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Thread: Wallabies coach Robbie Deans leaves Matt Giteau on the bench in side to face France i

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    Wallabies coach Robbie Deans leaves Matt Giteau on the bench in side to face France i

    Scrumhalf Will Genia and winger James O’Connor will return to the Qantas Wallabies as the only changes to the starting XV for the final Test of side’s Spring Tour against France at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT).

    Genia has been included in his customary ‘9’ jersey after recovering from rib cartilage damage sustained against England a fortnight ago. The 22-year-old, who was named on the bench but not required against Italy last weekend, will take on Les Bleus for the first time in his career after missing the 2009 domestic Test season with a finger tendon injury before going on to make his Test debut against New Zealand during the Tri-Nations Series that year.

    Genia will re-establish his Queensland Reds halves pairing with Quade Cooper, who was named man of the match against Italy, and replaces Luke Burgess in the run-on side, with Burgess falling back to the bench.

    O’Connor has been reinstated on the right wing after re-joining the side in Paris on Sunday. O’Connor, who missed Saturday’s Test against the Azzurri after returning to Australia on compassionate grounds, resumes his place on the end of the backline in favour of Waratahs speedster Lachie Turner, who will start from the reserves list. O’Connor will join winger Drew Mitchell and fullback Kurtley Beale in the back three, with the trio accounting for six of the Qantas Wallabies’ 11 tries in their four completed matches on this tour.

    “Will was obviously part of the squad last week but we wanted to give him a chance to fully recover from his rib injury,” Qantas Wallabies Head Coach Robbie Deans said. “It’s good to have James back. He’s had a tough week but he’s come back in a really good frame of mind and he’s looking forward to participating again on Saturday night.”

    Saturday’s match may mark the Test debut of Queensland back-rower Scott Higginbotham, who has been named amongst the run-on reserves. It will be the second time Higginbotham, who scored the side’s final try in their tour match win over Leicester, has been selected in the Qantas Wallabies’ Test 22, with his first selection ending in a pre-match withdrawal due to a back strain sustained in the warm-up of the side’s 44-31 loss to South Africa at Loftus Versfeld in August this year.

    Should he take to the field on Saturday night, Higginbotham will become the 12th Qantas Wallabies Test debutante of 2010 (joining Huia Edmonds, Salesi Ma’afu, Rob Horne, Saia Faingaa, Matt Hodgson, Ben Daley, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Anthony Faingaa and Pat McCabe) and the 28th since Deans took charge of the Australian side at the beginning of 2008.

    Berrick Barnes, who booted six penalties and two conversions from nine attempts in Florence, will continue his centre partnership alongside last weekend’s half-centurion, Adam Ashley-Cooper, who returns for his 51st Test.

    After making impressive starting debuts against Italy last weekend, lock Rob Simmons and loosehead prop James Slipper – who received the side’s internal man-of-the-match award – have been retained in an unchanged forward pack.

    Deans says it is essential that his side combines for a strong performance in their final Test of 2011.

    “Being our last outing for the year definitely adds some importance to it,” he said. “Not only will it be our last impression from a team perspective, but it’s the players’ last opportunity to make an impression too leading into what is an important year next year with a World Cup approaching.”

    Deans says the tour has been integral in building the overall strength and experience within the squad.

    “To be honest, we’ve had elements of everything in the tour,” he said. “As I said before we departed, it was evident that we had a tough schedule with seven games in five weeks.

    “Every game’s been different and that’s part of touring Europe, particularly when you include those midweek contests which were purposely designed with tough opponents.

    “Regardless of outcomes, which obviously everyone chases, we’ll be better for our time here and there’s no doubt about that.

    “We’ve exposed another group of players to rugby at a tougher level, to a different type of rugby, to different challenges on and off the field, and we’re all better for it.

    “We’ve had some good outcomes at tough venues against tough opponents and there have also been elements of frustration but each occasion has been a learning occasion.”

    Saturday’s Stade de France Test will be the Qantas Wallabies’ final fixture of 2010 and the last leg of their Spring Tour which has seen wins over New Zealand in Hong Kong (26-24), Wales in Cardiff (26-15) and Italy in Florence (32-14), as well as a 35-18 loss to England at Twickenham. The Australians have also taken part in two midweek fixtures against reigning English Premiership champions Leicester and Ireland’s two-time European Cup titleholders Munster – recording a 26-15 win at Leicester’s Welford Road and a 15-6 loss in Limerick respectively.


    Qantas Wallabies v France
    Trophée de Bicentenaries
    Saturday, 27 November, 2010
    Stade de France, Paris
    Time: 8.45pm (local)/6.45am (AEDT) (Sunday, 28 November)
    Referee: Bryce Lawrence (NZ)

    1. James Slipper (Queensland Reds)
    2. Stephen Moore (Brumbies)
    3. Ben Alexander (Brumbies)
    4. Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)
    5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)
    6. Rocky Elsom (c) (Brumbies)
    7. David Pocock (Western Force)
    8. Ben McCalman (Western Force)
    9. Will Genia (Queensland Reds)
    10. Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds)
    11. Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs)
    12. Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs)
    13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies)
    14. James O’Connor (Western Force)
    15. Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs)

    Reserves:
    16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs)
    17. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)
    18. Mark Chisholm (Brumbies)
    19. Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)
    20. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)
    21. Matt Giteau (Brumbies)
    22. Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs)

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    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    How can Cooper stay ahead of Gits, Gits is given the role to protect him and gets ditched for not making enough line breaks. Come on!!!

    In my humble opinion Cooper with his swanky twinkle toes that is starting to work less and less needs to be an impact off the bench, and a great like Gits needs to start. Gits played his heart out when he played for us at the Force, he was touted and rightly so as one of the best.

    He always wanted to be 5/8ths and played his best rugby there, just because some rugby scribs wanted Coops in suddenly he was a better centre. get him back in in his rightful place, or has some sinster deal been made with Cooper that got his signature to stay on till next year in the face of an undeniably great league offer.

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    You had me until you said he played his best at 5/8 Tazz.
    Sorry mate, but we must have been watching different Force (and Wallaby) matches when he was in #10.
    Basically Gits is on the bench as Deans doesn't think either Barnes or he are up to Test standard at Flyhalf and he is seeing more in Barnes at #12 outside of Cooper at the moment. (Plus their respective kicking form)
    Going on Gits form this Test season I would have to agree.
    Giteau at #12 at his best is world class, 2010 hasn't been that scenario.

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    Not superstitious or anything but Matt Giteau is on 666 career points...I’m just putting it out there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Not superstitious or anything but Matt Giteau is on 666 career points...I’m just putting it out there...

    So, that's why he is suffering the Wrath of Deans...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    How can Cooper stay ahead of Gits, Gits is given the role to protect him and gets ditched for not making enough line breaks. Come on!!!

    In my humble opinion Cooper with his swanky twinkle toes that is starting to work less and less needs to be an impact off the bench, and a great like Gits needs to start. Gits played his heart out when he played for us at the Force, he was touted and rightly so as one of the best.

    He always wanted to be 5/8ths and played his best rugby there, just because some rugby scribs wanted Coops in suddenly he was a better centre. get him back in in his rightful place, or has some sinster deal been made with Cooper that got his signature to stay on till next year in the face of an undeniably great league offer.
    Giteau played his best rugby at No12 outside of Larkham, with Mortlock outside of him.
    He just does not have a kicking game to be a 5/8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue View Post
    Giteau played his best rugby at No12 outside of Larkham, with Mortlock outside of him.
    He just does not have a kicking game to be a 5/8.
    I think as far as kicking for field position and what not he is the best in australia. IMO He became too predictable with ball in hand and ran sideways too much. he also doesnt have the long range passing distribution skills like cooper.

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    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    But at least he can tackle, i am still not convinced that Cooper is a starting flyhalf, still see him as a great impact player off the bench, for my money at this point in time Giteau and Barnes to start, however, roll on three years and hopefully the starting 5/8th will be one Willie Ripea!

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    trouble with Ripea he can pass & kick very well,but rarely attempts a line break

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    Dan Carter rarely attempts line breaks as well.....he just makes sure he doesn't try until the defense has absolutely no clue what's going on and then usually makes about 40 metres

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    C'mon the

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