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Thread: RWC Wallabies v Fiji

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    RWC Wallabies v Fiji

    WORLD CUP TEAM NEWS: Experience gives Hooper and Pocock the starting edge, says Cheika
    Today at 1:21 PM Rugby World Cup

    by Beth Newman in Japan

    UPDATED: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says the experience of David Pocock and Michael Hooper earned them the chance to start together in Australia's World Cup opener against Fiji on Saturday.

    Cheika said experience was the ultimate factor in deciding to pick the sevens together in the starting side and pushing Lukhan Salakaia-Loto to the bench.

    "I think with the first game of the World Cup we just went with a bit of experience for this one," he said.

    Asked what impact it might have on the lineout, Cheika was confident they could still be strong in that department with a smaller backrow.

    "We obviously want to be consistent there," he said.

    "Our goal to have a team that can interchange quite easily and not have to be dependent on any one player to achieve a certain thing.

    "It's a different look to some other teams where we've got multiple options.

    "Might be a little different, there's obviously a difference between Lukhan and David for example, but they will achieve the same outcomes for us in how we play the game and bring their own special skill set to the game itself."

    Christian Lealiifano and Nic White will unite in the halves while Kurtley Beale has been given the nod at fullback.
    White and Lealiifano have played the bulk of the minutes for the Wallabies as the halves combination this season and
    Cheika said their performances had demanded first crack in the World Cup.

    "I think they showed enough in the Rugby Championship about their composure, ability to adapt on the run, which I think will be big in this game, and their ability to create play, attack and defence, and deserve the opportunity to play game one," he said.

    The other tight contest was for the hooker spots with Tolu Latu and Jordan Uelese ultimately winning that battle.

    Cheika said Latu's consistency and Uelese's dynamism had edged them ahead of Folau Fainga'a in the pecking order.

    "I think they all got a bit of a chance in the Rugby Championship and what I've liked about Tolu is his consistency in games and his training has been very regular, first time I've seen that in him as a player," he said.

    "I think just Jordan Uelese I think he just showed a fair bit in the game against Samoa, brought some dynamism, brought go forward to the game the game,I like that in him.

    Cheika hinted that Beale would be the team's regular fullback, saying the team wanted to give him one consistent role in the tournament.

    "Kurtley in the last World Cup was very versatile, he played in many positions," he said.

    "This time we want to give him one role to concentrate on which is fill the 15 jersey very well, he's very creative.

    "He's worked hard in the back field to cover kicks of the opposition, can always sometimes play like a running back and sometimes like a creator of play in the middle, He's got good versatility, very happy (with him)."

    Fiji named their team earlier on Thursday with Semi Radradra starting on the wing.

    TEAM

    1. Scott Sio (59 Tests)
    2. Tolu Latu (15 Tests)
    3. Allan Alaalatoa (33 Tests)
    4. Izack Rodda (21 Tests)
    5. Rory Arnold (22 Tests)
    6. David Pocock (78 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (95 Tests)
    8. Isi Naisarani (4 Tests)
    9. Nic White (26 Tests)
    10. Christian Lealiifano (22 Tests)
    11. Marika Koroibete (24 Tests)
    12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (29 Tests)
    13. James O’Connor (48 Tests)
    14. Reece Hodge (37 Tests)
    15. Kurtley Beale (87 Tests)

    Reserves
    16. Jordan Uelese (4 Tests)
    17. James Slipper (91 Tests)
    18. Sekope Kepu (106 Tests)
    19. Adam Coleman (34 Tests)
    20. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (16 Tests)
    21. Will Genia (105 Tests)
    22. Matt To’omua (47 Tests)
    23. Dane Haylett-Petty (33 Tests)

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/0...bies-team-fiji

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  2. #2
    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    Kurtley in the last World Cup was very versatile, he played in many positions," he said.
    From what I can remember Kurtley only played about 15 minutes in the last WC!
    The Pooper thing again-has Cheiks learnt nothing the past 4 years? And Uelese has apparently only played 4 Super games in 3 years-this is gonna be good.

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    When I see that squad, I realise how much the game has shrunk in the mainstream sphere in this country

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