seems to have done that. That's something Stephen Larkham only did in his last couple of years."

    Much as Horan is hoping today's 10-year reunion of Australia's most recent World Cup-winning side is followed tomorrow by a victory over the country he and his teammates defeated in the 1999 final, he hopes France will belt the Wallabies in the process.

    "I hope the French really take it to the Wallabies and really test us. That's what we need now. We don't need a soft Test match. We need to be belted up front and we need to be tested, because against the All Blacks in three weeks' time, it will be game on."

    * The attack on French player Mathieu Bastareaud in New Zealand may not have happened on Wellington streets as claimed. It had been reported Bastareaud was attacked early last Sunday morning, after a night on the town following his side's loss to the All Blacks.

    But TV One reported that police had been given CCTV footage showing an uninjured Bastareaud walking into his hotel with two other players and two women. Bastareaud had told police he was attacked from behind, but his recollection was patchy.,00.html

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  2. #2
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    He kind of disproves his own point in saying Lote can only play one position but yet Deans needs to find a place for him somewhere on the bench.
    Bench players need to be multi positional these days so he either starts or doesn't get selected for mine.

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