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Thread: Qantas Wallabies named for 2009 Bundaberg Rum Tri-Nations Series

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    Qantas Wallabies named for 2009 Bundaberg Rum Tri-Nations Series

    July 02, 2009 - 10:00am
    Story by: ARU
    The return of NSW Waratahs No 8 Wycliff Palu highlights the 30-man Qantas Wallabies squad named today


    The return of NSW Waratahs No 8 Wycliff Palu and the selection of the 21-year-old Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia highlight the 30-man Qantas Wallabies squad named today to contest the Bundaberg Rum Tri Nations Series.

    This pair takes the places of Lote Tuqiri and Josh Valentine respectively from the squad which completed the first phase of the international season.

    The selectors have opted for a 17-13 split between forwards and backs within the group.

    “If you look at the competition from an historical perspective, and more particularly look at the pointers from our experience last year; it is in the forward pack where our resources are most likely to come under stress,” Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says.

    “With that in mind, and given the nature of playing resources that we have available to us at the moment in terms of players who we feel are capable at this level; we felt that a 17-13 split was the most appropriate mix for this tournament.”

    The selection of Genia, who joins the Western Force loose forward Matt Hodgson as an uncapped member of the squad, had been flagged after the Investec Super 14.

    His selection at that point was only prevented by the injury he sustained during a two-try performance playing against the Brumbies in Brisbane.

    Genia tore a tendon in his finger. He has now resumed passing and, while still to play on his return, is expected to be available when the tournament kicks off in two weeks.

    “Had Will been available for our first squad, we would have selected him,” Deans says.

    “His absence gave Josh Valentine an opportunity to be involved, and gain experience within our group which is important in terms of broadening our halfback depth but, now that Will is ready to get started, it is an appropriate time to bring him in.”

    Deans says Genia, who was born in Papua New Guinea but represented Australia at last year’s Under-20 World Cup, still has major scope for improvement in his game.

    “We were impressed by what we saw of his work with the Reds, and believe that he is only going to get better with time and opportunity to develop his game within our framework,” Deans says.

    Palu hasn’t played for Australia since last year’s Spring Tour win over France in Paris.

    He was forced to return home after that match for a shoulder operation, and has subsequently been troubled by two separate broken bones in his left hand, although those injuries failed to prevent him from appearing in all 13 matches played by the NSW Waratahs during the Super 14.

    The 26-year-old, who has 28 Tests to his name, made his playing return at club level for Manly recently.

    “Cliff is in the same position as Will, in that he would have been selected in our initial squad had he been available,” Deans says.

    “Now that he’s good to go, we’re pleased to have him back.”

    His inclusion reinforces a loose forward unit that has been further bolstered by the return from a shoulder injury of Hodgson, who was forced from the field 40 minutes into his debut against the Barbarians at the Sydney Football Stadium last month.

    Hodgson is expected to be available for selection for the Tri Nations opener although Rocky Elsom, who is resting a bruised bone around his knee, may not be able to be considered until Australia’s trip to South Africa at the end of the month.

    “He’s making progress but we won’t look at getting Rocky started again until he is ready,” Deans says.

    Deans says the decision to enter the tournament with nine players capable of featuring among the loose forwards, which includes utility forwards Dean Mumm and Peter Kimlin, reflected both an awareness of the traditionally high rate of attrition in this area, but also the uncertainty over the pre-tournament preparation for Hodgson and Elsom in particular.

    This year sees the 14th edition of the annual three-nation tournament, which the All Blacks won last year.

    Australia, which has previously captured the title in 2000 and 2001, opens its campaign in New Zealand on 18 July when the Qantas Wallabies tackle the All Blacks at Eden Park.

    History underlines what a demanding start to the competition it will be as Australia last won at the ground in 1986.

    New Zealand has won the last 10 trans-Tasman Tests in Auckland, and has not been defeated at Eden Park by any country since France prevailed in 1994, 20-matches ago.

    The Auckland visit also heralds the start of the annual Bledisloe Cup rivalry, which for a second year will stretch beyond the Tri-Nations tournament, concluding with the historic trans-Tasman Test match in Tokyo on 31 October.

    The Wallabies must win three of the four Tests against the All Blacks to relieve the New Zealanders of the trophy, which Australia hasn’t held since it was surrendered to an All Black team co-coached by the current Qantas Wallabies mentor in 2003.

    The Bledisloe Cup was first contested by Australia and New Zealand in 1931.

    Australia’s second Tri Nations fixture takes the side to Cape Town where it will attempt to repeat last year’s historic 27-15 victory over the Springboks at Durban.

    That win, which was the Wallabies’ second over the Springboks in last year’s tournament, secured for Australia the Nelson Mandela Trophy, which was first established for annual competition between the two countries nine years ago.

    It was also the Wallabies’ first win in 15 away Tri Nations matches dating back to 2001 and Australia’s first success on South African soil for eight years.

    The home leg of the tournament takes place during a demanding three-week period from 22 August where Australia hosts the defending Tri Nations champions New Zealand at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, before facing the reigning Rugby World Cup champions South Africa, back-to-back in Perth and then Brisbane.

    Last year, the title rested on the final match of the schedule between Australia and New Zealand. The two traditional rivals are penciled in for the final tie again this year, with the match at Wellington being the 159th Test between the two countries.


    The Qantas Wallabies Squad for the 2009 Bundaberg Rum Tri-Nations is:

    The Qantas Wallabies Squad for the 2009 Bundaberg Rum Tri-Nations is:


    NAME POSITION SUPER 14 TEAM AGE CAPS
    Ben Alexander Prop Brumbies 24 7
    Adam Ashley-Cooper Fullback-Wing Brumbies 25 26
    Berrick Barnes Inside centre-Flyhalf Queensland Reds 22 16
    Al Baxter Prop NSW Waratahs 32 66
    Richard Brown No 8/Loose Forward Western Force 24 7
    Luke Burgess Halfback NSW Waratahs 25 14
    Quade Cooper Flyhalf Queensland Reds 21 5
    Pekahou Cowan Prop Western Force 22 1
    Ryan Cross Centre Western Force 29 13
    Rocky Elsom Flanker Brumbies 26 40
    Will Genia Halfback Queensland Reds 21 Uncapped
    Matt Giteau Flyhalf Western Force 26 67
    Matt Hodgson Loose forward Western Force 27 Uncapped
    James Horwill Lock Queensland Reds 23 13
    Peter Hynes Wing Queensland Reds 26 14
    Peter Kimlin Lock Brumbies 23 1
    Drew Mitchell Wing/Fullback Western Force 25 31
    Stephen Moore Hooker Brumbies 26 35
    Stirling Mortlock Centre Brumbies 31 78
    Dean Mumm Lock/Loose Forward NSW Waratahs 25 13
    James O’Connor Fullback Western Force 18 4
    Wycliff Palu No 8 NSW Waratahs 26 28
    David Pocock Flanker Western Force 21 5
    Tatafu Polota-Nau Hooker NSW Waratahs 23 12
    Benn Robinson Prop NSW Waratahs 24 20
    Nathan Sharpe Lock Western Force 31 76
    George Smith Flanker Brumbies 28 99
    Timana Tahu Centre NSW Waratahs 28 4
    Lachie Turner Wing/Fullback NSW Waratahs 22 5
    Phil Waugh Flanker NSW Waratahs 29 79


    2009 Bundaberg Rum Tri-Nations Series



    DATE MATCH TROPHY VENUE KICK OFF
    Sat 18 July Qantas Wallabies v All Blacks Tri Nations & BC Eden Park, Auckland 7.35pm
    Sat 25 July Springboks v All Blacks Tri Nations Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein 5pm
    Sat 1 Aug Springboks v All Blacks Tri Nations The Absa Stadium, Durban 5pm
    Sat 8 Aug Springboks v Qantas Wallabies Tri Nations & MP Newlands, Cape Town 5pm
    Sat 22 Aug Qantas Wallabies v All Blacks Tri Nations & BC ANZ Stadium, Sydney 8pm
    Sat 29 Aug Qantas Wallabies v Springboks Tri Nations & MP Subiaco Oval, Perth 6pm
    Sat 5 Sep Qantas Wallabies v Springboks Tri Nations & MP Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 8pm
    Sat 12 Sep All Blacks v Springboks Tri Nations Waikato Stadium, Hamilton 7.35pm
    Sat 19 Sept All Blacks v Qantas Wallabies Tri Nations & BC Westpac Stadium, Wellington 7.35pm

    * all kick offs are in local times (NZ – 2 hours, AEST, SA +8 hours, AEST)

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    Tri Nations Squad named

    Palu, Genia make Tri Nations squad
    2nd July 2009, 9:30 WST

    The return of NSW Waratahs No.8 Wycliff Palu and the selection of the 21-year-old Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia highlight the 30-man Wallabies squad named this morning for the upcoming Tri Nations tournament.

    Palu and Genia effectively replace troubled winger Lote Tuqiri and halfback Josh Valentine from the squad which contested the June internationals.

    The selectors have opted for a 17-13 split between forwards and backs.

    “If you look at the competition from an historical perspective, and more particularly look at the pointers from our experience last year, it is in the forward pack where our resources are most likely to come under stress,” Deans said.

    The selection of Genia, who joins the Western Force loose forward Matt Hodgson as an uncapped member of the squad, had been flagged after the Super 14.

    His selection at that point was only prevented by the injury he sustained during a two-try performance playing against the Brumbies in Brisbane.

    Genia tore a tendon in his finger but has now resumed passing and, while still to play on his return, is expected to be available for the tournament opener against the All Blacks in Auckland in two weeks.

    “Had Will been available for our first squad, we would have selected him,” Deans said.

    Deans said the Papua New Guinea-born Genia, who represented Australia at last year’s under-20 World Cup, still has major scope for improvement in his game.

    “We were impressed by what we saw of his work with the Reds, and believe that he is only going to get better with time and opportunity to develop his game within our framework,” he said.

    Palu hasn’t played for Australia since last year’s spring tour win over France in Paris.

    He was forced to return home after that match for a shoulder operation, and has subsequently been troubled by two separate broken bones in his left hand, although those injuries failed to prevent him from appearing in all 13 matches for the Waratahs in 2009.

    The 26-year-old, who has 28 Tests to his name, made his playing return at club level for Manly recently.

    “Cliff is in the same position as Will, in that he would have been selected in our initial squad had he been available,” Deans said.

    His inclusion reinforces a loose forward unit that has been further bolstered by the return from a shoulder injury of Hodgson, who was forced from the field 40 minutes into his debut against the Barbarians at the Sydney Football Stadium last month.

    Hodgson is expected to be available for the Auckland Test, although Rocky Elsom, who is resting a bruised bone around his knee, may not be able to be considered until Australia’s trip to South Africa at the end of the month.

    “He’s making progress but we won’t look at getting Rocky started again until he is ready,” Deans said.

    Australia are looking to win the Tri Nations for the first time since 2001.

    Squad
    Backs: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Luke Burgess, Quade Cooper, Ryan Cross, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, Peter Hynes, Drew Mitchell, Stirling Mortlock (capt), James O’Connor, Timana Tahu, Lachie Turner.
    Forwards: Ben Alexander, Al Baxter, Richard Brown, Pek Cowan, Rocky Elsom, Matt Hodgson, James Horwill, Peter Kimlin, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Nathan Sharpe, George Smith, Phil Waugh.

    SYDNEY
    AAP

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    Excellent news re Genia, have been pro him since I first saw him for the Reds.
    Best pass in Australia I believe.
    With Gits the only other "recognised" (using the term loosely) he is in for some match time and I believe he will put some serious heat on Burgess.
    A shame for Valo, as he really had little opportunity of match time to impress but that's the nature of it I guess.
    Well done Hodgo, still in the hunt for that first Cap!

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    Valentine's dropped - didn't see that coming. I almost hope for his sake that it is a little bit of under the table discipline for being a mature player involved in that food fight, rather than that he was just seen as the best of a bad lot when Genia wasn't available. Deans did say that Genia would have been picked had he been available though...

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    Don't want to hose down the excitement, but Hodgeo will not crack it for more than a bench spot this year IMHO......he's too like Phil Waugh in his style of play and will probably sit behind Dean Mumm (who covers the third jumper spot well) or Cliffy Palu (with Browny playing 8 and Cliffy 6) to provide that extra bit of work in the breakdown late in the game.

    OTOH a cap is a cap, even if it's a bench cap!

    ---------- Post added at 11:45 ---------- Previous post was at 11:42 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Valentine's dropped - didn't see that coming. I almost hope for his sake that it is a little bit of under the table discipline for being a mature player involved in that food fight, rather than that he was just seen as the best of a bad lot when Genia wasn't available. Deans did say that Genia would have been picked had he been available though...
    Genia's passing game shits all over Valo's, I don't think Genia is any less agressive around the ruck either. the only question I might have is over the size of the man, Genia looks quite a bit smaller than Valo and might need more help on the inside defence....I reckon it's a pretty fair call though! the one I'm not yet convinced about is Burgess v Valentine, Burgess is a bit hot n cold really, can we afford that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    Genia's passing game shits all over Valo's, I don't think Genia is any less agressive around the ruck either. the only question I might have is over the size of the man, Genia looks quite a bit smaller than Valo and might need more help on the inside defence....I reckon it's a pretty fair call though! the one I'm not yet convinced about is Burgess v Valentine, Burgess is a bit hot n cold really, can we afford that?
    Since Valo's knee troubles he doesn't really run the ball much whereas thats one of Genia's strengths (he has scored a fair few tries in Super 14 and trial games). He may be a bit smaller too but he certainly seems powerful. Burgess used to be a bit hold and cold but the last few I've seen him in have been fairly consistent.

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    So far Burgess' "hot's" have been in the bigger matches though, he does tend to step up.

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    Nice one Will Genia...

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    QLD's strong performances coincided with the matches which Genia started, he is a good player but still has a lot of development ahead of him.

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    Last edited by TOCC; 02-07-09 at 18:06.

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    Sooner that than a good player who has reached the extent of his potential! I'm really keen to see how he goes, but I'll bet Lucas will be ruing injury and missed opportunity.

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    If the Reds could hold Genia, Barnes, Cooper and Lucas for the next four years until their mid twenties the potential would be awesome.

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    not to mention Kingi, surely another province will sign Kingi, i cant imagine he would want to hang around at the Reds with Genia and Lucas ahead of him.

    Ideally either Lucas or Cooper move to fullback meaning all 4 players can start, but i guess thats up to Mooney.

    Sunnybank at the moment have Kingi at scrumhalf and Lucas at flyhalf

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    Shame! Valentine's dropping is a real suprise. Genia had a big impact at the reds though. That game they thumped the Sharks was a fantastic performance by him, and then he was suspened for that horrific tackle and the reds lost 4 in a row? He's good. I'm glad Deans is looking at the options I'm not sold on Burgess yet. But I didn't think Valentine had been below par during his games so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOCC View Post
    not to mention Kingi, surely another province will sign Kingi, i cant imagine he would want to hang around at the Reds with Genia and Lucas ahead of him.

    Ideally either Lucas or Cooper move to fullback meaning all 4 players can start, but i guess thats up to Mooney.

    Sunnybank at the moment have Kingi at scrumhalf and Lucas at flyhalf
    Yeah I'd take either Kingi or Lucas Chris O'Young will be off next year and we will have a halfback slot open. Thats the thing though hey I mean there is so much young talent going around that even if it takes another 2 the Reds will soon have more players than what they know what to do with again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOCC View Post
    QLD's strong performances coincided with the matches which Genia started, he is a good player but still has a lot of development ahead of him.
    TOCC, I'll back you here Genia played some fine S14 rugby and is worthy of a bench scrumhalf spot...

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