Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29

Thread: Lions 2013: Australia's selection posers ahead of three-Test series

  1. #1
    Champion SinBin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,430
    vCash
    5002000

    Lions 2013: Australia's selection posers ahead of three-Test series

    Call it a first taste of home advantage.

    While Warren Gatland has already announced the 37 men hoping to gain a first British and Irish Lions series win in 16 years, his Australia counterpart Robbie Deans has an extra three weeks to decide upon the best men to oppose them. Having weighed up Gatland's opening move, the Wallabies selectors will reveal their hand with an initial 25-man squad on 19 May. Bob Dwyer coached Australia to World Cup glory in 1991, guided the New South Wales Waratahs against the Lions in 2001 and experienced rugby life north of the equator with spells in charge of Leicester and Bristol. Here, he looks at some of the selection posers facing Deans and his colleagues ahead of the three-Test series which begins in Australia in June.

    David Pocock's absence

    The Lions forwards approaching the first breakdown of the series in Brisbane on 22 June will be relieved not to be confronted with the familiar sight of flanker David Pocock's broad torso clamped over the ball. The 25-year-old open-side is one of the most stubborn, streetwise operators in the game, memorably infuriating South Africa in the Wallabies' backs-to-the-wall win in the 2011 World Cup, but has been ruled out with a serious knee injury.

    Pocock suffered a serious knee injury playing for the Brumbies in March. However, Dwyer believes that with 110-Test veteran George Smith impressing on a temporary deal with the Brumbies, the Waratahs' Michael Hooper ably deputising for Pocock during the autumn and Queensland's Liam Gill emerging from Super 15, the Lions would be wrong to think it is Australia's weak point.
    "The three of them are world class without any doubt," he told BBC Sport.
    "Pocock was not an especially good attacking player - most Australians got a shock if he ever passed the ball. I wouldn't think any of those players are a step down from him at all.
    "Hooper is probably the best attacking player of the lot and, allied to that, he currently has the best work-rate of any Australia number seven by some distance.
    "Smith is probably the most physical and the hardest to move over the top of the ball and is certainly the most experienced by a long way.
    "He is probably the best guy under pressure; he just doesn't seem to get ruffled at all.
    "One of the very well-respected newspaper columnists over here has suggested - if all things are equal - to start with George Smith and bring Hooper into the pitch later. That's a possibility."

    Problems at 10?

    Quade Cooper's surprising omission from a Wallabies planning get-together in April, coupled with previous apparent criticism of coach Deans' playing style, raised the possibility that the mercurial fly-half could be sidelined for the series.

    However, the options behind Cooper are either inexperience at the top level - in the case of Christian Lealiifano - or in the number 10 shirt - in the case of versatile James O'Connor. Dwyer believes Cooper should play against the Lions. "He probably hasn't been at his most brilliant self this season, but I think there is more underlying strength to his game," said Dwyer. "People think that he can't tackle, but I think, like a lot of brilliant fly-halves, it is not high on his list of priorities. "It's whether he thinks that Quade fits the mix in the team, psychologically as much as physically, and Robbie sees him more closely than I do.

    "Beyond Cooper we have not got any experienced world-class fly-halves. " Bernard Foley at the Waratahs is playing well, but is two years away from playing for Australia. "Christian Lealiifano has had a great season at inside centre and can play pretty well at fly-half - he is the only one who I could see who could do the job if it is not going to be Cooper."

    Kurtley Beale's possible return

    An ever-present for the Wallabies in 2012, Kurtley Beale went from Test probable to apparent international exile in a chaotic couple of weeks. The 24-year-old was sent home from the Melbourne Rebels tour of South Africa and suspended indefinitely after coming to blows with team-mates, including former Gloucester and Wales number eight Gareth Delve, in late March.
    Rehabilitation for alcohol-related issues followed, but after a, presumably contrite, presentation to his team-mates Beale was included among the Rebels' replacement to face the Chiefs on Friday.
    "At his best, there are not many better players; he does things on the field that are almost unimaginable," Dwyer said of Beale.
    "Most other players couldn't do them because they are beyond the scope of their dreams.
    "Who knows about the Lions? He still has maybe five or six weeks to get himself back together and he has been known to do that in the past.
    "But I am thinking that although he is not out of the question, he is not in the question either."

    Possible Test 'bolters'

    The bolter is the player who comes from nowhere to claim a place in the series.
    They have been a rare species in Warren Gatland's squad selection with the return of Matt Stevens, summoned from international retirement, the one genuine wildcard.
    Might Australia chance their arm more freely?
    "The Waratahs' Israel Falou is in his first ever season of rugby union after switching from rugby league and Aussie Rules football," said Dwyer.
    "I had been a bit doubtful but in the last couple of weeks he has really played well and, if he keeps improving at that rate, he will give it a nudge either as winger or full-back.
    "He is very tall, extremely athletic and extremely good in the air with very good pace and reflexes.
    "He can take an opportunity in the blink of an eyelid, with a run, change of direction or a pass.
    " Joe Tomane, another league convert, has looked good on the wing for the Brumbies. He is big, strong and very quick. He has only played one Test so far but he'll be there or thereabouts.
    If Wycliff Palu doesn't make it back to full fitness at number eight, then we will probably go to a newcomer in Ben Mowan, who is captain of the Brumbies and has been absolutely outstanding at Super Rugby level.
    "He really keeps things under control and his discussions with the referee when playing for the Brumbies have been really good. He can add that maturity."

    The captaincy issue

    Second row James Horwill , who led the Wallabies to third place at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, returned from an 11-month lay-off in March and appears set to captain them for the Lions series.
    "It probably looks like being Horwill, but I would like to see him handle the role with a little more circumspection," said Dwyer.
    "For the Queensland Reds I don't think that he has always handled the negotiations with the referee nearly as well as I would have liked. He was more confrontational than I think you are entitled to be.
    "If it is not Horwill, then we start to struggle. Will Genia could do the job but, from the outside at least, he has never shown no massive desire to do so.
    "The Waratahs have tried Ben Alexander, who was OK but not terrific, Stephen Moore could probably do the job, but I don't really see any stand-outs."

    Possible weaknesses

    So, what areas of the Australia team might Gatland and his team target?
    "I would like to see a number eight and a blindside flanker in really good form because the Lions selection in those positions will not be easy with so many good players," said Dwyer.
    "If Wycliff Palu can get back to tip-top form, that would be useful because he is such a big bruising guy who can wear down opposition defences.
    "We have a few number sixes but none of them stand out as world class.
    "I wouldn't like to see some of our first-choice players get injured either - if we lose James O'Connor we lose a bit of sheer brilliance and if Digby Ioane is not up to his best we lose a little of our attacking edge."

    What hosting a visiting Lions side means

    "A Lions team arriving is exciting, just because it doesn't happen very often," said Dwyer.
    "It is a unique international team in bringing together a number of other national sides - there is no other team that does that.
    "It has a certain sort of romance about it. I have been enthralled ever since watching the 1959 tourists practice as an 18-year-old and have been a massive admirer of them ever since.
    "If there is pressure as hosts it is because Lions tours are so infrequent that it is a long time, beyond most player's individual careers, to square the account if you lose."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/22384079

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #2
    Rookie
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    93
    vCash
    5000000
    You would have to use the Genia / Cooper combination first up. If Cooper chokes or gets flustered under pressure then he is gone !

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Player Invictus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Banksia Grove
    Posts
    381
    vCash
    5000000
    3, 8, and 13 are the troublesome positions IMHO.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  4. #4
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    West Leederville
    Posts
    16,151
    vCash
    3974000
    I think Ben Mowen has 8 covered, plus he adds some leadership qualities to the group.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  5. #5
    Player Invictus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Banksia Grove
    Posts
    381
    vCash
    5000000
    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    I think Ben Mowen has 8 covered, plus he adds some leadership qualities to the group.
    Unfortunately, Deans favours the traditional #8 which Mowen is not (which is why we have had to put up with a half fit Palu for the past few seasons). I think Mowen deserves to be in the squad but if you are not going to pick him at 8 then he is competing with all the 6's, and we aren't short in that position.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  6. #6
    Champion Tonkar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    west Kulin / East Wickepin
    Posts
    1,370
    vCash
    5000000
    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus View Post
    3, 8, and 13 are the troublesome positions IMHO.
    I have to agree Mowen or brown dog would be great injectors into the wallabies at No 8

    if digby not avail all aus super 15 clubs have some talent on the wings so we must be able to get 1

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  7. #7
    Player
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    noranda
    Posts
    179
    vCash
    5000000
    TH prop is a possible area of worry, along with one wing and flyhalf - on what I've seen from the 5 Australian franchises these are my players rankings ie;players in the frame
    Robbie Deans will have a way that he wants to play the Lions, bearing in mind that they will have all those warmup games and the Wallabies will not have the same -

    So my choices for choices would be
    FB - Folau, Beale, Mogg
    Wing - Digby, Speight, Tomane, Cummins, Mitchell
    #13 - AAC, A. Faiinga
    #12 - JOC, Godwin
    Flyhalf - Cooper, Lealiafano,
    halfback - Genia, Phipps, McKibbin
    No.8 - Higginbotham, Brown, McCalman
    BSF - Dennis, Mowen
    OSF - G.Smith, Hooper, Gill
    Lock - Horwill, McManimen, Simmons, Timani, Kimlin
    Prop - Kefu, Alexander, B.Robinson, Slipper, Cowan
    Hooker - Moore, Polota-Nau, Hanson

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by jt12; 06-05-13 at 15:16. Reason: not finished

  8. #8
    Rookie
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    93
    vCash
    5000000
    We definitely have depth but it will depend on Dingo having a Plan B, C, D................He will go for combinations as it will take time to gel everyone together. As for Godwin.......my personal opinion would be to put him in the training squad for the RC and take him on the EOYT. Give him a run on the EOYT and then watch him develop in 2014. If he improves his tactical kicking he would be Australia's version of Dan Carter and he will be # 12 for the RWC in 2015.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  9. #9
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rockingham
    Posts
    19,405
    vCash
    7284800
    There's a lot of optimism in your squad JT, I don't see McCab, Horne or Vunain the backs, nor do I see Palu or S Fangaa in the pack.

    Deans will pick players based upon his skewed perception of potential, with little regard for reality. I would expect at least a couple of worthy Wallabies will miss a spot to make way for Deans' "special projects"

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    C'mon the

  10. #10
    Champion
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    girrawheen
    Posts
    1,299
    vCash
    5000000
    Quote Originally Posted by The Boab View Post
    We definitely have depth but it will depend on Dingo having a Plan B, C, D................He will go for combinations as it will take time to gel everyone together. As for Godwin.......my personal opinion would be to put him in the training squad for the RC and take him on the EOYT. Give him a run on the EOYT and then watch him develop in 2014. If he improves his tactical kicking he would be Australia's version of Dan Carter and he will be # 12 for the RWC in 2015.
    Agree with you about Godwin, don't want to push him to early

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  11. #11
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Willetton
    Posts
    669
    vCash
    5000000
    Is there an argument for the Wallabies to pick someone like Godwin and have him in the training camps and around the wallabies set up to embed him in for the lead up for the 2015 world cup I think he could be a dark horse to play a couple of tests in the rugby championship this year if he doesn't make the squad against the lions

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  12. #12
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rockingham
    Posts
    19,405
    vCash
    7284800
    Godwin needs to be in the setup, because all the quality options we have at 12 want to play 10 Kyle is a genuine ballplaying 12 with the ability to develop into a world beater in that position. I would put him in the squad to develop culture and learn systems, but not with a view to playing unless there is an emergency.

    If we push him too soon we'll only burn him out!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    C'mon the

  13. #13
    Player
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    177
    vCash
    5000000
    The Lions series is not really where you want to hand out debuts. But then some of them are the form players. Fullback have to be Folua or Mogg. Could even put the other one on wing. Would like to see Lealiafano at 12, but looking at the size of the Lions centers it will be Mcabe. 10 should be either Cooper or JOC. Don' tknow where Beale will fit in. In the forwards the problem will be who will be 6,8.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  14. #14
    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Mandurah
    Posts
    3,128
    vCash
    5000000
    thats where godwin has excelled though- against big bad ball running opposition. he still goes in no matter the size, bounces off a few but still makes them slow down or takes them down.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  15. #15
    Champion UNCLE BOOG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    West Leedy, WA
    Posts
    1,104
    vCash
    5000000
    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    Godwin needs to be in the setup, because all the quality options we have at 12 want to play 10 Kyle is a genuine ballplaying 12 with the ability to develop into a world beater in that position. I would put him in the squad to develop culture and learn systems, but not with a view to playing unless there is an emergency.

    If we push him too soon we'll only burn him out!
    Id stick him on the paddock, so young, he wouldnt know any better and no doubt just step past the hype, and opposition! haha.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The Touring InnFORCEers Hall Of Fame
    By The InnFORCEr in forum Public Bar
    Replies: 198
    Last Post: 05-06-17, 20:08
  2. 2013 Lions Tour of Australia
    By Burgs in forum British and Irish Lions
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 07-12-12, 14:55
  3. THE BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS IN AUSTRALIA
    By Darren in forum British and Irish Lions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-11-11, 12:44
  4. Lions will be the next big test for the Wallabies
    By Burgs in forum British and Irish Lions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-10-11, 13:11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •